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Greg McVerry

Facilitating Critical Evaluation Skills through Content Creation: Empowering Adolescents as Readers and Writers of Online Information

Cognitive Apprenticeship Notes

Cognitive apprenticeship has been defined as an instructional theory in which a knowledgeable instructor imparts knowledge to apprentices in a structured, “scaffolded” process (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Scaffolding is defined as a series of instructional supports provided for the student during the learning process which is tailored to the needs of learners to allow them to achieve their learning goals (Sawyer, 2006).

Scaffolding was critical in cognitive apprenticeship models. Yet these were always seen as instructional supports. in Agentive apprenticehip I am wondering if we should also account for network and technical support

Because cognitive apprenticeship was a basis for this study, students engaged in several of its practices: (a) collectively solving problems, (b) displaying multiple roles, (c) confronting ineffective strategies and misconceptions, and (d) providing collaborative work skills (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989).

Embedded within a situated activity, cognitive apprenticeship defined conceptual knowledge as a set of tools (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989), which can only be understood through their use.

What does it mean wheb you are also building tools as you use them. This I think maybe a key difference with cognitive apprenticeshup

. Brown, Collins, & Duguid point out that students “pick up relevant jargon, imitate behavior, and gradually start to act in accordance with its norms” (1989, p. 34). This indoctrination into culture, including the associated tools and their value within society, not only raises the level of “participation” that students have within the social group, but also the value students place on the learning process (Herrington & Oliver, 2000; Hendricks, 2001).

This is also true in agentive apprenticeship, though the releveant jargon and tools are also digital. There are semiotic signifiers that live beyond the learning space

The concept of authentic activity has held specific emphasis within cognitive apprenticeship theory. Inherent in cognitive apprenticeship is an examination and consideration of learning experiences that are authentic and those that are not (inauthentic). Brown, Collins, & Duguid view authentic learning as activities that are “coherent, meaningful, and purposeful” while inauthentic learning activities are seen as “tasks” (1989).

This to me is the key difference between agentive apprenticeship, the purposeful learnign has to be authentic but it must be agent driven. They have to start with a personal goal that aligns to the shared goals of the broader network.

When guided by the tenets of cognitive apprenticeship, this approach yielded information on the skills and strategies instructors used: (a) modeling, (b) coaching, (c) scaffolding, and (d) empowering students to acquire a role as a self-motivated learner (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1985; Scardamalia, Bereiter & Steinbach, 1984).

Do we tease out the difference between self-motivated learner and self directed learner? Also these tenets do not allow for leadership or growth within anetwork since these studies were directed at student spaces where the learner rarely had powe.

Students were encouraged to reflect on novice and expert perspectives in a problem-solving context to emulate specifics of an expert performance and make adjustments to improve their own performance (Collins & Brown, 1988; Collins, Brown, & Newman, 1989).

Reflection drives learning, strategy instruction not so much. Agentive apprenticeships attemps to account for the lack of transfer and the low ceiling found in strategy instruction and rather focuses more on knowledge exchange


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