ROLE: Contextual Vocabulary Acquisition: Development of a Computational Theory and Educational Curriculum
William Rapaport Principal Investigator
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Many concepts in science and mathematics are learned in the context of reading scientific textbooks and popular writings on science. This study will investigate how the meanings of words are extracted from the context of text. It is aimed at understanding the process in which concept meanings are extracted from text. The research team seeks to (a) extend and develop algorithms for computational contextual vocabulary acquisition (CVA) (i.e., learning from context); (b) to unify a disparate literature on the topic of CVA from psychology and other fields, and (c) to use the knowledge gained from the computational CVA system to explore its implications for educational curriculum and learning. The knowledge gained from case studies of students using the CVA techniques will feed back into further development of computational theory. This project falls within Quadrant 2 (fundamental research on behavioral, cognitive, affective and social aspects of human learning) and Quadrant 3 (research on SMET learning in formal and informal educational settings).