This chapter proposes a model of five core components of education. The FIT model in the previous chapter detailed the macro view of education — consisting of three domains. The components introduced in this chapter are integrated within the triadic model to provide a more complete descriptive context in which each of the three domains can be expressed. Their status as core components is justified, and in the chapter following this one, each of these core components are explored as they apply to each of the three domains. This integrated model is known as the FIT-C model.

Why the word component?

            Juxtapose the term component alongside the terms element and substance. An element or substance speak of the object’s identity independently. A component speaks of an element or substance in the context of, or coexistence with, other elements or substances. The term component shares this ‘coexistence’ value with terms like ingredient, part, or piece. The term core components of education is preferred to an alternative like core elements, because these entities are destined to coexist in service of the objectives of education.

Identifying the Core Components

            Education is viewed as a specialized act of communication. Figure 6 below illustrates the logic of how the core components of education are derived from the core components of communication. The following core components can be abstracted:

1          There has to be a sender and a receiver, constituting the essential (a) community of the communication model.

2          There has to be a message. The message consists of (b) intent and (c) content. Within the context of education the word agenda will be used rather than intent. Under the heading Agenda, this decision will be explained.

3          Sending the message is part of (d) presentment.

4          Receiving the message does not happen because it was sent. The message has to be received, which entails the physical arrival of the data at its destination and then the mentally active processes to decode and reconstruct the intent. From a receiver perspective, this is a process of constant (e) verification. Other than the obvious internal verification, it could be followed up with an outward verification, especially if the internal verification does not satisfy the receiver.

            For communication in an educational context, these components (a-e) are expressed as follows: Community, Agenda, Content, Presentment, and Verification. This model of core components will be referred to as the CC model. Each of these core components reflects an essential needful quality in communication, and here it is applied to the communicative context of education. Education is communication, but communication is not necessarily education. In this chapter each of these core components is expanded upon in the broader context of education. As already mentioned, in the next chapter these components are considered separately as they relate to each of the three domains of education, namely Fundamentals, Instructions, and Teachings.



Figure 6. The components in communication as a foundation for the CC Model.

            Education is intended to promote, facilitate, and effectuate intentional learning. It is the explicit intention for each of these components to be present in education, since the lack thereof would fundamentally and directly impact the educational experience. Table 3 below provides a brief and simplified result if any of the components were to be missing in education, thus identifying the benefit of each component.

            The rest of this chapter focuses on each component. Its constituent parts are explored to expand the descriptive theory.

            Table 3

            The Effect of the Absence of Any Core Component

Core Component

Result of its Absence


only — no connection between senders and receivers


Content without cohesion, no purpose to the message


The community, the reason, but nothing shared


An uncommunicative ‘sender’


An uncommunicative ‘receiver’

Core Component One: Community

            Community as a core component of communication implies a sender and a receiver. Without both, even if only in an asynchronous setting, no communication is possible. The following is an example of a community. If within education a learner interacts only with prepared educational material and no live person, it would seem awkward to call this a community. Even though we have the cause, we seem to lack the group, yet it is still a community — two or more people share an agenda and its content, and it is communicated. There is a sender and a receiver. The sender is the individual who prepared the instructional material for the learner.

            A community then is not a haphazard collection of people. It requires two or more people and a common denominator of something of common value that brings them in contact with each other. This common denominator could be very diverse, including language, culture, hobbies, religion, . . . and of course — educational objectives. Stated differently, it is essential that communication between two or more people with a common anchor exists. Community is a core component of communication in general. Since education is a subset of communication, this core component transfers directly.

            As indicated in the Table 3 above, if we remove the concept of community as one of the core components of the CC model, we end up with either senders only, and no one to receive what is being sent, or we end up with receivers only. Receivers only would be like a family staring at an unplugged TV. Senders only would be like you calling out for help in a dream. Alternatively we could have a many people with no communication among them. This strips these people of the designation of being receivers or senders — although there are people, there is no community.

            Is it possible to learn with no community present? Yes, that would be someone in nature, making observations and reflecting, with no interaction from other humans in any form. Such learning through observation and reflection alone is neither instruction nor teaching, but learning and not education, because it lacks the social dimension. Because of what we learn in a community, we are able to learn outside of a community as well. Thus for learning to happen within the realm of Instructions or Teachings, the concept of community has to be present. The nature of the community has to be considered to optimally promote learning in accordance with the agenda.

            The community’s role in influencing the agenda has to be considered. The learner and the presenter each have a direct stake in the agenda. Fellow learners and other people, part of the learners personal circle, could also exert and influence on the agenda. Other than people and communication around a valued common denominator, the environment or milieu of the learning community is also part of the community experience. Environment has a mediating role in the experience. Thus the affordances of the environment should be exploited and the disaffordances should be eliminated or minimized to create an optimal milieu for conducting communication.

            Further elements to be considered in the designed formation of a community might include:

1          the number of community members

2          the role and status of each community member

3          the directionality and protocol of communication

4          whether the communication will be synchronous or asynchronous or a combination

5          how communication will be mediated within the range of digital and analog formats

            The specific design of any community, along with its milieu, pertain to the realm of educational theory. Such theories could be developed from this descriptive model of core components.

The Learning Community and the Personal Support Community

            Two distinct communities have to be considered and elaborated upon in this discussion. The first is the Learning Community and it is concerned with those who are directly involved with the learner’s learning experience. The other community is the Personal Support Community. This community consists of those who are part of the learner’s natural support structure, like family, friends, and neighbors.

            The Learning Community is part of the learning event and as such should be thoroughly considered in educational design. The Personal Support Community on the other hand is an essential part of the learner’s personal world, independent of most designed learning events, and plays a crucial role in the success of the learner as an individual.


The Learning Community

            Who could be possible members of the Learning Community? The receiver and sender have already been mentioned. The learner (the receiver) is the anchor of the Learning Community. Other members of this community could include other learners participating in the same learning event (fellow receivers). The senders would include instructors or teachers, facilitators, coaches, and counselors; but in an instant, there could be a role reversal and these actors could become fellow learners. All these are people sharing information with each other to promote the intended learning. Their interaction, although asynchronous, targets the achievement of the educational objectives. The purpose of this community is to interact and exchange information to promote the educational objectives and to provide support to this end.


