Systems model for learning

Philip Buriak, Brian McNurlen, Joe Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study develops a model of learning that differs greatly from traditional or intuitive models. This hard system is specifically designed for the context of problem solving/higher order thinking, rather than automatic learning. Research in educational psychology and cognitive science provides the basis for the model. Learning is the integration of new knowledge/behaviors into a framework and subsequently recalling what is relevant in the appropriate situation. To understand learning we must consider how new information is received and the stages through which new information is processed as it progresses from immediate sensory experience to long term storage. It is also important to understand how novices and experts organize, analyze, or encode, and then retrieve necessary information. In this particular case engineering students are the novices and engineering educators are the experts. Teaching consists of organizing, planning, delivering and evaluating the content of the subject area. Teaching problem solving in science requires a deep understanding of the subject matter, as well as an appreciation of the characteristics of the students, of presentation skills, and of evaluation techniques. This study presents a soft systems model for the craft of teaching and develops a hard systems model for the science of learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the 1995 25th Annual Conference on Frontiers in Education. Part 1 (of 2) - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Nov 1 1995Nov 4 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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