From Learning Machines to Learning Humans: How Cybernetic Machine Models Inspired Experimental Pedagogies

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From Learning Machines to Learning Humans : How Cybernetic Machine Models Inspired Experimental Pedagogies. / Müggenburg, Jan Klaus.

In: History of Education, Vol. 50, No. 1, 02.01.2021, p. 112-133.

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review

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@article{82eb8c7998bf472caa0f1bdb25fc4f46,
title = "From Learning Machines to Learning Humans: How Cybernetic Machine Models Inspired Experimental Pedagogies",
abstract = "This article analyses how Heinz von Foerster{\textquoteright}s Biological Computer Laboratory (BCL) translated cybernetic concepts into an experimental pedagogy tailored to the interests of the youth of the American intellectual counterculture. The existing research literature assumes that the opening of BCL to the counterculture in the early 1970s was the result of a radical shift from first- to second-order cybernetic theory; in other words, the result of a new epistemological position. This article instead attempts to identify similarities between the design of cybernetic {\textquoteleft}learning machines{\textquoteright} in the early 1960s and Foerster{\textquoteright}s teaching methods that characterised BCL between 1968 and 1976. The article will show that Foerster{\textquoteright}s pedagogy was inspired by a specific style of thinking that can already be found in earlier cybernetic research practices. Concerning both the early and the late phase of the BCL, oral history sources, as well as original publications and archival material, were used.",
keywords = "Media and communication studies, Cybernetics, machine models, learning, Biological computer laboratory, Cultural studies, Cybernetics, machine models, learning, Biological computer laboratory, Digital media, Cybernetics, machine models, learning, Biological computer laboratory, Educational science, Cybernetics, machine models, learning, Biological computer laboratory",
author = "M{\"u}ggenburg, {Jan Klaus}",
year = "2021",
month = jan,
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/0046760X.2020.1826054",
language = "English",
volume = "50",
pages = "112--133",
journal = "History of Education",
issn = "0046-760X",
publisher = "Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (GB)",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - From Learning Machines to Learning Humans

T2 - How Cybernetic Machine Models Inspired Experimental Pedagogies

AU - Müggenburg, Jan Klaus

PY - 2021/1/2

Y1 - 2021/1/2

N2 - This article analyses how Heinz von Foerster’s Biological Computer Laboratory (BCL) translated cybernetic concepts into an experimental pedagogy tailored to the interests of the youth of the American intellectual counterculture. The existing research literature assumes that the opening of BCL to the counterculture in the early 1970s was the result of a radical shift from first- to second-order cybernetic theory; in other words, the result of a new epistemological position. This article instead attempts to identify similarities between the design of cybernetic ‘learning machines’ in the early 1960s and Foerster’s teaching methods that characterised BCL between 1968 and 1976. The article will show that Foerster’s pedagogy was inspired by a specific style of thinking that can already be found in earlier cybernetic research practices. Concerning both the early and the late phase of the BCL, oral history sources, as well as original publications and archival material, were used.

AB - This article analyses how Heinz von Foerster’s Biological Computer Laboratory (BCL) translated cybernetic concepts into an experimental pedagogy tailored to the interests of the youth of the American intellectual counterculture. The existing research literature assumes that the opening of BCL to the counterculture in the early 1970s was the result of a radical shift from first- to second-order cybernetic theory; in other words, the result of a new epistemological position. This article instead attempts to identify similarities between the design of cybernetic ‘learning machines’ in the early 1960s and Foerster’s teaching methods that characterised BCL between 1968 and 1976. The article will show that Foerster’s pedagogy was inspired by a specific style of thinking that can already be found in earlier cybernetic research practices. Concerning both the early and the late phase of the BCL, oral history sources, as well as original publications and archival material, were used.

KW - Media and communication studies

KW - Cybernetics

KW - machine models

KW - learning

KW - Biological computer laboratory

KW - Cultural studies

KW - Cybernetics

KW - machine models

KW - learning

KW - Biological computer laboratory

KW - Digital media

KW - Cybernetics

KW - machine models

KW - learning

KW - Biological computer laboratory

KW - Educational science

KW - Cybernetics

KW - machine models

KW - learning

KW - Biological computer laboratory

U2 - 10.1080/0046760X.2020.1826054

DO - 10.1080/0046760X.2020.1826054

M3 - Journal articles

VL - 50

SP - 112

EP - 133

JO - History of Education

JF - History of Education

SN - 0046-760X

IS - 1

ER -