The Personal Support Community

            This community includes persons that are in some form bonded with the learner as a person, like family, work associates, neighbors, friends, and so forth. Quite likely these persons are outside of the Learning Community, yet they could also be in both communities. The Personal Support Community is not established by the learning event, but this community is a natural community to which the individual belongs. Each community might share some types of support, but it will be generated from within the context of this specific community. The Personal Support Community might not provide the same measure of intellectual support as from within the Learning Community, but members of the Personal Support Community are well situated to lend both affective and physical support. For a single mother it might include comfort during tough times (affective support), or babysitting by a friend while she is attending a class (physical support). Personal support is crucial in the learner’s ability to succeed.

            Details about the three types of support will follow in the next chapter. This will further clarify which of the two communities above would be more involved in each particular type of support.

Community and Support

            The types of support could be cognitive, affective, physical, and communicative support. This support can come from either the Learning or Personal Support Communities, yet the raison d’être for each of these communities will generate particular tendencies. The Learning Community has a greater emphasis toward intellectual support which is centered on the educational objectives. The Personal Support Community has a greater emphasis in providing physical and affective support because it is human centered.

Cognitive support

            This could include unidirectional assistance to the learner, or bi-directional assistance between learners. Like with all other support types, the intent of intellectual support is to support internalization and comprehension of information in the quest to build the required knowledge to develop the intended behavior, depending which domain of the FIT model is at stake.

Affective support

            This support is directed at the emotional and personal interests of the learner as an individual, and within the Learning Community, it would be acts to effectuate learning. This could include encouragement to solve a homework problem or to try again. It could be the sincere expression of faith in the learner’s ability to succeed, and so forth. The examples of support might be very divergent because human needs in achieving educational objectives are individualized. Much of the intellectual and physical support would dovetail with affective support. This support is directed at the emotional and personal interests of the learner as an individual, often expressed as thoughtfulness. This would include emotional and social support. Particular examples of this would be divergent because human needs are so individualized. For a delinquent teenager it might include intimate discussions about personal problems or the imposition of rigor and discipline.

Physical support

            This type of support would vary depending on the objectives. If the objectives include the psycho-motor domain like dance, gymnastics, or sports, examples of physical support are obvious. If the objectives are centered on the cognitive or affective domains, physical support might be a passive component and be needed sporadically. The other dimension of physical support would include material support like financial support, providing transport, or providing resources that would further the learner’s achievement of the educational objectives.

            An important concept with potentially rich implications is the support from the receiver’s end towards the sender. Commonly the focus tends to be on the support that is due to the learner, but in the context of the more you give, the more you will receive, affective and physical support from the learner to the teacher might have profound implications for the business of education to be conducted. In oriental cultures, the respect for the teacher is ingrained, and with it comes a more institutionalized support from receiver to sender.

Communicative Support

           Communicative objectives are materialized through the skills drawn from all three of Bloom’s domains. With each of these four domains, people reflect particular skills and talents associated with each of these domains. Brain damage, like the after effects of a stroke for example, can leave people in a debilitating condition in any of these domains. For example, certain people suffer from paralysis, others have some interference with their cognitive processes like memory loss for example. Some people lose the ability to feel happy or sad, and others lose the ability to communicate as before. Communicative support could be provided within the Learning Community in order to achieve the learning objectives, or in a broader sense, within the Personal Support Community, it could be given to address individualized needs.

Conative Support

            The Learning Community and especially the Personal Support Community can provide encouragement, training, and feedback to build the learner’s conative domain. This support would be directed at maintaining or improving the learner’s self-regulation, mental energy, and volition to learn. Huitt (1999) provided some good directives to motivate the support of conative development. He said,

It is important that parents, educators, and other individuals concerned with the development of children and youth work towards developing the conative components of mind that enhance self-direction, self-determination, and self-regulation. Specifically, young people need to imagine possibilities in their lives, set attainable goals, plan routes to those goals, systematically and consistently put goals and plans into actions, practice self-observation, reflect on results, and manage emotions. These need to be addressed in a spiraled curriculum because of the developmental aspects of their successful utilization.

Philosophical Parallels to These Two Communities

            This concept of a Learning Community and a Personal Support Community closely ties in with the concepts of Gesellschaft and Gemeinschaft as described by 19th century sociologist, Ferdinand Tönnies (1957). His research explored the differences between the German terms that depict two groupings of people with differing characteristics, namely Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. An attempt at translating the terms to English has used the words community and society, yet this word-for-word translation seems to be an imposed equivalency. In the context of education the two terms Learning Community and Personal Support Community seem to be a more precise fit.


           It would not be an overstatement to suggest that the Personal Support Community is expressed by the concept of Gemeinschaft. A Gemeinschaft is that natural community around the individual (family, friends, and neighborhood). Tönnies (1957) described it as follows:

The prototype of all unions of Gemeinschaft is family. The three pillars of Gemeinschaft — blood, place (land), and mind, or kinship, neighborhood and friendship are all encompassed in the family, but the first of them is the constituting element of it. The associations of Gemeinschaft are most perfectly interpreted as friendship, Gemeinschaft of spirit and mind based on common work or calling and thus on common beliefs. (p. 192)

            Based on this description of Gemeinschaft, the following argument by Tönnies has better context when he says that he divides human relationships into two categories: organic and mechanical formations (p. 35). The organic formations are relations of Gemeinschaft represents community, family, and personal relations. In defining the concept of Gesellschaft, Tönnies says that mechanical formations are the relations of Gesellschaft. They represent society and public life, and individuals coexisting characterize it. A family reunion would be a Gemeinschaft and a stockholders meeting would be a Gesellschaft. In common language these two concepts are recognized with the expression, “Wait until she gets out into the real world!” With the terms at hand it could be stated differently. Here are some examples: “Wait until her Personal Support Community is no longer accessible.” or “Wait until she moves from her Gemeinschaft to the Gesellschaft.” Tönnies states that friendship is the most perfect interpretation of the Gemeinschaft. This is juxtaposed to charity, which is at the heart of the Personal Support Community. Yet, with these community identifications being ideal types, it has to be reckoned that there is opposition, hate, envy, and many other negative forces that plague a community of any stripe. It is thus the measure of success in establishing the qualities of the Gemeinschaft or Personal Support Community that strongly influences the behavior of the individual; firstly inside the Gemeinschaft and then as that individual moves on into ‘the real world’ (Gesellschaft). Fundamentally it is not the Gesellschaft where Teachings are acquired and transferred into the Gemeinschaft. Granted, some do gain great lessons from interactions in the environment of a Gesellschaft, but Teachings are nurtured and developed in the Gemeinschaft. In some instances Teachings are acquired from a Gemeinschaft other than your own, for example public figures from the entertainment industry converting to oriental religions, thus migrating from one Gemeinschaft to another, or developing a more complex cohabitation within different Gemeinschafts.


