Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last Revision: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
An effort of the International Collaborative for Learning Objects Research (ICLOR).
ICLOR founded: December 2005

Moderators: W. Curtiss Priest, CITS, & P. Kenneth Komoski, EPIE,

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The Science of Knowledge (with WMSCI Conference Presentation Slides), November, 27, 2013 represents our latest perspectives before publication of our forthcoming book The Science of Knowledge and Learning (2015).

The above summary of work-to-date was presented by Priest as The Science of Knowledge Keynote Speech on June 30, 2010 at the 14th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: WMSCI 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

Priest & Komoski presented A Paradigm Shifting Architecture for Education Technology Systems: Forming the Relationship between the Universal Modeling Language (UML) for an Object-oriented Approach to Learning in June, 2010 at the AACE E-Learn Conference in Toronto, Canada.

[More recently our GUI approach has been to employ the Net-based tool SyncFusion to display the relationships between enabling objects and the objects they enable.  This transition emphasizes presenting knowledge to the learner/user as "Seed Knowledge" and the various "Compound Knowledges" and "Mega Knowledges" that Seed Knowledge enables.  Using the Net-based tool SyncFusion, each Knowledge Region appears on the learner/user's screen as a circle with its name.  Enabling objects appear in this GUI to the left; enabled objects appear in the GUI to the right.  The Knowledge Region (the Content Knowledge Object) of interest appears as a circle that is always centered in the GUI display and is The Focus (or Knowledge Focus).  Simple link lines show the flow of enablement from the left and the flow of the Focus Knowledge's enablement of other knowledge via lines to the right.  The circles and lines comprise The Netting (of knowledge).]

[Object orientation is retained in two ways.  1.)  the object representing the Focal Knowledge contains a link list of all its enablers and all that it enables, 2.)  the Knowledge Object retains properties and methods, e.g., the first Property of the object relates to "Definitional Methods" and contains, foremost, the Knowledge's operational definition.]

[Our approach resembles two prior ways of representing and describing knowledge:  1.)  Novak and others pioneered Concept Mapping as a graphical way for knowledge to be presented. However, this was always an ad hoc process and required words along link lines.  We eliminate the need for words along lines, as the lines always convey an enabling, functional meaning.  And, 2.)  as there are as many definitions of concepts as there are, at least, dictionaries, we substitute the scientifically-based operational definition in their place (per Ackoff, Defining, Ch. 5, in Scientific Method:  Optimizing Applied Research Decisions, 1962) and as liberally demonstrated in Choice, Communication and Conflict (full, scanned version), 1967 and as republished as On Purposeful Systems, sampled via Google Books and available as an e-Book, 1972 and as remains in print by Aldine/Transaction Publishers.]

[To provide the learner/user with a graduated approach to knowledge, we introduce the idea of a slider scale from 1-15.  The slider appears in a corner of the GUI and the user can view the most central, enabling links by moving the slider towards '1' and can view all enabling links by moving the slider to '15.'  These gradations are analogous to our current use of "grades" in school systems.]

[One caveat.  Unless the reader is familiar with scientific notation, including some set theory, our experience is that many find Ackoff's fine illustrations of operational definitions to be impenetrable.  It is our intent in The Science of Knowledge and Learning to remedy this, by more gradually introducing the reader to these scientific forms of expression.]

Purpose :
  1. To create "learning objects" with the properties (and methods) of programmed objects, including inheritance to provide a single, pluralistic object world so that precious object development efforts can be combined with corresponding pedagogical object development efforts to provide a world-wide "world brain."
  2. Provide world-wide coordination of these efforts through the activities of the International Collaborative for Learning Objects Research (ICLOR).
This effort is inpired by HG Wells's vision as contained in World Brain, Methuen, 1938.
Further Credit is given to a lineage that enables knowledge representations that provide simplicity while dealing with complexity. While various credits are given in the "Knowledge Simplicity" paper below, we find it significant to note the influences of William James on Edgar A. Singer; Singer's influence on C. West Churchman; Churchman's influence on Russell L. Ackoff Churchman's influence on Avram Noam Chomsky; and the separate works of E. O. Wilson and W. Ross Ashby. If only Wilson had known the Churchman/Ackoff successes in achieving a behavioral science, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, as wonderful as this book is, would have risen above needing to understand biology at the cellular level, to understand human behavior.
Sister Organizations:
Current Key Documents:
Other ICLOR White Papers: