Mental models and lifelong learning

Philip Barker, Paul Van Schaik, Spencer Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The development of mental models is the underlying 'driving force' that forms the basis for all teaching and learning activities. Such models also play an important and fundamental role in dialogue and communication processes (writing, reading, talking and listening), thinking and problem solving activities. The formation and subsequent adaptation of mental models takes place throughout a human's life-span. The 'richness' of an individual's mental models usually increases with his/her growing maturity and exposure to new and varied experiences - and may, ultimately, lead to 'expert performance'. This type of behaviour, within a given subject domain, can often be positively correlated with the quality of the mental models involved. Because of their importance, this paper discusses the basic nature of mental models and the need to provide appropriate environments to stimulate their ongoing development within the context of providing mechanisms for the support of lifelong learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages8
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998


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