            Charles Cooley (2002), in commenting on the writings by Tönnies, provided the following clarification: “In Gemeinschaft people are united in spite of all separating factors, in Gesellschaft people are separated in spite of all uniting factors.” This is a powerful statement that reaches to the heart of these two concepts.

            About Gesellschaft Cooley elaborated as follows:

Gesellschaft consists of a group of people who are capable of promising or delivering something (an activity or object). All relations are based on the comparison of possible offered services. Like objects, activities can also have value and be exchanged. Convention emerges from the exchange of activities under Gesellschaft — it is the simple form of the general will and it is a sort of contract. For order to exist in society, freedom must be limited or altered. Outside convention, relationships among people may be conceived of as latent war (e.g.: unregulated commercial competition could be considered a mild degree of this).

            The characteristics of the Learning Community being typified by a Gesellschaft are supported by Cooley’s description above of Tönnies’ ideal type. Formal education, and formal instruction in particular, is a gathering by design, it is a mechanical construction that is held together by something being delivered (instruction). Yet, with this being a comparison to an ideal type, the alternative expressions of a Learning Community have to be considered. As mentioned above, with Instructions the Learning Community fits the description of a Gesellschaft, but the Learning Community within the realm of Teachings would also overlap with Gemeinschaft. A Learning Community specifically convened for the acquisition of Fundamentals would primarily belong to the notion of Gesellschaft, but since Fundamentals could be purposed to Teachings, this gathering could be part of a Gemeinschaft as well. Examples of a Gesellschaft in education would be a class on Java or XML. Universities, with a student population from all over the globe would fit the same description. Instruction to a class on Java or XML in Tonga, where all the pupils are natives from the island, would imply the overlay of both the Gemeinschaft and the Gesellschaft. Religious schools like an Islamic madras or a Catholic convent would possibly express a similar situation.

            Interesting questions arise from this Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft construct. Does the pervasive trend of a higher percentage of dysfunctional learners in poverty stricken communities suggest that there is a correlation between the measure of dysfunctionality of a Gemeinschaft and learner ability? Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft are ideal types and do not exist in a pure form. The notions and trends that identify the distinctness of each can be seen in life itself.

Core Component Two: Agenda

            There are two essential components to communication, the physical (actual) and intentional (intended meaning) part. The physical part addresses the actual or physical transfer process of the message from sender to receiver. For example, if I am on a ship, watching a blinking light signaling Morse Code on the horizon, I am receiving. I am receiving a message, but am I receiving the message? The issue is this, do I understand Morse Code? This allows me to see the information in the data. Thus, if data is transferred successfully between sender and receiver, this is a successful transmission, but if the data is gibberish or decontextualized to the receiver, a message might be received, but it is not the message. If the data is reconstituted to information, then the sender’s intent is conveyed to some degree and communication is taking place. Here the core component of communication would be intent. Because education is a subset of communication, the term intent is applicable, yet it has to be narrowed to express the context of education. Mere intent in communication does not constitute education. Just nodding my head and you understanding whether I am saying yes or no, conveys intent, yet it is not education. Intent is similar to the word agenda, and for communication it is a suitable term, but its reach is not adequate in the context of education. Communication is open-ended and the communicator’s intent could change direction dynamically, and the concept of intent would be preserved in such an instance. Yet, if the communication were to be tied to an agenda, a whimsical change of topic would not honor the concept of an agenda. The term agenda is a cohesive overarching term and it is tied to the educational objective. In this context intent is tied to the sender’s desires, which may or may not be harmonized with the agenda. If the sender’s intentions are harmonized with the educational agenda, it is useful to see a short term, long term association between intent entities and the agenda. The agenda maps the road to the long term or broadest objective. Intent centers on the short term incremental objectives to meet the objectives of the agenda. The collection of these harmonized intent entities of the sender (often the instructor) serve the agenda. To varying degrees of importance these intent entities or intentities act in concert or logically intermesh to serve the larger plan or blueprint — the agenda.

            Without an agenda learning also happens, for example, incidental learning. Education on the other hand requires an agenda. This places education as a subset inside the realm of learning. An educational agenda is comprised of the collection of intentities to promote learning. Without an agenda, learning is incidental, and that is an environment beside Fundamentals, Instructions, or Teachings. Yet, it could still be an environment of exploration, research, reflection, and so forth. These activities are also intermeshed in the educational process. Although they are greatly valued and crucial pursuits in education, they do happen as acts driven by learning, and in theory they do not require a sender to exist, thus can they exist outside the context of education. As the concept of an agenda is explored under each of the domains of the FIT model, it will become evident that there is a progression from binary to analog as one progresses from Fundamentals to Instructions and on to Teachings. On this continuum from binary to analog, the agenda is very narrow and explicit at the departure point in Fundamentals, and then the further towards Instructions and further on to Teachings one progresses, the more involved and intricate the agenda becomes.

            On the first pass, the agenda might seem like a monolithic goal that puts senders and receivers locked in on the same objective. However, there are some other factors to consider pertaining to the shaping of the agenda. How does an agenda take shape? A good analogy would be the creation of a painting with the word impression being analogous to agenda.

            Firstly, the artist has an impression of what will appear on the canvas, and accordingly works the oils to achieve this impression. Secondly, the chosen medium has a distinct dynamic as well, which includes things like the roughness of the canvas, the visual characteristics of the type of oils or acrylics used, and so forth. Each such variable would render a different effect. The media used does directly affect the impression. The third issue to consider is the onlooker’s vantage point after the painting is on display. Such variables would include the onlooker’s background and associations formed while looking at the painting. All these things reshape the onlooker’s impression of the painting. Another factor to be considered is the physical environment. The onlooker’s physical distance from the painting, the noise in the gallery, the smells, the shadows on the painting, the temperature in the building, and so forth. Once more, all these variables have an impact to some degree on the onlooker’s impression of the painting. Context is another factor to shape the agenda for the onlooker. For example, if the onlooker was a victim of the 9-11 tragedy and the impression on the canvas depicts a violent act of terror, it would impact the onlooker very differently, than if the onlooker had viewed the painting sometime before the 9-11 tragedy. The point is that context could make the agenda temporal. For example, instruction in the field of technology constantly changes and that implies that the agenda has to be adjusted. However, Teachings are atemporal in nature.

