Bruner was born in U.S.A and his influence on teaching has been important.
He was possibly the leading proponent of discovery approach in
mathematical education although he was not the inventor of the concept
describes the general learning process in the following manner. First the child
finds in his manipulation of the materials regularities that correspond with
intuitive regularities it has already come to understand.
According to Bruner the child finds some sort of match between what it is
doing in the outside world and some models or templates that it has already
grasped intellectually. For Bruner
it is seldom something outside the learner that is discovered.
Instead, the discovery involves an internal reorganisation of previously
known ideas in order to establish a better fit between those ideas and
regularities of an encounter to which the learner has had to accommodate.
approach was characterised by three stages which he calls enactive, iconic and
symbolic and are solidly based on the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget.
The first, the enactive level, is where the child manipulate materials
directly. Then he proceed to the
iconic level, where he deals with mental images of objects but does not
manipulate them directly. At last he moves to the symbolic level, where he is strictly
manipulating symbols and no longer mental images or objects.
The optimum learning process should according to Bruner go through these
Enactive mode. When dealing
with the enactive mode, one is using some known aspects of reality without using
words or imagination. Therefore, it
involves representing the past events through making motor responses.
It involves manly in knowing how to do something; it involves series of
actions that are right for achieving some result e.g. Driving a car, skiing,
tying a knot.
Iconic Mode. This mode
deals with the internal imagery, were the knowledge is characterised by a set of
images that stand for the concept. The
iconic representation depends on visual or other sensory association and is
principally defined by perceptual organisation and techniques for economically
transforming perceptions into meaning for the individual.
Symbolic mode. Through life one is
always adding to the resources to the symbolic mode of representation of
thought. This representation is
based upon an abstract, discretionary and flexible thought. It allows one to deal with what might be and what might not,
and is a major tool in reflective thinking.
This mode is illustrative of a person’s competence to consider
propositions rather than objects, to give ideas a hierarchical structure and to
consider alternative possibilities in a combinatorial fashion, (Spencer.K.,1991,
association of these ideas of manipulations of actual materials as a part of
developmental model and the Socraterian notion of learning as internal
reorganisation into a learning by discovery approach is the unique contribution
of Bruner (Romiszowski.,A.J.1997, p.23).
1960, Bruner (then a professor of Harvard University) proposed a “spiral
curriculum” concept to facilitate structuring a curriculum ´around the great
issues, principles, and values that a society deems worthy of the continual
concern of its members´ (Bruner,
1960). The next decades many school system educators attempted to implement this
concept into their curriculum. Bruner
(1975) described the principles behind the spiral curriculum in the following
”…I was struck by the fact that successful efforts to teach highly
structured bodies of knowledge like mathematics, physical sciences, and even the
field of history often took the form of metaphoric spiral in which at some
simple level a set of ideas or operations were introduced in a rather intuitive
way and, once mastered in that spirit, were then revisited and reconstrued in a
more formal or operational way, then being connected with other knowledge, the
mastery at this stage then being carried one step higher to a new level of
formal or operational rigour and to a broader level of abstraction and
comprehensiveness. The end stage of this process was eventual mastery of the
connexity and structure of a large body of knowledge”…(p.3-4).
was in the 1980s, that a body of literature had accumulated in support of
individual components of a spiral curriculum model.
Reigeluth and Stein (1983) published the seminal work on “ The Elaboration Theory of Instruction”. It proposes that when structuring a course, it should be
organised in a simple-to-complex, general-to-detailed, abstract-to-concrete
manner. Another principle is that
one should follow learning prerequisite sequence, it is applied to individual
lessons within a course. In order
for a student to develop from simple to more complex lessons, certain
prerequisite knowledge and skills must first be mastered.
This prerequisite sequencing provides linkages between each lesson as
student spirals upwards in a course of a study.
As new knowledge and skills are introduced in a subsequent lessons, they
reinforce what is already learnt and become related to previously learned
information. What the student
gradually achieves is a rich breadth and depth of information that is not
normally developed in curricula where each topic is discrete and disconnected
from each other (Dowding, T.J. 1993).
suggested that cognitive process precede perception rather than the other way
around, that a person may not perceive an object until he or she has recognised
it. These cognitive theories of
perception emphasise the role of knowledge in how we interpret the world.
Gardner (1987,p.6) defined cognitive science as “a contemporary, empirically
based effort to answer long-standing epistemological questions- particularly
those concerned with the nature of knowledge, its components, its sources, its
development, and its deployment. ”The theories of the constructivist are
originated from this school of thought.
Roundstone the band see their site here
Some photos from Iceland see here
Sólrún B. Kristinsdóttir © 2001 Síðast uppfært 21.10.2008