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Vol. 45, No. 3, 2002
Issue release date: May–June 2002
Section title: Original Paper
Human Development 2002;45:141–160
(DOI:10.1159/000057070)

Always Under Construction

Dynamic Variations in Adult Cognitive Microdevelopment

Yan Z. · Fischer K.
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Published online: 4/15/2002
Issue release date: May–June 2002

Number of Print Pages: 20
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0018-716X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0054 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HDE

Abstract

People’s activities vary dynamically from moment to moment, and analysis of level of skill complexity in successive activities provides a tool to portray and analyze variation as skills are learned. Systematic examination of these variations is crucial for illuminating the dynamic nature of learning and development – the ways that people construct activities under the influence of multiple factors interacting in complex ways, in context, over time. A study of adults learning to use a computer program illustrates three important patterns in the dynamic variation of adult cognitive microdevelopment: (1) each person’s performance levels vary within a range between upper and lower attractors during dynamic construction of a skill. (2) Performance moves through different pathways from a novice pattern to a transitional pattern characterized by scalloping (repeated building up and collapse of complex performance) to an expert pattern. Social scaffolding plays an important role in moving a learner toward the upper attractor. (3) Each person functions at diverse levels depending on demands of the task, domain, background, scaffolding, and capacity and thus shows asynchrony in level, not simple consistency. Tasks and situations attract specific skill levels that are often below people’s highest capacities.

© 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Zheng Yan, Human Development and Psychology
Harvard University Graduate School of Education
Larsen Hall, 702, Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138 (USA)
Tel. +1 617 495 3446, Fax +1 617 495 3626
E-Mail zyan@uamail.albany.edu/kurt_fischer@harvard.edu

  

Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 20
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 2, Number of References : 74

  

Publication Details

Human Development
Founded 1958 as ‘Vita Humana’ by H. Thomae

Vol. 45, No. 3, Year 2002 (Cover Date: May-June 2002)

Journal Editor: Barbara Rogoff, Santa Cruz, Calif.
ISSN: 0018–716X (print), 1423–0054 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/hde


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Published online: 4/15/2002
Issue release date: May–June 2002

Number of Print Pages: 20
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0018-716X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0054 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HDE


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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