Module 5: Principle Using
Basic Methods of Instruction
1.Kinds of Learning
is principle using important?
A unique feature of principles is that, unlike concepts and procedures, they are discovered rather than invented. Principles are the only kind of content which represents "truth" in any significant way. Certainly, facts (which can only be learned on a memorization level) are often either true or false, but they are trivial compared to principlesóthey are particulars rather than generalities. Also, a procedure can either produce the desired outputs (the goal) or not. But procedures don't provide us with an understanding of how things work, and procedures can often be changed and still produce the desired outputs. Furthermore, there are often several different procedures for accomplishing the same goal.
In contrast, principles provide us with an understanding of the world around us, among us, and within usóan understanding of how things happen and why they happen the way they do. Therefore, principles are probably the most important kind of content for us to include in the majority of our instruction. And it is usually helpful to learn how to apply the principles to new situations.
Given the importance of principle using, it is essential that we know
how to teach it well.
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This file was last updated on March 10, 1999 by Byungro Lim
Copyright 1999, Charles M. ReigeluthCredit