In one sense, it is highly unnatural that the Road Trip program is targeted at fourth-graders. Fourth-graders do not drive. Nor do they plan vacation trips. The notion of giving a fourth-grader simulated keys to a car seems artificial. But from the perspective of incidental learning, it is fine if the simulated situation is constrained or artificial. It is not the situation that must be natural, but the learning. When we only want students to learn facts, we only need to make sure that the desire to know those facts be student-initiated and the facts themselves be intrinsically related to the student's goals.
This goal contrasts with the goal in the simulation-based learning by doing architecture. In learning by doing, we not only care that a student gets appropriate facts and cases, we also care that the student can do the task that the simulation requires. In the George application, for example, we care that the student learn how to sell consulting services. Therefore, in George, the simulation must be as natural as possible so that the student feels as if he is actually selling consulting services. However, in Road Trip, we do not care if the student learns to navigate a car. So the simulation does not need to be as realistic. Its role is to help the student become interested in knowing the facts we wish to convey.
Premise of Incidental Learning
Where am I in the content of the book?