            The variables in this analogy transfer well to the agenda in education. (a) All those involved in the content provisioning, like the textbook author, software developers, actors in the training videos, the instructor, and so forth, shape the agenda. (b) The medium or media used also contribute to the shaping of the agenda, for example text only, video, computer-based training, or live person-to-person training, and so forth. (c) The physical environment affects the agenda. Consider these two locations: Compare a well-lit warm, freshly painted room to a grimy, cold, dark, smelly basement location. (d) The context in which the training happens has a possible influence. FBI training on September 9, 2001 had a distinctly different ambiance compared to training on September 12, 2001. Here context had a profound impact on the agenda. (e) Finally, the learner ultimately determines the final shaping of the agenda. If I, as a learner, have sacrificed much to be in a class, I would have a different personal agenda from someone who was forced to be in the same class, having been denied something far more enticing than attending class.

            The learner’s agenda is profoundly affected by the learner’s posture towards the learning event, which would influence the level of commitment to the perceived agenda presented by the content provider. If the learner’s perception deems the educational activity to be worthless, there might be no commitment to the agenda as put forth by the educator. The learner’s posture would be resistant to the invitation to learn. Otherwise, the learner might decide to conform to the perceived agenda, which means the learner is willing to do what it takes and no more. Alternatively the learner could assume the posture of a performing learner, which means the learner wants to do as well as possible. The final posturing level to determine commitment could be a self-directed learner, implying the learner directs what the agenda would be. The learner assumes personal ownership for the agenda, rather than rejecting it, (non-learner), opposing it (resistant learner), or becoming compliant with the agenda in some measure (conforming or performing). The learner posture of being a conforming or performing learner implies that the learner accepts of the education provider. Becoming a self-directed learner means that the learner assumes ownership of the agenda.

            The conative domain is of importance in determining the learner’s posture. As expressed in Figure 7, the conative domain along with other factors internal and external to the learner, determine the learner’s posture towards the learning event. This figure below depicts two main areas, one of nonlearning, and the other of learning. The initial framework of this model for the nonlearning area is based on the research by Jarvis (1992), and for the learning area it is based on the research by Martinez (1999). Martinez referred to each of the four levels in the learning area as orientations, which commonly implies an ingrained personal approach, which is difficult to change.

Figure 7. Learner’s Posture Towards Learning — Adapted from the models by Jarvis (1992) and Martinez (1999).

            This model considers each level as a posture towards the learning event. Posture is defined as “a frame of mind affecting one’s thoughts or behavior; an overall attitude” (American Heritage Dictionary, 2000). In contrast to an orientation which suggests the learner’s approach to be something that is an attribute of the learner independent of the subject matter, a posture would suggest that the learner’s approach is a dynamic combination of learner personality, ability, subject matter to be learned, and other factors like the milieu in which the learning is to take place, the people involved in the learning event, and the physical condition of the learner. All these things affect the learner’s posture towards learning. Within each area there are incremental levels to indicate different positions.

            All these factors have to be considered in the development and consideration of the agenda. The agenda will succeed optimally when there is an adequate harmony between these factors, namely the agenda from the perspective of educators and from the learners, with consideration of the effects of context, environment, and the medium or media of communication.

            The example in Figure 7 above assumes a person new to a field — a person with no previous background in the intended field of learning. A learning situation with an accomplished learner, would possible render the labels in this example inaccurate, because in such an instance a very capable and well-accomplished learner might be a resistant learner as well.

Core Component Three: Content

The Role of Content in the Core Components

            Content is like the cash or commodities that change hands between buyers and sellers. In the communication process it’s the essence of what is exchanged. Content is the active ingredient that confirms the presence of a sender. Content, in the context of the agenda, is what is sought after by the receiver. This core component addresses what is transferred from sender to receiver with an emphasis on the context of education. This unit is divided into three parts. The first part considers the quality or technical adequacy of the content. The second part elaborates on the validity of the content. Validity is divided into an objective-centered component and a human-centered component. The final portion of this unit provides a taxonomy of the linguistic, as well as the nonlinguistic content environments that should be considered.

            The following analogy as illustrated in Table 4 below, highlights two key variables to consider when evaluating content. The central question is, “What would be acceptable currency anywhere in the USA?” Following the table is an explanation of the variables and how they relate to content as a core component of education or communication. Two variables stand out in deciding the acceptability of the money — quality, and validity. In scrutinizing the content in communication, judgment about the adequacy of quality usually approximates a binary decision.

            Table 4

            Variables to Determine the Legitimacy and Value of Currency Anywhere in the USA.


(validity &


(validity & quality)


(validity &


(validity &

• paper squares

• counterfeit currency

• foreign currency

• fragments only

• very old currency

• badly worn

• ripped

• slightly torn

• used

• crisp, new,
US currency

            The quality of the content is judged to be adequate or not. Judgment about quality relates to technical integrity. Then the focus tends to shift to validity, which is complex multidimensional environment. It could include factors like being appropriate, credible, legitimate, cogent, and so forth.


            This descriptive theory addresses the variables that influence both quality and validity for both linguistic and nonlinguistic communication. With an understanding of the technical adequacy in communication as one main objective, a comprehension of these variables informs the content provider, as well as the content consumer, about the nature of the problem. Beyond technical adequacy, the communicator in education needs to strive for optimal validity. In this case, these variables would be relevant as well.

Examples of technical adequacy (quality) in spoken language

            The first two examples below detail the technical stages that data have to clear in aural linguistic communication to achieve adequacy, in other words, where the data is available as information. The subsequent examples will detail technical adequacy in written examples.

            In Table 5 below, the content category of data addresses the stages related to technical adequacy. The first issue is whether the data were received at all, secondly whether that data were corrupted or clear. If the data were clear, could it be identified, and if so, could it be translated, and if so, could it be interpreted? Clearing all these stages, except for the last, is required for technical adequacy.

            Table 5 below addresses spoken linguistic communication. In order to establish technical adequacy for written linguistic communication, several steps have to be cleared in order to establish such communication.

            The following example displays inadequate communication in spoken communication. Human dysfunctional encoding is evident with aphasia. This transcription is from a male patient with damage to Wernicke’s area of the brain. The question to the patient is: “What kind of work do you do?” The patient replies:

What do, does it takes to teck alaway helligans, . . . I guess umm, . . . I’ve tried . . . to . . . fix, some Catharine, from my . . . for major, from, umm . . . I don’t go into suveyp easy, and into court verbeysingly because, because I am already server in case, and usually in phaser, in, in tegger and phasey. (Williams, 2001.)

            The URL provides the actual sound file. The patient has a problem with syntax, phonology, semantics, and most importantly, with intent. There is no clear expressed intent. Because of the dysfunction during the encoding stage, the adequacy of the transmission and the decoding could not recreate acceptable communication.          


 Table 5

            The levels of reception to create technical adequacy, moving from data to information

Content Category


Minimal Status



1. not received

no data


possible emission, but not reception (no transmission)


2. received

corrupted data

#$&&8 )!~>”

transmission (emission and reception)

3. identified

clean data

“Julgi dile suntanet!”

technical equivalency of data before and after transmission, data recognizable

4. translated



“The can will be used till silence returns.”

data understood outside of the intent


5. contextualized

a. commonition

“You are alive.”

intent recognized, data do not inform

b. illumination

“What is the safe’s combination?”

“It is 12127302142"

intent recognized, every bit of the data informs

c. information

“Please go to the fridge and feed yourself.”

combination of informing and noninforming comprehensible data (commonition + illumination)

Examples of technical adequacy (quality) in written language

            Table 6 below begins at the point of receiving clear (uncorrupted) data. The variables in the table (script, meaning, phonetic transcription, and language) are presented in different combinations to illustrate the problems caused when any of these variables are not rendered as expected. This table is an illustration of the many variables that are taken for granted in creating technical adequacy. Following the table will be an explanation of the effects of each of these variables.


            Table 6

            Some essential variables needed to produce successful written content



Script: A1–Old Slavonic and


Language: None

Meaning: None Intended

Phonetic Mapping: None

A1 — Fir ast sdsa sasdolr swq sad trt sas i sd i Qotl as fgdfg kjk ds i fd ds o fsd fd fdhun.

A2 —Fir ast sdsa sasdolr swq sad trt sas i sd i Qotl as fgdfg kjk ds i fd ds o fsd fd fdhun.

Script:B1-- Old Slavonic


Language: English

Meaning: None Intended

Phonetic Mapping: English

B1 — Nutritious nails concatenate assiduously copper whirlwinds as yesterday’s yeast.

B2 —Nutritious nails concatenate assiduously copper whirlwinds as yesterday’s yeast.

Script:C1– Old Slavonic

Language: Afrikaans

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: Afrikaans

C1 — Met ‘n kennis van die outeur se moedertaal is dit moontlik om hierdie sin volledig te ontleed.

Script: D1– Roman

Language: Afrikaans

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: Afrikaans

D1 — Met ‘n kennis van die outeur se moedertaal is dit moontlik om hierdie sin volledig te ontleed.

Script: E1– Old Slavonic

Language: English

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: Afrikaans

E1 — Whif ean andersteandieng ow whe aufers mafer tang iet whoot bie possibil toe ennalaaiz whis sentins komplietlie.

Script: Old Slavonic

Language: English

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: English

F1 — With an understanding of the author’s mother tongue it would be possible to analyze this sentence completely.

Script: Roman

Language: English

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: Afrikaans

G1 — Whif ean andersteandieng ow whe aufers mafer tang iet whoot bie possibil toe ennalaaiz whis sentins komplietlie.

Script: Roman

Language: English

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: English

H1 — With an understanding of the author’s mother tongue it would be possible to analyze this sentence completely.

Script: Roman

Language: English

Meaning: Intended

Phonetic Mapping: English

I1 —The projective space Pn over a field k is the parameter space of lines in kn+1. Such a line is determined by a non-zero point on it (a0, . . . , an), where one is allowed to replace (a0, . . . , an) by (ta0, . . . , tan) for any non -zero t in k. We denote such a class of points by (a0: . . . : an). Thus Pn is the collection of (a0: . . . : an). The points with a1 not equal to 0 may be normalized so that a1 = 1. Then a1, . . . , anin (1: a1: . . . : an) are determined uniquely and are in one to one correspondence with kn by the map (1: a1: . . . : an) ---> (a1, . . . , an). The complement is the points (0: a1: . . . : an), which are precisely Pn -1 . Thus we get an inductive dissection Pn = kn U kn-1 U . . . U k U {*}, where * is the point (0: . . . :0:1)” (Goren, 2001).

(Note: The old Slavonic Alphabet intended for the red-marked text does not display in HTML. So, use your imagination of characters being there that you cannot decypher)


            The examples in rows A through H in the Table 6 above each present variables that have to be considered in creating technical adequacy in written communication. The following is intended in each instance:

            A1 and A2: No intended meaning. The skills and background of the decoder is irrelevant; no meaning can be abstracted.

            B1: To be able to extract the meaning requires skills in English, good concentration, and analytical skills. The smaller the sample size is, the more difficult it is to do the decoding.

            B2: Uses English phonetic transcription, orthography and syntax. Yet no meaning was intended. Compare A2 and B2. B2 is undoubtedly English, yet meaningless.

            C1 requires skills in Afrikaans. Since the Old Slavonic character replacement of the Roman characters did not map the phonetic equivalents as well, the coding is abstract and skills with the Old Slavonic alphabet would be of no consequence, although it might seem like it would be. To be able to expunge the meaning requires skills in Afrikaans, good concentration, and analytical skills.

            D1 requires any literate Afrikaans speaker. Native Afrikaans encoding was exercised, so it should be easy to decode.

            E1 illustrates some of the many variables that we take for granted in written communication. The example uses the Old Slavonic alphabet and meaning is intended. Even though it is an English sentence, it uses Afrikaans phonetic transcription. Like with the preceding examples, the Old Slavonic alphabet is an abstract code. It would have been possible to do an old Slavic phonetic transcription of the Afrikaans phonetic transcription of the English text, which would have required skills in all three these languages, and a greater possibility of the loss of meaning since the phonetic transcriptions from one language to another employs phonetic approximations for non-equivalent sounds, which introduces one-to-many relationships, and the usage of the wrong relationship would alter the intended meaning, e.g. mat versus mad.

            F1 is the same as E1. The only difference is that F1 uses English phonetic transcription.

            G1 requires skills in English. An understanding of Afrikaans phonetic rules is essential.

            H1 is the English equivalent of D1, where Afrikaans was the only required skill. In this instance English is the only required skill.

            To further illustrate the concept of adequacy in written content, I had three of my daughters each write a letter to their mother.

