{from Joel Judd 950301.0800 CST}

Bill P. (950228.1100 MST):

If memory involves recording and retrieval of perceptual signals,
doesn't this still leave the same problematic relationship between
perceptual signals and "out there"?

Yes. I just wanted to make clear that what's inside the brain is a
perceptual (internally constructed) reality and not an imported
(encoded) one.

But what about the relationship of memory to past events?...where do
the recorded values come from, if not recordings of perceptual signals?

Sorry--why are you asking these questions? I'm trying to think of
memory in terms of perceptual signals, that's why I mentioned memory and
imagination in the same breath.

Representation is an interactive functional property rather than a
structural property...The ontology of representation and knowledge is
system organization, which could be regarded as a kind of structure...

Can you explain this {Bickhard's quote} to me in simple words?

Probably not! Bickhard tends to be wordy and use conventional words in
idiosyncratic ways. But here's a shot:

I interpret "interaction" as the functioning of hierarchical levels in
the organism. If I understand the PCT model correctly, there are
probably physical structures in the nervous system that correspond to
levels of perception (more clearly so at lower levels). But the
FUNCTIONAL organization of those physical structures is what affects our
perceptions. However, the structure, or organization, of the hierarchy
does not necessarily mirror the structure of the environment which it
perceives and represents. Therefore, the structure of elements in the
environment does not determine the organism's perception of it, OR the
structure of the hierarchy itself. Instead, it is the perceptual
hierarchy of the organism which determines perceptual representation.

Furthermore, it is the interaction of an organism (and the hierarchy)
with the environment that is the origin of knowledge and its
representation for the organism, NOT the nature of the environment
alone. So representation is a function of the perceptual hierarchy at
work, and not the structure of said hierarchy per se.

...learning cannot have anything to do with structures being stamped
in or imported from the envrionment.

Is there anybody who has seriously proposed this?

No, probably not. At least not in so many words. But if you listen to
many teachers and educational researchers, they TALK AS IF this were the
case. The tabula rasa, wax slate, and empty bucket metaphors for
learning all reflect this type of thinking. Much of "cognitive theories
of learning" are like "outcomes-based education"--if you come right out
and say that the theory underlying your classroom practice is
behaviorist, everyone recoils in horror, but if you hide it under a
nice-sounding euphemism and turn rewards and punishment into "classroom
management" and "life skills," then you get away with it.

I think if you're proposing a transmission theory of education, then you
should recognize it as such and deal with the consequences. Otherwise,
honestly entertain alternatives and be willing to implement them.

How'd I get from memory to ethics?



TO: CSG-L INTERNET Any user on the Internet, not at DESE Proj. Box

FROM: JUDDJ DESEINST Joel Judd - DESE - Division of Instruction

DATE: March 1, 1995
SUBJECT: Memory...