Applying diSessa’s Knowledge in Pieces Framework to Understanding the Notional Machine

Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Research Blog, Sept 14, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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A few days ago I discussed the idea that you don't know something unless you have a conceptual understanding of it. This post caught my eye because it captures in some important ways the idea of knowledge as recognition and the role of relevant similarity. The process for conceptual understanding is described by Lauren Margulieux as follows: "P-prims are only activated when the learner recognizes similarities between a p-prim and the current phenomena. Recognition is impacted by many different features, such as cuing, frequency of activation, suppression, salience, and reinforcement. Because activation of p-prims depends on contextual features of phenomena, novices often fail to recognize relevant p-prims unless the contextual features align." For more see Andy diSessa’s 1993 paper Toward an epistemology of physics (122 page PDF).

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