Tag Archives: Cognitive Apprenticeship

The tutorial as cognitive apprenticeship: Developing discipline-based thinking

Parkes, R. J. & Muldoon, N. (2010). The tutorial as cognitive apprenticeship: Developing discipline-based thinking. In R. H. Cantwell & J. Scevak (Eds.), An academic life: A handbook for new academics (pp. 55-64). Camberwell, Victoria: ACER Press.

I have two co-authored chapters in this primer for new academics, both of which explores aspect of curriculum design in higher education. This chapter focuses on tutorials as a space for enacting cognitive apprenticeship. Tutorials are a pedagogical cornerstone of on‐campus academic learning environments. They are frequently constructed as the complement to a lecture program, and remain a default feature of contemporary courses in higher education. Their purposes are many and varied, and it is beyond the scope of this chapter to present the kind of comprehensive survey that would be required to do justice to the many forms and structures that tutorials take in the contemporary academy. However, one feature that all tutorials have in common, regardless of their structure, is the opportunity they provide for students to interact closely with a disciplinary expert. While we recognise this is not their only purpose, it is this opportunity presented by tutorials that we want to focus upon in this chapter. We see the tutorial as an important space within which complex disciplinary understandings can be made visible through careful learning design. To make clear how tutorials might operate to build complex disciplinary understandings, we explore the tutorial within a learning design framework called “cognitive apprenticeship”.

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