What is meant by "Building" and "grounding"?

Two of the most important ideas in the cognitive science of learning are: (1) the idea that ideas are built not shared and (2) that ideas require grounding (embodiment)

The main source for grounding and building is MAC.

📊CRL, (2016). CRL. Three Steps For Designing Better Learning Experiences: Map, Activate, Check and Activation Continuum., Cabrera Research Lab. [Poster.]

There is a section in this article that describes MAC: 📄* Cabrera, Derek & Cabrera, Laura. (2019). Complexity and Systems Thinking Models in Education: Applications for Leaders. 10.1007/978-3-319-17727-4_101-1. 

The "Map" part of MAC is the building and the "Activate" part of MAC is "grounding" to experience or physical reality. The most difficult thing to get across to people is shown on the activation continuum (page two of above infographic). That is: DSRP is a building AND grounding tool itself. Not many things in cognition do that....

The basic idea is that we cannot simply share knowledge (we can share information, but anytime we attempt to share knowledge it comes to the other person as information). Thus, in order to hold the same knowledge (mental model) about something, we must build it individually. That means that the structuring of information (how we do it and how it is done for any given mental model) becomes paramount--and that's the role that DSRP plays, it shows us how information is structured to build knowledge. 

In addition, we must ground our information in order to build it. We can ground it in myriad ways but the best way to ground information is through experience, especially tactile, visual experience (the reasons for which are described by Cortex Man). MAC (Map Activate Check) is a pedagogical/androgogical model that helps us to remember the basic functions of learning. You may also want to understand the m=it formula, which is also desribed in depth here: 📄 Cabrera, D. and Cabrera, L. (2020) Defining Learning: A Change In Mental Model. Journal of Applied Systems Thinking (20) 6.


These articles mention grounding: 

  1. 📄*Solin, J. (forthcoming) “MAC Systems Theory of Curriculum Design.” The Routledge Handbook for Systems Thinking. Routledge. London, UK. 
  2. 📄 Cabrera, D. (2013). “Are the Universal Patterns of Systems Thinking Embodied in Physical Form?” International Journal of Systems and Society (IJSS).
  3. 📄 Cabrera, D. (2013) “Moving from Right and Left to Embodied Metacognition” Atom Magazine. Spring.
  4. Sir Ken Robinson and Dr. Derek Cabrera Headline Education Conference
  5. Dr. Cabrera's Keynote at the E3 Ed Conference