Interaction in Educational Domains by Kirsi Tirri, Elina Kuusisto

By Kirsi Tirri, Elina Kuusisto

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By the early twentieth century, behaviorism had emerged as a dominant view linked to, and associated with, a western approach and operant conditioning (Pavlov 1927; Skinner 1974). The animalistic focus gradually shifted to cognitivist theories, which began to surface in the late 1950s. Major contributors included Lewin (1951) and Gagne (1974), but perhaps the most well known was Bloom (1956), who developed a spatial hierarchy of cognition (higher/lower forms). Seeing the “human” as unique, intelligent, and rational, the cognitive focus alluded to the computational processing of thinking, remembering, analyzing, and seeking ways to explain and make sense of the world.

Less speculatively, we act according to what experience prompts in use, whether or not this prompting inspires (necessarily contextualized) reasoning or conscious reflection. Implicated in the consideration of reason here is cause. Beware the fallacy of single causation, which assumes that there is an invariate relationship between identifiable single events in the past and the future. What experience prompts and what agents do can never be fully understood on a simple one-to-one level of cause and effect.

An increased awareness of interaction between those dimensions of learning that previously may have been considered separately. THE CHALLENGES OF INTEGRATION WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION Within higher education, the efforts to achieve integrative thinking regarding such a complex issue as human learning may be seen as being hindered by conventional dualistic thinking, which has far-reaching consequences for our understanding of learning today. These consequences are visible, for example, in the splitting and privileging of the rational over the affective in learning (Boler 1999), which appears to prevail in our understanding of the general project of higher education.

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