In short, the subject of the AHT (Algo-Heuristic Theory) turned out to be much broader than the “algo-heuristic” theory and methodology suggested. The AHT became, in fact, a rather general and comprehensive theory of performance, learning, and instruction. Seeing the discrepancy between the actual broader subject of the theory and the narrower subject that the term “algo-heuristic” suggested, Prof. Berkowitz of CUNY coined the name “Landamatics” which we, initially, were hesitant to accept and use. Because, however, this name is beginning to be used on an increasingly wider scale (even on the Internet), we will employ it here as well.
(A general Landamatiucs method shows not only what to teach but how to teach general methods of thinking as well. The notion of applying knowledge is broader than the notion of applying concepts and propositions, as the former also includes the application of images. ) Let us now consider the following two expressions: “a method of applying knowledge for the purpose of identification” and “a method of identification”. These expressions convey the same meaning, for the process of identification is carried out through the application of knowledge for the aim of identifying things.
We will use these expressions interchangeably. Also, because in this chapter the process of identification, and its corresponding method of identification, are used only to illustrate by example how to teach any methods of applying knowledge, we will often use a broader term “a method of knowledge application” rather than a narrower term “a method of knowledge application for the purpose of identification”. This will be done to underscore that what was being said with regard to a method of identification is true for all other methods of thinking, and often, even all methods of cognitive activity.
Landamatics has developed and advocates a radically different approach to forming generalization, concepts, and thought processes via purposeful and explicit teaching methods of thinking. This approach: Makes a great number of variations unnecessary Guarantees the formation of proper, adequate generalizations Guarantees the formation on the basis of adequate generalizations of accurate concepts and propositions Guarantees the formation, within students, of effective methods of acquisition and application of knowledge (images, concepts and propositions)
Guarantees the broadest and most accurate transfer, not limited by experience, of both knowledge and mental operations to new situations and problems Guarantees a dramatic reduction in errors and difficulties of learning Guarantees the development of the ability to self-manage, self-regulate, and self-control of one’s own mental operations Makes it possible to achieve all of the above — reliably and relatively fast. In contrast to the empirical generalizations formed in the minds of students who have had conventional instruction, the Landamatics approach forms reliable, scientific concept-congruous (RSCC) generalizations.
Out of eight instructional objectives and activities listed above we will describe here the last five which are specific for the Landamatics method. The following is the Strategy method 1. Get students to discover and consciously realize the system of mental operations involved in the application of the learned concept, and its definition, to the task of identifying objects as belonging or not belonging to the defined class. Get students to explicitly formulate the corresponding system of instructions. Provide practice in the application of the formulated method.
Provide for the method’s internalization, through special exercises, and thus insure its full mastery. Effect automatization of the mental operations of the method. According to the Landamatics theory, gradual internalization and automatization of a method is nothing more than a gradual shift, in the process of learning and practicing, from one kind of an operations’ actuator to another. At the first stage of learning a method, operations are actuated externally (from the outside) by the tangible method’s instructions which exist in some tangible, material form (printed or electronic).