What role do cognitive architectures play in intelligent tutoring systems?
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In his “A Bridge Too Far” paper Bruer (1998) suggests that cognitive psychology serves as an “island” to link research on the brain with research on instruction. He argues that a bridge going all the way from brain to instruction is impossible without this intermediate point to interpret the results from brain research and determine their implications for instruction. This paper is concerned with the issue of how one can bridge from basic cognitive psychology to education. A great deal of basic research and theory in cognitive psychology studies behavior in small tasks isolated from one another. Cognitive psychologists study how subjects recognize symbols, memorize lists of items, reason about syllogisms, process syntactic ambiguity, etc. Much of recent research in cognitive neuroscience has looked for brain correlates of such simple tasks. If there is going to be a bridge between cognitive psychology and education it is going to have to provide a bridge between such simple tasks and the much more complex cognition that occurs in the classroom.