By Jean Lave
During this leading edge learn, Jean Lave strikes the research of 1 specific type of cognitive activity--arithmetic problem-solving--out of the laboratory and into the area of way of life. In so doing, she exhibits how arithmetic within the "real world", comparable to that entailed in grocery purchasing or weight loss program, is, like every pondering, formed by way of the dynamic stumble upon among the culturally-endowed brain and its overall context, a sophisticated interplay that shapes either the human topic and the realm during which it acts.
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Additional resources for Cognition in Practice: Mind, Mathematics and Culture in Everyday Life
The papers fall into a chronological sequence and the later ones take into account the results of the earlier studies. The experiments, which took place in laboratories, with high school and college students as subjects, consisted of sequences of puzzle-solving tasks. Learning transfer is inferred in several different ways, but the most common criteria are an increase in efficiency or accuracy of performance, or use of a general form of the solution to one problem in solving other problems. The cast of characters in these experiments is quite colorful- missionaries, cannibals, jealous husbands, teeming crowds, flowing water, forts and revolutionaries and strategies for reducing tumors through radiation, as well as monsters and globes instead of the more usual pegs and rings in the tower of Hanoi problem.
The lived-in universe as the other. In formal terms, this dialectic has its genesis in the dualistic character of all historical systems, which exist at two analytically distinct levels. On the one hand, they consist in the social and material relations which compose the everyday lived-in world of any society, a world of appearances that represents itself, in the consciousness of experiencing individuals, in the form of substantive rules and relationships, values and interests, constraints and conflicts.
These relations are reflected in the typical practices of research on learning transfer, broadly structured in sequences of laboratory experiments in which subjects are set tasks of formal problem solving. Normative models for correct solution are used to evaluate subjects' performances, and these evaluations of cognitive preparedness are extrapolated from experimental to everyday situations. I have drawn on several reports of experiments on learning transfer in order to analyze the culture of transfer research.