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Cognitive Flexibility Theory: Implications for Teaching and Teacher Education
PROCEEDINGS

, University of Houston

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

Traditionally, instructors present information using a linear model. For example, a video may be shown from beginning to end or a text book will be covered from chapter one to the next. One theory that can guide the design of instruction, cognitive flexibility theory, suggests that this is not a problem when the information being presented is well-structured and simple. Often, however, as the difficulty of the material increases so does the ill-structuredness. When the knowledge domain to be taught is complex and ill-structured data, the use of traditional linear instruction may be ineffective (Spiro, Feltovich, Jacobson, & Coulson, 1992; Spiro & Jehng, 1990). Straightforward, linear instruction in the form of tutorials, lectures, and many other formats will, according to cognitive flexibility theory, fail to accomplish important educational objectives in part because of oversimplification of the material presented. This oversimplification results in the inability to transfer knowledge across to new and varied domains (Spiro, et al., 1992).

Citation

Boger-Mehall, S.R. (1996). Cognitive Flexibility Theory: Implications for Teaching and Teacher Education. In B. Robin, J. Price, J. Willis & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 1996--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 991-993). Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved July 13, 2020 from .

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