Understanding as Mental Representation.Discuss

Understanding as Mental Representation 1 (not more than 200 words)

Watch the video. If, according to this empiricist view, the year 4 pupils’ (British School) understanding of multiplication takes the form of internal mental representations of the outside world, how could we best capture those representations through research?

Make a contribution of not more than 200 words about ways in which you envisage there could be the possibility of a research method based on introspection in which the year 4 children are asked to try to look inward and give an account of the processes occurring in their minds during the lesson

Video link:

Synopsis about the video – Year 4 – Observing a lesson on times tables
A solid grasp of times tables is the key for Year 4 pupils at Eleanor Palmer Primary School in north London, while the staff get to grips with the renewed framework.

This programme observes the class exploring the four times table in detail, using ping pong tables and challenge questions, until pupils discover how much more they know once the basics are secure.
After school, the staff explore the renewed framework for mathematics online and give their initial reactions.

In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, published in 1690, Locke proposed that individual understanding is part of a process through which new ideas are inductively abstracted from our sensual impressions:
Our observation, employed either about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking.
(Locke, 1690)
As an empiricist, Locke believed that ‘all the materials of thinking’, and therefore also understanding, are based on experience and, contrary to the views of his contemporaries such as the idealist philosopher, Berkeley, that no ideas can be innate. All general ideas in Locke’s view are denoted by words, upon which we reflect, and, in the process, formulate abstractions which constitute the basis of our understanding.

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