Purdue E-Pubs

    Town of Avon: A Case Study in Pavement Preservation

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    In this session presenters will discuss how the town of Avon has implemented and managed their pavement preservation program. This proactive program which began in the late 1990’s, resulted in good roads, a good overall network rating and an overall reduction in construction costs. Presenters will discuss the assessment of the road network, selection of treatments, and candidate selection. Representatives from the agency, contractor, and engineering firm will be on hand to discuss ideas and answer questions

    Mentorship Modes: Strategies for Influencing Interactive Learners

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    In the age of the Internet, students are clamoring for immersive and participatory learning experiences, but how can teachers share autonomy without losing control of their classrooms? In an effort to address this important question, this article suggests three mentorship modes that educators can employ in order to effectively engage with today’s interactive learners. Lecture-based instruction is a single mode form of teaching in which information is disseminated by a lone authority-figure. In contrast, learning-centered mentorship is a three-mode process in which autonomy is shared and authority flows in multiple directions at once: bottom-up (modeling), laterally (collaborating), and top-down (organizing and supervising). This work draws on research and theories related to student-centered pedagogy, as well as the trial and error experimentation of the author and interviews with successful participatory educators working at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in Chicago, a school devoted almost exclusively to problem-based and project-based learning

    The Problems with Problem Solving: Reflections on the Rise, Current Status, and Possible Future of a Cognitive Research Paradigm

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    The research paradigm invented by Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon in the late 1950s dominated the study of problem solving for more than three decades. But in the early 1990s, problem solving ceased to drive research on complex cognition. As part of this decline, Newell and Simon’s most innovative research practices – especially their method for inducing subjects’ strategies from verbal protocols - were abandoned. In this essay, I summarize Newell and Simon’s theoretical and methodological innovations and explain why their strategy identification method did not become a standard research tool. I argue that the method lacked a systematic way to aggregate data, and that Newell and Simon’s search for general problem solving strategies failed. Paradoxically, the theoretical vision that led them to search elsewhere for general principles led researchers away from studies of complex problem solving. Newell and Simon’s main enduring contribution is the theory that people solve problems via heuristic search through a problem space. This theory remains the centerpiece of our understanding of how people solve unfamiliar problems, but it is seriously incomplete. In the early 1970s, Newell and Simon suggested that the field should focus on the question where problem spaces and search strategies come from. I propose a breakdown of this overarching question into five specific research questions. Principled answers to those questions would expand the theory of heuristic search into a more complete theory of human problem solving

    Insight Problem Solving: A Critical Examination of the Possibility of Formal Theory

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    This paper provides a critical examination of the current state and future possibility of formal cognitive theory for insight problem solving and its associated “aha!” experience. Insight problems are contrasted with move problems, which have been formally defined and studied extensively by cognitive psychologists since the pioneering work of Alan Newell and Herbert Simon. To facilitate our discussion, a number of classical brainteasers are presented along with their solutions and some conclusions derived from observing the behavior of many students trying to solve them. Some of these problems are interesting in their own right, and many of them have not been discussed before in the psychological literature. The main purpose of presenting the brainteasers is to assist in discussing the status of formal cognitive theory for insight problem solving, which is argued to be considerably weaker than that found in other areas of higher cognition such as human memory, decision-making, categorization, and perception. We discuss theoretical barriers that have plagued the development of successful formal theory for insight problem solving. A few suggestions are made that might serve to advance the field

    Dewey, Bruner, and Seas of Stories in the High Stakes Testing Debate

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    This paper proposes that many of the questions surrounding high stakes testing being debated today are important, yet fall short of moving teachers, parents, students, administrators and legislators to think deeply about how optimal teaching and learning can be achieved in a high stakes testing environment. Finally, the high stakes testing debate is viewed, to borrow a term from Bruner, as a sea of stories in which the stakeholders see the same things, but come away with remarkably differing stories of what is happening (1996, p. 147). The principles of learning espoused by Dewey and Bruner put these seas of stories into a different light by offering alternative ways of perceiving learning and teaching

    Historiographic Perspectives of Context and Progress During a Half Century of Progressive Educational Reform

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    In many ways, the historiography of progressive education parallels American historiography as well as the historiography of education. This comes as no surprise when we realize the American Historical Association (AHA) has played a major role in the professional foundations of both. While early twentieth century historians emphasized national unity, homogeneity, and the importance of America\u27s destiny, historians of education, mostly educators, produced inspiring histories that sought to ennoble the new profession of teaching. However academic arguments of relevance, presentism, and utility came to haunt both historical traditions. Academic historians debated the value of presentism while, educators debated the relative merit of functional and non-functional scholarship. The 1930s represented a watershed as the Depression created fertile ground for the functionalists in departments of education and progressive historians with a sense of the present in the AHA (Appleby, Hunt, & Jacob, 1994; Breisach, 1983; Cohen, 1976). The two traditions came together in the thirties for the common purpose of outlining a reconstructed program for social studies education in the schools (Bowers, 1969; Kliebard, 1987). Yet their paths once again diverged. Bernard Bailyn (1960), in the name of professional historians, charged educators were propagating a narrow view of history, and education historians such as Ellwood Cubberley were guilty of using history to promote the glories of the education profession. Bailyn urged historians to think of education not only as formal pedagogy but as the entire process by which a culture transmits itself across the generations (p. 14). Lawrence Cremin amplified Bailyn\u27s position in The Wonderful World of Ellwood Patterson Cubberley (1965). Together these invited the attention of educational historians to what Diane Ravitch (1978) refers to as the Bailyn-Cremin critique

    Cockpit Text Communications: Evaluating the Efficiency and Accuracy of Different Keyboards

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    Non-voice data exchanges will become a primary method of communication between pilots and Air Traffic Controllers as the Federal Aviation Administration’s plan for the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System (NextGen) evolves. In support of this communication evolution, pilots will need the most efficient interface tools in order to accurately and quickly exchange text messages with Air Traffic Control. Keyboards, or similar input devices, will be become a necessity in the cockpit. This study aims to investigate and compare the typing speed and accuracy possible using three sizes of two-hand, QWERTY1 keyboards: a full size (100%), a medium size (92%), and a small size (thumb typing home theater PC keyboard) that could be used for aviation data exchanges. Each study participant was administered 15 typing tests having aviation specific content, on each keyboard, including 5 tests of short length, 5 tests of medium length, and 5 tests of long length. The results of this study suggest that in terms of words per minute typing speed, participants using the medium size keyboard had a slightly faster typing speed than with the large keyboard, while the small keyboard produced a considerably slower typing speed than either the medium or large keyboards. In terms of accuracy, participants using the small keyboard had the highest level of accuracy, followed by the medium keyboard, while the least accurate keyboard tended to be the large keyboard. Overall, findings suggest that the optimal size of two-handed, QWERTY keyboard for use in an aircraft cockpit was the medium keyboard

    Interpreting the Scriptures to Build Harmony and Peace: The Hermeneutic of John Calvin and Lectio Divina

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    This article explores how the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century read and interpreted the Scriptures in regard to building peace and harmony. Given that the Reformation is a vast movement, part one presents one of its preeminent representatives: John Calvin, the reformer of the city of Geneva. The second part will say something about the way certain Protestants meditate on the Sacred Scriptures with the aim to create peace and harmony by using lectio divina, a method of interest to Buddhists. The third part relates an experience of reading the gospels that greatly influenced the author and has become, in some manner, the axis of his spiritual life
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