            The following figure presents the letters of my daughters. On the left is Lili, in the middle is Minlie, and on the right is Kindia. Lili, here at the age of two, only had her name partially legible. The characters in her letter could not be identified; they were mere data. Minlie, here at the age of four, wrote her name quite legibly, and she has an emerging concept of characters. To the uninformed, her letter might be an ancient inscription, transcribed from an Etruscan tomb wall. Yet, although most characters are understood, there is no intentional meaning conveyed, thus leaving her recording largely as data as well. Letters can be recognized, yet, it is not possible to distinguish between letters and words, so at the character level there is some information.

Figure 8. Written examples from three girls, each two years apart.

            The poem Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll, could be seen as a step between the examples of Minlie and Kindia’s letters. Carroll’s poem has interpretable characters and words are clearly formed, yet even though the poem conforms to English rules of grammar, syllables, and orthography, most of the words are nonsensical. Here is an excerpt:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe. (Carroll)

            My oldest daughter, Kindia, was in first grade when she wrote the first sample of this letter. In her letter, her name is clear, and although her message does not consistently conform to the rules of English orthography, the data can be transformed into information. The letter contains adequate information to provide a frame of reference, and she communicates to the reader that she loves her mother.

            The final example from the field of archeology analyzes the encoding and decoding processes. If ancient documents (clay tablets, scrolls, or bark) were unearthed by archeologists, it would imply that someone transferred (encoded) some perceptions and knowledge to information and encoded it as data. Now, with such a document rediscovered and in the hands of modern scholars, the inverse process (decoding) begins. If the decipherment is unsuccessful, it remains data. It would take an expert in hieroglyphics to translate the data to information. The decoding has several facets, all of which are important to develop an accurate translation of the data. To take this information to knowledge requires a particular background and knowledge about the people and their practices described in the documents.


            Validity assumes the quality or in other words, the technical adequacy of the received data to be satisfactory. With this condition assumed, validity focuses on optimal communication. The two essential issues to address are the objective-centered (Instructions) and the human-centered (Teachings) components of communication. It is proposed that optimal communication is not a choice between objective-centered and human-centered communication, but rather it is objective-centered communication that fully satisfies the perceived needs of human-centered communication. The progression of this section on validity will firstly explore objective-centered communication, and consider things like the accommodation of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) of the learner (Morris, 2002). The section after that will explore essential aspects related to human-centered communication.

Objective-centered Content

            With optimal communication the sender strives to establish an equivalency in the mind of the receiver. Information is comprehensible data that informs the receiver. This requires that the data are successfully transferred from sender to receiver in a technical sense so that the learner’s senses reproduce the equivalent of what was sent, and that the learner’s knowledge framework is adequately developed to interpret and understand the data. This makes the data comprehensible. If I say: “Julgi dile suntanet” and that is what you receive, it is data technically transferred as it is meant to be, but it is not comprehensible. Your knowledge framework cannot analyze it unless you speak Afrikaans. The following statement reflects this concept: “If you are able to inform, you are able to deceive.” This underlines the need to receive comprehensible data. If you relay data between two people without you having any understanding of the data because it is a foreign language or it being in code, you (the person relaying the message), would not be able to lie by wilfully twisting the data to say something you intend.

            Comprehensible data does not always inform. Here are two examples. The first example comes from the last row in Table 6. In row “I” of Table 6 above, written information was addressed. One by one, the words in row “I” are meaningful, yet it is very difficult to understand exactly what is being said. Linguistic meaning has been achieved, like in most of the preceding examples, however the contextual meaning remains largely obscured. You could look up every word in a dictionary, and that would not significantly contribute to understanding the message. You would know that “B2” is nonsense, and you would assume that “I1” has meaning and that you just did not understand it. But for practical purposes, it is possible that something nonsensical could have been used to exploit your ignorance of the subject matter — it is all the same to you one way or the other.

            Thus, when the sender and receiver use a language in common and they adhere to all the rules of that language, orthography, phonetics, and semantics, there is still a deeper level of common ground required to make communication succeed. This relates to validity — communicating within the receiver’s zone of proximal development. This requires a careful analysis of the employment of verdigting (a term that will be explored in detail later in this unit). By presenting the reader with the term verdigting, I am employing verdigting, and by not clarifying the term, it is outside of the reader’s ZPD.

            Verdigting is a mechanism of efficiency without which we cannot do. It means the creation of aconyms, pronouns, and the coinage of terms to encapsulate expanded meanings. Examples of verdigting from this dissertation would include the word verdigting itself, and other terms like commonition, the FIT-C model, and so forth. This Afrikaans term is pronounced: fərdəχtəɲ, and it means to compact.

            In the field of Instructional Technology, Component Display Theory and Elaboration Theory are typical verdigtings that have no significant superficial value. The receiver has to be initiated to the terms; or better yet, the richness of what has been verdigted needs to be shared with the uninitiated. One way to consider the task of instruction is to make the invisible visible. Once this has been done, the verdigting is an efficient referent to many things like a conceptual framework, or a condition, or an environment. If the learner does not remain on the inside of this process, the content moves outside of the learner’s ZPD, and the validity of the content becomes questionable.

            The descriptions in the two preceding tables addressed the creation of spoken and written communication, primarily to establish technical adequacy. The last step in spoken language (Table 6) deals with information rather than data, and addresses commonition and illumination as subcomponents of information.

            If I tell you that the world is round. You understand it, but you already know it, so it does not inform you. This then is not information. This comprehensible data could not be confined to the label data either. In English this category has no term. In this document, this category is labeled as commonition. What remains to be addressed is the portion of that comprehensible data that informs, and the combination of informing and noninforming comprehensible data. The isolated portion of comprehensible data that informs is labeled as illumination. Information then is what we commonly receive as data that inform; but in a more precise sense, it would include parts that do and do not inform. Hence, the active ingredient of information is illumination, for without it, information is reduced to commonition. Within the framework of these new terms, it would be of interest to analyze the portion of commonition versus illumination as the constituent parts of information during instruction and teaching. Does the maximal elimination of commonition during instruction proportionately enhance learner interest in learning? Does this condition increase the possibility of an information overload?

            As communicants it is data that we exchange, and based only the successful deconstitution and reconstitution of the data, information can be reconstituted, and then in turn, based on the degree of successful reconstitution of information, new knowledge can be formed. It is a tenuous position to claim that with successful communication there is a complete equivalency in the knowledge of sender and receiver. Each of us has an idiosyncratic knowledge framework. New information will not always inform two people with the same precision. The associations each person makes and the perspective each person has, are based on individual memory, knowledge, and perceptions.

