Understanding Cultural Patterns

Peter Gärdenfors

in Learning in the Global Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520254343
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941496 | DOI:
Understanding Cultural Patterns

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This chapter examines the processes by which humans make meaning, and thereby illuminates how students learn and how to best structure lessons to achieve maximum understanding. It recommends teaching students to identify and interpret cultural patterns rather than to learn isolated facts. Furthermore, the chapter stresses the importance of developing familiarity with different cultures as an indisputable reality in globally connected twenty-first-century societies. Its emphasis on teaching through patterns is in part a response to what it views as one of the major challenges of globalization: students' inability to make sense of and connect to other cultures. The chapter also develops a powerful argument for the use of instructional technologies to provide students with real-life simulation experiences, opportunities for visualization, and individual tutoring. Finally, it considers the ongoing debate about the appropriate role of advanced technologies in education, claiming that this debate is a symptom of the need for increased research on student learning processes in order to further develop pedagogy based on the needs and learning styles of students in the global world.

Keywords: education; learning; teaching; globalization; instructional technologies; cultures; cultural patterns; visualization; simulation; individual tutoring

Chapter.  6419 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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