UNDERSTANDING/EDUCATION

{From Tom Hancock (930614)

To Rick Marken,

I appreciate your response (930607.1100) to my query (930604) of
"How does one explain (or model) understanding (or lack of it) in
terms of PCT?"

Yes, your post makes some sense to me. In a PCT view, we could say
that understanding is when the perception is made to match its
reference signal. Also, in a cognitive sense we could say that
there is understanding when one knows how control happens and can
explain how a variable is controlled.

I am hoping you can help me perceive this with more of a sense of
understanding. That is, when I consider students in my classes,
who are perceiving something when I speak or demonstrate, what
could be happening when they have 100% confidence of understanding
("I get it perfectly") versus when they have 50% ("I sort of
understand") or 0% (I am totally confused). They are perceiving
movements and speech sounds, prior perceptions are being activated
in association with the speech sounds and body language, and they
are functioning in imagination loops I would guess. I suppose they
are exerting some effort to understand. Are they controlling for a
perception of an "integration" of prior perceptions into a
distinct perception (a partially "cognitive" view)? As such what
would be an example of a reference, and at what perceptual level?

In a general sense, would you say that degrees of understanding is
simply indicative of unsuccessful attempts to bring perceptions
into line with references, and as such would the degree of
understanding be inversely related to the magnitude of some
persisting error signals?

Rick, could you help out here and articulate a more specific HPCT
example of what a model demonstrating degrees of understanding
would look like with an individual who is not involved in a
physical procedural task such as throwing a baseball or threading
a needle, nor is he explaining anything, but is just sitting in a
chair, listening and "trying to understand" the teacher.

Do you have a good sense of understanding my concerns?

My concerns are ultimately empirical, as well as applied, but at
this point my model is fuzzy. I value your perceptions. Thanks for
your words!

Tom Hancock
Grand Canyon University
(Summer Research Associate at Armstrong Lab, USAF)