Alternative Perspectives of Instruction and Cognitive Theory: Implications and Proposals

R. Thomas, S. Johnson, L. Anderson

Cognitive theory and research emerging over the past twenty years has been looked to as a source of new conceptualizations of learning and teaching that are responsive to changes occurring in the social context. This paper addresses two questions: What kind of instructional theory is appropriate for vocational education in a rapidly changing, technological, and increasingly complex society, and what contributions can cognitive theory make to this instructional theory? The paper examines three instructional perspectives reflected in applications of cognitive theory to instruction in terms of their compatibility with cognitive theory assumptions and their responsiveness to societal conditions and related educational aims. Based on this analysis, an argument is offered that a transfer of responsibility perspective of instruction is most compatible with cognitive theory and responsive to societal conditions. Conclusions and recommendations are discussed.

MDS-256 / December 1992

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