In this book, Carl Bereiter--a distinguished and well-known cognitive, educational psychologist--presents what he calls "a new way of thinking about knowledge and the mind." He argues that in today's Knowledge Age, education's conceptual tools are inadequate to address the pressing educational challenges and opportunities of the times. Two things are required: first, to replace the mind-as-container metaphor with one that envisions a mind capable of sustaining knowledgeable, intelligent behavior without actually containing stored beliefs; second, to recognize a fundamental difference between knowledge building and learning--both of which are essential parts of education for the knowledge age. Connectionism in cognitive science addresses the first need; certain developments in post-positivist epistemology address the second. The author explores both the theoretical bases and the practical educational implications of this radical change in viewpoint.
The book draws on current new ways of thinking about knowledge and mind, including information processing, cognitive psychology, situated cognition, constructivism, social constructivism, and connectionism, but does not adhere strictly to any "camp." Above all, the author is concerned with developing a way of thinking about the mind that can usher education into the knowledge age. This book is intended as a starting point.
"This fascinating book sets out a central argument about the construction of knowledge in two steps. One step is why a two-dimensional world based on a folk-theory of mind (FTM) should be replaced by a three-dimensional world based on Popper's epistemology without a knowing subject (PEWKS). The other step is how this replacement is advantageous for theory and practice in education. Carl Bereiter's book is a tribute to his good intent, the intent of bringing epistemology (back!) into education."
—British Journal of Educational Psychology
"This is an excellent resource for educators at all levels, as well as for students of education and those involved in educational planning and reform. The creation of knowledge, or a constructivist view of education, and the goal of qualitatively (rather than quantitatively) higher standards comprise the focus of improvement in knowledge in a knowledge-based society"
"Bereiter develops his position artfully with commonsense examples that traverse academic concepts, social cognition, and everyday problem solving. He holds the reader's attention with entertaining anecdotes that illustrate deep concepts."
—Contemporary Psychology APA REVIEW OF BOOKS
Contents: Preface. Part I: Mind in a Knowledge-Based Society. Our Oldest Unchallenged Folk Theory at Last Faces Its Day of Reckoning. Keeping the Brain in Mind. Knowledge Outside the Mind. The Knowing Mind. Aspects of Knowledgeability. Learning to Think Differently About Knowledge and Mind. Part II: Education and Knowledge Work. Educational Planning: Reacting to the Future. Putting Learning in Its Proper Place. Subject Matter That Matters. Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Other Virtues. Can Education Become a Modern Profession? Why Educational Reform Needs a New Theory of Mind. Appendix: Conceptual Artifacts: Theoretical Issues.