Human-centered Content

            Research by Mehrabian (1981) considered the percentage of a message that was communicated through the following three variables: message, tone of voice, and body language. Surprisingly, only 7% of the message was communicated through the words that were said. Tone of voice accounted for 40% of the message, and body language accounted for 53% of the message. It seems that the interpretive mediation extends far beyond the content of the message, i.e. the actual words conveyed. Most surprising is the fact that body language and tone of voice play such important roles in validating the intent.

            Figure 9 below marks human interest versus affective load. On the horizontal axis the range is from negative to positive, with neutral in the middle. Positive or negative relates to human interest, and neutral messages relate to objective facts, e.g. sound travels at 1,200 km/h.

            On the vertical axis the range of affective load is from strong to unmarked, and from unmarked to subtle. Strong to subtle relates to intentional emphasis. Neutral (or unmarked) means no emphasis is expressed. The message could not be labeled as either strong nor subtle.

Figure 9. Charting the emotional layering in communication

            The human centered aspect of the message relates to how we say things (tone of voice and body language), but it also considers the consideration of the receiver in what we say. With human-centered communication the intended meaning is not abstract information, but has a human component. It might relate directly to either the sender or receiver, or to other humans. It would be best conveyed with care and respect to the dignity and interests of the recipient. The military is known to side with a utilitarian rather than a human-centered approach. The following joke stems from my time in the South African Navy, and it serves as a good example of a nonappropriate utilitarian approach.

The drill Sargent got word that the mother of one of his cadets passed away. It was his duty to inform the soldier. He waited till the troops were mustered on the parade ground.

He shouted: “All troops with mothers living, take one step forward! . . . Shaw, where do you think you are going!”

Shaw replied respectfully, “But Sir, my mother is alive!”

The Sarge retorted, “Do you want to take me a bet?!”

            The objective was received. Human-centeredness to the message was absent.

The Senses: Linguistic and Nonlinguistic Data

            Thus far in this unit the focus has been on the technical adequacy (quality) of linguistic content, both spoken and written content. Under this heading a fuller diversity of content is revealed. This is done to make the designer of educational content aware of the diversity of content that needs to be considered.

            Content appeals to at least one of the senses. To wrestlers and pilots touch is crucial. In perfume manufacturing, and in the culinary arts, the olfactory senses matter. For the latter two, gustation conveys essential information too. Yet, for the larger portion of learning, information is obtained by either seeing or hearing. Our eyes and ears are used extensively to gather linguistic and nonlinguistic information. Four broad categories interact, namely linguistic versus nonlinguistic communication, and these two areas are purposed towards either knowledge or an impression as the center focus. Represented below in Table 7 are the possible interactions of these variables. The following table represents some of the many hidden variables that have to be considered to ensure that information, and not just data, is transferred from sender to receiver.

Art versus Instruction — An Impression Focus Versus a Knowledge Focus

            In communicating something to you, I have my perception, and I am trying to change your perception. A knowledge focus would center on the cognitive domain. An impression focus would center on the affective domain. Designed communication, like educational events should carefully consider both these aspects of communication.


            Table 7

            Categorizing Different Mediation Environments for Both an Artistic and an Instructional Focus


Sense Used

A. Linguistic

B. Non-linguistic


Knowledge focus

(E.g. Instruction)



Working models,

blue prints



Sounds for identification


Braille, Blind-deaf language

Martial arts, physical therapy


none ??

Drug-sniffing dog


Impression focus

(E.g. Art)


Poetry, Prose, Novels, . . .

Paintings, Artwork, Flower Bouquet, Fireworks display, . . .


Opera, Drama

Instrumental Music


Braille, Blind-deaf language

Dance, Massage


none ??

Perfume, aftershave

            Compare an architectural blueprint on the one side, with expressionist paintings from artists like Monet, Picasso, or Van Gogh. Both have creative and technical components — both appeal to the cognitive and the affective domains, yet inherently the architectural blueprint is anchored to the cognitive domain, and the paintings are anchored to the affective domain. This anchored emphasis of the one domain over the other determines the value attribution.

Core Component Four: Presentment

How do presentment and verification relate to sending and receiving?

            Already established in the realm of communication at large are the roles of the sender and the receiver. As information is exchanged in a bi-directional way, the role of sender and receiver reverses, depending on who is speaking and who is listening (in oral communication). In the context of education, this notion remains true, and two pertinent roles emerge – that of presenter and verificator. In a traditional setting the teacher or instructor would be the presenter and the student or pupil would be the verificator. Yet, these roles can reverse as well, for example if the instructor were to touch upon subject matter in which one of the students is far more knowledgeable than anyone in the classroom. In such an instance, the instructor might defer to the student to temporarily take on the role of instructor.

            Figure 10 below illustrates in a more concrete way some of the possible variations in how the communicative roles of presenter and verificator can be expressed. The columns in A, B, and C represent each individual’s knowledge within a given domain. Each individual’s zone of proximal development is indicated (as explained in the legend). In column A, the instructor has a vast knowledge and the learner is a neophyte — a rather typical setting. Column B has a role reversal, where the student knows more than the instructor. In a realistic setting of this kind, the learners would not have an instructor, but a person whose role would be best described as a facilitator, a convener, or a chairperson. This type of scenario could be part of the scenario in column C too, and here the focus is on the relationship between learners. The setting is a collaborative environment, not depicting a student-instructor relationship, but the roles are between fellow learners. In this instance it is easy to visualize a frequent role reversal of presentation and verification. Learners would be using each other as sounding boards in a dynamic mix of verification and presentment.

Figure 10. Alternatives of presentment and verification.


Why the term presentment, rather than presentation?

            The term presentment is a collective term for everything communicated by all those in communication with the learner to further the educational objectives. This includes those who do content provisioning, including textbook authors, instructors, teaching assistants, and so forth. Initially presentation was the term considered. An analysis of the term reveals that presentation is a subset of presentment.


            Presentment addresses both objective-centeredness and human-centeredness. Objective-centeredness in presentment is tied to instruction, and as such, places emphasis on designed events to promote the exposure to, and internalization of, facts (Fundamentals); and the acquisition of mental and physical skills, particularly problem-solving skills (Instructions).

            Figure 11 below is an advance organizer to illustrate what the domain of presentment encompasses. It is essential to notice that presentation is a subset of presentment.

