Publication 1890

Pask G. & Scott B. C. E. (1971) Learning and teaching strategies in a transformation skill. British Journal Mathematical Statistical Psychology 24: 205–229. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/1890
When subjects learn a transformation skill in conditions that allow them to direct their attention freely to different subgoals, they adopt definite learning strategies which can be externalized by special techniques. Two of these techniques are described (expts. 1 and 2) and the free-learning strategies revealed with their assistance are discussed. Such strategies may also be used in ‘controlled learning’ conditions, i.e. when a subject is taught the skill. In this case, the (computerized) teaching system acts as a surrogate for, and may be viewed as a model of, the subject’s attention-directing mechanism. Experiment 3 is concerned with learning controlled by a conversational system which entails a model based on a class of learning strategies; expt. 4 with a simple adaptive system, based on a single learning strategy. There are marked differences between the form and efficiency of learning in the free conditions and each of the two controlled conditions. These differences are described and a theoretical interpretation is proposed.

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