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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Arithmetic Facts


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Subject:   Component fluency hypothesis
Author: Joel Duffin
Date: Sep 22 2003
Thanks for your comments Chuck.

I'm with you. For some reason, I can never remember 7 x 8. I do not like to, and
am not good at memorizing facts. I rarely intentionally try to memorize
anything. While having needed facts memorized is important, I think it is
equally important to know how to generate those facts from primitives. You might
call that "knowing the model".

An interesting discussion of the trade off between recalling and producing
solutions to problems is given in Van Merrienboer's 4C/ID design theory. Here is
a brief description. When solving problems:

-People recall memorized facts using automated procedures or rules which are
highly contextualized

-People deal with unfamiliar aspects of problems by applying cognitive
schemata or mental models

-Possessing automated rules frees up cognitive resources that can be used to
handle the unfamiliar aspects of the problem

This last aspect is referred to the component fluency hypothesis (Khoo, &
Elliot, 1990)

For an overview, see:
http://www.ou.nl/info-alg-english-r_d/OTEC_research/publications/Jeroen%20van%20Merrienboer/Jeroen%20vanMerrienboer%20etrd.pdf



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