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CalTek.Net, Kenneth Wyrick
- 09/02/2018 18:30:00

The Science of Learning

The brilliance of Pierce's seminal work on Pragmatism was lost when Edgar J. Singer's influence (at UPenn) on Churchman, Cowan and Ackoff's "Pre-Science of Knowledge" called Choice, Communication and Conflict (AKA On Purposeful Systems), 1967 got lost to those who would know to build on it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Last Revision: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
An effort of the International Collaborative for Learning Objects Research (ICLOR).
ICLOR founded: December 2005

Moderators: W. Curtiss Priest, CITS, bmslib@mit.edu & P. Kenneth Komoski, EPIE, kkomoski@epie.org

Latest News:  (we publish in Word, get a free Viewer)

The Science of Knowledge (with WMSCI Conference Presentation Slides), November, 27, 2013 represents our latest perspectives before publication of our forthcoming book The Science of Knowledge and Learning (2015).

The above summary of work-to-date was presented by Priest as The Science of Knowledge Keynote Speech on June 30, 2010 at the 14th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: WMSCI 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

Priest & Komoski presented A Paradigm Shifting Architecture for Education Technology Systems: Forming the Relationship between the Universal Modeling Language (UML) for an Object-oriented Approach to Learning in June, 2010 at the AACE E-Learn Conference in Toronto, Canada.

[More recently our GUI approach has been to employ the Net-based tool SyncFusion to display the relationships between enabling objects and the objects they enable.  This transition emphasizes presenting knowledge to the learner/user as "Seed Knowledge" and the various "Compound Knowledges" and "Mega Knowledges" that Seed Knowledge enables.  Using the Net-based tool SyncFusion, each Knowledge Region appears on the learner/user's screen as a circle with its name.  Enabling objects appear in this GUI to the left; enabled objects appear in the GUI to the right.  The Knowledge Region (the Content Knowledge Object) of interest appears as a circle that is always centered in the GUI display and is The Focus (or Knowledge Focus).  Simple link lines show the flow of enablement from the left and the flow of the Focus Knowledge's enablement of other knowledge via lines to the right.  The circles and lines comprise The Netting (of knowledge).]

[Object orientation is retained in two ways.  1.)  the object representing the Focal Knowledge contains a link list of all its enablers and all that it enables, 2.)  the Knowledge Object retains properties and methods, e.g., the first Property of the object relates to "Definitional Methods" and contains, foremost, the Knowledge's operational definition.]

[Our approach resembles two prior ways of representing and describing knowledge:  1.)  Novak and others pioneered Concept Mapping as a graphical way for knowledge to be presented. However, this was always an ad hoc process and required words along link lines.  We eliminate the need for words along lines, as the lines always convey an enabling, functional meaning.  And, 2.)  as there are as many definitions of concepts as there are, at least, dictionaries, we substitute the scientifically-based operational definition in their place (per Ackoff, Defining, Ch. 5, in Scientific Method:  Optimizing Applied Research Decisions, 1962) and as liberally demonstrated in Choice, Communication and Conflict (full, scanned version), 1967 and as republished as On Purposeful Systems, sampled via Google Books and available as an e-Book, 1972 and as remains in print by Aldine/Transaction Publishers.]

[To provide the learner/user with a graduated approach to knowledge, we introduce the idea of a slider scale from 1-15.  The slider appears in a corner of the GUI and the user can view the most central, enabling links by moving the slider towards '1' and can view all enabling links by moving the slider to '15.'  These gradations are analogous to our current use of "grades" in school systems.]

[One caveat.  Unless the reader is familiar with scientific notation, including some set theory, our experience is that many find Ackoff's fine illustrations of operational definitions to be impenetrable.  It is our intent in The Science of Knowledge and Learning to remedy this, by more gradually introducing the reader to these scientific forms of expression.]

Purpose :

    To create "learning objects" with the properties (and methods) of programmed objects, including inheritance to provide a single, pluralistic object world so that precious object development efforts can be combined with corresponding pedagogical object development efforts to provide a world-wide "world brain."
    Provide world-wide coordination of these efforts through the activities of the International Collaborative for Learning Objects Research (ICLOR).

