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Knowledge Analysis Part I



In this entry we’ll focus on how to find: (1) exactly what new knowledge students must learn---so you can design instruction that will clearly communicate the new information, and (2) what pre-skills (background knowledge) students need, so that they will understand what you are talking about and will learn the new information.  Here’s a guideline for effective instruction.


Don’t Assume Your Students Know Anything.

What Teaching Is—Applied Logic

Teaching is in the branch of philosophy called epistemology. ἐπιστήμη [epistemeh]--knowledge. λόγος [logos]--study of. What branch of epistemology? Applied logic. What is logic?

                  A branch of philosophy and mathematics that deals with the formal principles, methods and criteria of
validity of inference, reasoning and knowledge. Let’s look at those three words.

1. Inference. Generalizations that are the product of reasoning.

a.   Inductive reasoning. Start with events--specifics. The teacher holds up objects that differ in size and shape, but are the same in one way, and for each one she says, “This is kokkivo.” [Gr. v = nnn] Then she juxtaposes objects that are the same in size and shape, but that differ in one way---color. She calls one of them, “This is kokkivo,” and she calls the other one “This is not kokkivo.” At each step in the communication, the learning mechanism performs a logical operation---a reasoning step.

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