The Skills, Rules, Knowledge was developed by Rasmussen (1983) to help designers combine information requirements for a system and aspects of human cognition. It outlines 3 main levels that information is absorbed by humans and acted upon.
The below outline is from :
A skill-based behaviour represents a type of behaviour that requires very little or no conscious control to perform or execute an action once an intention is formed; also known as a sensorimotor behaviour. Performance is smooth, automated, and consists of highly integrated patterns of behaviour in most skill-based control (Rasmussen, 1990). For example, bicycle riding is considered a skill-based behaviour in which very little attention is required for control once the skill is acquired. This automaticity allows operators to free up cognitive resources, which can then be used for higher cognitive functions like problem solving (Wickens & Hollands, 2000).
A rule-based behaviour is characterised by the use of rules and procedures to select a course of action in a familiar work situation (Rasmussen, 1990). The rules can be a set of instructions acquired by the operator through experience or given by supervisors and former operators.
Operators are not required to know the underlying principles of a system, to perform a rule-based control. For example, hospitals have highly-proceduralised instructions for fire emergencies. Therefore, when one sees a fire, one can follow the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the patients without any knowledge of fire behaviour.
A knowledge-based behaviour represents a more advanced level of reasoning (Wirstad, 1988). This type of control must be employed when the situation is novel and unexpected. Operators are required to know the fundamental principles and laws by which the system is governed. Since operators need to form explicit goals based on their current analysis of the system, cognitive workload is typically greater than when using skill- or rule-based behaviours.
Gerver makes the point (which seems true across a number of industries, not just in schools) that
“most traditional schools don’t operate at the sills or the knowledge level but at the rules level. As pupils, we learn that the routines, the systems, the criteria for success and failure and then operate almost automatically within that level. I have seen so many children and, indeed, teachers, operate here. There fore the real challenge and debate needs to be around the balance and emphasis of where we fall as schools and the strategies we need to develop to work through all three stages.”
Wholeheartedly agree. And Gerver points to the RSA’s Opening Minds Curriculum as a starting point for getting the balance right. Looks interesting.
From < a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creating-Tomorrows-Schools-Today-Education/dp/1855393948">Dan Gerver:
Our children know exactly what school is for and the successful ones know how to play the game. School is about hurdles and about first past the post. They must score in their spelling and tables tests, they mus achieve the right level in their tests, they must get a smiley face for their story. The next time your child says they have written a story at school, ask them why. You may well get a vacant expression. If you’re lucky, they will say ‘Because that’s what we do on Friday mornings.’ Ask them if it was any good. If you get past, ‘It was all right’, ask how they know. ‘Well, I got a sticker’ might be the reply. Shouldn’t writing a story be to entertain, create laughter tensions, excitement? Shouldn’t we know we’ve succeeded because the teacher laughed, cried or was scared witless? Many children see school as a series of challenges set by grown-ups for no other purpose than to pass exams set by grown-ups. Is it any wonder so many opt out at the earliest opportunity?
Information and knowledge are absolutely fundamental to what education is all about . . . and it would be impossible for the information revolution to unfold and not have transformative implications for how children can be educated and how schools and teachers can more productively do their jobs. .
Skills are important and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) has identified skills that all children need such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving…. Cognitive science teaches us that skills and knowledge are interdependent and that possessing a base of knowledge is necessary to the acquisition not only of more knowledge, but also of skills. Skills can neither be taught nor applied effectively without prior knowledge of a wide array of subjects.
Education policy and practice should be based on sound research and informed by an understanding of what has worked and what has failed in the past. Attempts to teach skills apart from knowledge have failed repeatedly over the last century because they do not work…
We, undersigned, call on P21 and other advocates of 21st century skills to reshape their effort by putting knowledge and skills together at the core of their work.
I like this. A lot. Though it makes me wish I could read Norwegian. Jon Hoem over at Diablog :: has come up with a nifty chart which, if I understand it, breaks down relationship types (ish) as a result of where the information is being produced and who is controlling the distribution.
As Jon comments,
What I find particularly interesting is how this typology, among other aspects, makes it easier to discuss the interplay between technical solutions and culture. When discussing this in relation to learning enviroments it became evident to me that the collective aspects of a technology is relying heavily on culture, much more than on the technical solutions used for mediation.
Three things happened in conjunction this morning that made me wonder whether memory and experience have some underestimated drawbacks. In order,
All of which conspired to tinkle a little – well, tiny – bell in my head, because a long time ago I remember being struck by something in Kevin Kelly’s book Out of Control [online version], namely that death was an integral part of a healthy complex system.