This effort is inpired by HG Wells's vision as contained in World Brain, Methuen, 1938.
Further Credit is given to a lineage that enables knowledge representations that provide simplicity while dealing with complexity. While various credits are given in the "Knowledge Simplicity" paper below, we find it significant to note the influences of William James on Edgar A. Singer; Singer's influence on C. West Churchman; Churchman's influence on Russell L. Ackoff Churchman's influence on Avram Noam Chomsky; and the separate works of E. O. Wilson and W. Ross Ashby. If only Wilson had known the Churchman/Ackoff successes in achieving a behavioral science, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, as wonderful as this book is, would have risen above needing to understand biology at the cellular level, to understand human behavior.
Sister Organizations:

    Center for Information, Technology & Society (CITS)
    Educational Products Information Exchange (EPIE)
    University of Vermont, Global Challenge Award (NSF)
    IEEE LSTC-LOM (Learning Technology Standards Committee, Learning Object Metatag) a.k.a. P1484
    American University Library, Information Technology
    MIT, Program on Knowledge Simplicity
    Acadia University
    George Washington University, Gellman Information Technology
    National Research Council of Canada
    American Library Association (ALA) ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

Current Key Documents:

    A Condensation and Review of Various "Learning Object" Activities and Efforts, November 3, 2004, AACE E-Learn Conference Paper
    Review of Learning Objects, A Moving Target: Billions of "Resources" or "Knowledge Simplicity?," Creation of the International Collaborative for Learning Objects Research (ICLOR), October 18, 2007, AACE E-Learn Conference Paper
    "Knowledge Simplicity: Providing a knowable, definable platform for creating Knowledge Objects, Pedagogical Objects, and Learning Objects", September 21, 2006, ICLOR White Paper

Other ICLOR White Papers:

    The 81 Percent Solution: Restructuring Our Schools and Communities for Lifelong Learnings, January 26, 1994, pp. 39+, Education Week
    No Child (Consumer) Left Behind: Bringing Balance to a Media Generation’s In- and Out-of-School Learning, July 13, 2005, Education Week
    Maximizing Learning Effectiveness via eLearningspace Through the Utilization of Learning Objects, May, 2002
    Towards a single Learning Object Platform --"Instantiation of a Candle," January 19, 2005
    A Vision for the Development of Learning Objects: A Tree, November 8, 2005
    IEEE LTSC Comments on the ALA Resource Description and Access Draft, February 15, 2006
    Defining "Knowledge Cells" and "Pedagogical Cells," February 21, 2006
    Commentary by Shava Nerad and Comparison to Game Environments, February 23, 2006
    A Visual Presentation of Inter-connected, Messaging Objects for the Creation of Learning Objects, July 12th, 2006
    "Learning Objects" Progress Assessment: Program Assessment of "Construction of Cell Membrane (a Pirelli Award Winning Object)"
    "Ecological Limits to Growth: Reaching to Core Knowledge, Illustrated by Examining Yeast FermentationReaching to Core Knowledge — Yeast Fermentation as an Example of Ecological Limits to Growth"
    "Illustration via Puzzle Pieces: Maximizing Learning Effectiveness via eLearningspace Through the Utilization of Learning Objects", May 2002, revisited January 2006
    "What is the Common Ground between TCPK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) and Learning Objects?, Conference Paper, Society for Information Technology & Teacher Information, San Antonio, March 28th, 2007, at 3:30PM
    Use of the Elemental Situation to Build Out Knowledge from the Core: In the Context of ICLOR Participants
    "The Use of XHTTP as a More Effective and Efficient Way to Apply Knowledge: Transitioning from Core Knowledge to Knowledge Objects (Conference Abstract)" -- International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society, Northeastern University, January, 2008.

        The Use of XHTTP as a More Effective and Efficient Way to Apply Knowledge: Transitioning from Core Knowledge to Knowledge Objects Conference Presentation Slides
        Sample Video Clip From Presentation -- "Moles contemplate Knowledge Simplicity" As described in one of the presentation slides, a series of videos were created to present the content of each slide. The skits were created using Windows MoviePlayer using a Canon Powershot and various puppet actors. Currently the project is available via e-mail and for more technical information on the creation of these videos in "Sony PowerShot A80: Using the Camera to Shoot Video"

        A Short History of Bringing Structure and Form to Learning:
        Culminating in Conveying and Using Knowledge, Intermediated by Technology, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 2008
    Reusability in Knowledge and Pedagogical Objects. General Plenary Session Speaker: Sunday, July 12, 2009, Dr. W. Curtiss Priest, before the Joint Event of 1.) The 13th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: WMSCI 2009, 2.) The 2nd International Multi-Conference in Engineering and Technological Innovation: IMETI 2009, and 3.) The 3rd International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics: IMSCI 2009. "To counter the notion of an ever more complex world it is important to look from both the perspective of those perceivers of complexity and the perspective of significant knowledge, say as knowledge objects, which can simply and effectively capture model-related processes in, say, a single-sentenced operational definition as advanced by Cowan, Churchman, Ackoff and myself. From the perceiver side it is necessary to ignore apparent variety -- variety that will shroud a situation from its underlying brevity and clarity." Presentation slides in PowerPoint.

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