Less is more. More on chunking

I found Vinney’s presentation of the evolution of information processing theories to be quite refreshing (Vinney, 2020). She was clear, and nonjudgmental, giving theories that have fallen out of favor equal treatment. I think I will use her work as a reference when information processing theories comes up again in my class.

Vinney’s most striking insight was her summary of the connectionist model by Rumelhart and McClelland. “Information that has more connections will be easier for an individual to retrieve” (Vinney, 2020). This is definitely the model that I subscribe to. That information is processed and stored in lots of places in your brain at once, but if you can tie that information together in the various locations you are more likely to be able to retrieve it.

Dr. Maheshwari’s article on his website titled “Problem-solving Method in Education” on the other hand is riddled with babble and double-speak (Maheshwari, 2017). I do not believe this to be a result of his background as an English Language Learner. There is the occasional misspelling and grammatical errors, all easily overlooked. He is trying to justify using Problem Solving in education by telling us that school is problem solving. Unlike some of his peers in this week’s readings, like Jensen and Bruer, he isn’t giving us an alternative method to problem solving. It does save us the denigration that Jensen and Bruer subjected us to, but it does not give us a concrete strategy that we are discarding to follow problem solving. He breaks down the problem-solving method into too small of blocks, giving us too much information, that is too specific, yet entirely too general to be applied in the real world.

The techniques put forth by Maheshwari, are the first real, tangible ideas that I have encountered this week. It doesn’t make him easy to follow or enlightening. Less is more Doctor. In the future, split this article into three or more articles. Why should we do problem solving? Be specific and cite some research, behavioral, brain based, something, that tells us students need to learn to problem solve in childhood to be good adults. Developmentally appropriate problem-solving examples, systems, procedures for K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10- adult. Give us some pictures or diagrams that help us to follow your thinking.

Kudos to both of these writers for not bashing the competition like teenagers throwing a temper tantrum. However, using language that is easy for all readers to access, being concise, and limiting the scope of an article are all skills that Dr Maheshwari could learn from Vinney.

References

Maheshwari, V. P. (2017). The Problem –solving Method in Education. Retrieved March 2021, from http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=2375#:~:text=Procedural%20steps%20of%20Problem%20solving%20method%20Problem-based%20learning,and%20encourages%20them%20towards%20finding%20an%20appropriate%20solution.

Vinney, C. (2020). Information Processing Theory: Definition and Examples. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.thoughtco.com/information-processing-theory-definition-and-examples-4797966

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