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A Problem for Cognitive Load Theory-the Distinctively Human Life-form

Derry, J; (2020) A Problem for Cognitive Load Theory-the Distinctively Human Life-form. Journal Of Philosophy Of Education , 54 (1) pp. 5-22. 10.1111/1467-9752.12411.

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Abstract

Cognitive load theory has challenged contemporary approaches to teaching by arguing that they are ineffective because of a neglect of the psychology underpinning learning and, specifically, the high demand placed on working memory. This paper challenges the presuppositions involved not only in arguments for guided instruction by those supporting cognitive load theory, but also in opposed pedagogic approaches involving discovery and inquiry learning. Both approaches are in danger of presupposing what C.B. Macpherson criticised as ‘possessive individualism’—i.e. capacities, beliefs and desires viewed as possessions of an individual. As a result, they fail to pay attention to mediation and normativity, both of which are distinctive aspects of human action. Examining this in more detail entails consideration of fundamental issues concerning human knowledge and understanding. An appreciation of the significance of normativity and mediation leads us to the philosophic works of Marx, Vygotsky and Wittgenstein, and in particular to Brandom's Inferentialism. The philosophical ideas here have direct implications for pedagogy.

Type: Article
Title: A Problem for Cognitive Load Theory-the Distinctively Human Life-form
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9752.12411
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9752.12411
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096431
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