The Teaching Methods

While the teaching architectures themselves are targeted for implementation on a computer, each is based on an underlying teaching method that is not dependent on computers. The teaching methods capture the general point about teaching on which each architecture is based. They may be furthered through computers, but by no means do they depend on them.

Teaching Method 1 is the basis for the Learning by Doing architecture.

Students need to be able to try new real world skills in a mentored environment. Teachers should be available to monitor students and to know when a student is having difficulty, as well as the nature of the difficulty he is having. They should be prepared to respond to the questions, errors, and omissions that a student has while trying things out.

Teaching Method 2 is the basis for the Incidental Learning architecture.

Implicit instruction allows students to pick up facts without recourse to explicit instruction about those facts. Rather, the students should be allowed to adopt goals and be given materials that will cause them to pick up the desired information "in passing." It is up to course designers to construct situations in which factual knowledge can be naturally acquired.

Teaching Method 3 is the basis for the Learning by Reflection architecture.

Teachers should help their students develop the ability to productively muse about their ideas. Through dialog with their teachers, students should learn to become better understanders and creators by learning to ask and pursue interesting questions.

Teaching Method 4 is the basis for the Cased-Based Teaching architecture.

When students are engaged in tasks and encounter expectation failures, teachers need to make cases available to them that indicate how to resolve those failures.

Teaching Method 5 is the basis for the Learning by Exploring architecture.

Learners should have access to a variety of experts. Students should be able to access these experts easily and quickly, and should have the opportunity to compare and contrast the different opinions of the different experts.

Teaching Method 6 is the basis for the Learning by Arguing architecture.

Teachers should be able to adopt multiple points of view. When a student expresses a point of view, a teacher should be able to respond with either an argument supporting that point of view or one undermining it. The teacher should not pose as the ultimate authority, but only as a source the students can turn to in order to sharpen their own ideas.

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