            Presentation, as a subset of presentment, includes the areas of tell, show, feedback, and pressure. Pressure on the learner to meet the objectives of the agenda speaks most pertinently to the draw forth concept which defines the Latin roots of the word education. In most cases pressure could be seen as an objective-centered challenge, relating to the fundamental or instructional components of education, yet when the pressure is not exerted because of the objective, but because of the individual, then pressure has a human-centered dimension. Pressure is introduced here in a descriptive sense, thus the intent would not be to be prescriptive of the type of pressure that is most suitable in a given circumstance. Prescriptive theories of presentation would build on these core components as theories of instruction and education.

            The non-presentation or support side of presentment addresses human-centered aspects. Support, and other forms of commitment given to the learner as an individual, are activities to nurture and refine the psyche of the learner. Drawn from the metaphor of growing trees, support can be seen as consisting of two subdomains — fertilizing and pruning.

Figure 11. Presentment — Its objective-centered and human-centered components.


            This component of presentation has four subcomponents, namely tell, show, feedback, and pressure. Each of these subcomponents are discussed below.


            This part of the presentation event gives background, describes, and reflects expertise. The main purpose is to contextualize the learner to the topic at hand — what facts should be known and how do these facts relate to each other. Tell belongs to the domain of Fundamentals. Because of our social nature, educators easily overemphasize the tell component at the expense of show and activities that elicit verification from the learner.

            Contextualization is a fundamental concept shared by both show and tell. In one sense contextualization means to become familiar with the environment so as to be able to operate optimally in such a targeted environment. When learning a new language for example, it would be an environment for the mind — the new language would include vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, cultural nuances, and so forth. To a new sailor on a ship it would mean an intimate familiarity with the ship, and particularly the equipment and environment related to the sailor’s field of specialization. And so it goes for every environment we operate in.


            Two different types of show is possible. Firstly, if we refer back to the new sailor on the ship, a more experienced sailor might take him around and show him where certain things are. This is not the show how to as is commonly understood by the term show. So, show could be a physical form of tell.

            The other form of show is the educational provider’s ability to demonstrate, to compare and to contrast. Show and showing how to is essential to build the learners’ passive skills, which includes comprehension, identification, recognition, and contextualization. Show does not imply a demonstration of everything that could be shown. It might be wise to partially show to stimulate the mind as to the unrevealed portion. Alternatively, the learner might be familiar with parts of the educator’s presentation, and that might obviate the need to show such content. In turn, the learner could demonstrate, helping the educator determine what needs to be shown.

            In the context of education, feedback is often seen as something the learner receives. In a broader sense, feedback can shared between communicants. This means the teacher can receive feedback from a student. Students can give each other feedback, and so forth.

            In the traditional sense, presentation has to be responsive to the needs of the learner. Feedback would include communication to address learner concerns, as well as verification given by the educational provider to the learner regarding progress in the form of confirmation, guidance, refocusing, and correction. Feedback should most aptly be suited to the learner’s needs as the learner engages in verification of what is understood or learned. Associated with feedback are popular terms like customized and just-in-time. Feedback to the teacher would be essential as well to help the teacher confirm if the teaching is received as anticipated. Feedback among students or from the learner’s personal support community could address issues related to the educational objectives or to personal behavior.


            The learner’s status quo or equilibrium needs to be disturbed to learn. It is new information or skills that have to be assimilated, so what the learner already knows or can do will not suffice. The very point is to move beyond that. There has to be some movement, whether it be physical or mental movement. If the student were to be highly motivated, it would reduce the need for pressure.

            Pressure could come from the presenter or other members of the learning community or the personal support community. Positive pressure is a complimentary activity to the motivated, and much needed by learners not having the motivation to move towards the instructional objective. The learner’s comfort zone is potentially invaded, and through either a psychological push or pull, the learner is directed and urged towards the educational objectives. This pressure to challenge the mind can take on many forms, ranging from the positive to the negative. Positive examples would be compassionate, subtle, and benevolent acts. Negative examples would be harsh, intrusive, and aggressive actions. Here are some examples ranging from the gentle to the heavy-handed: to suggest, to interest, to persuade, to encourage, to recommend, to lure, to entice, to challenge, to question rhetorically, to require, to oblige, to insist, to bribe, to order, to blackmail, to command, to dictate, and to force.

            The popular concept of being a guide rather than a traditional disseminator of information draws from all the subdomains of presentment as well as on some of the aspects of the roles expressed in the subdomain community. It should be considered that the Latin root educo means to draw out, in contrast to the stuffing into that learners so frequently experience. Pressure in whichever of the many possible forms is an essential part in doing this.


            The tree metaphor is used to explain the dual nature of support. To grow a tree you need to nurture (e.g., fertilize) and to prune.


            Fertilizing would include activities such as acknowledgment, recognition, and meritorious praise. Actions associated with fertilizing indicate acceptance and commitment to the individual, and can be categorized as actions of love, devotion, and respect. With fertilizing only, a tree would grow wild.


            With pruning only, a tree would be malnourished and stunted. Pruning would include activities to focus or shape the behaviors of the learner. Pruning would also foster appropriate habits and engender self-discipline to promote learning and performance, so as to empower the learner with an adequate internal locus of control to become self-directed and committed to respond well to instruction to which the learner has willingly submitted. John Locke (1632-1704) elaborated at length about the education of children. For instance he said that “discipline should begin early. The great mistake is in the neglect of beginnings.” Erasmus had a similar view. He said, “People humor and indulge children; and later are surprised to find them perverse and unruly” (Cole, 1972, p. 223). Yet, although Locke expressed his feelings about including discipline, he was clear about corporal punishment. He said, “Great severity in punishment does very little good, nay, great harm in education; and I believe it will be found that, ceteris paribus, those children who have been most chastised, seldom make the best men” (Cole, p. 223).

            Support is aimed at bolstering the learner’s inner faith to succeed in the learning pursuit and to promote the learner’s motivation. If the teacher is regarded as a credible judge, the sincere support from the teacher signals a confirmation and validation of the learner’s ability and potential. Support is meant to assist the learner to maintain or to progress towards a certain level of functionality. In a grander scheme of things the cycle of life could be evident here. The long-term objective of support is to produce a learner that does not need the support and then can provide that very support to others. In other words, to transform the supported learner into a supporting teacher. The child (receiver) becomes a parent (sender) which is essential to perpetuate the civilization by transferring the knowledge and values from one generation to the next.

            Presentment could be conducted in a live face-to-face presentation and support, or in any form of transmissively mediated communication. It could include any form of content providing and interaction with the learner to address the educational agenda, e.g. share, clarify, elaborate, and so forth, with the goal to effectuate the intended change in the learner.

            The desired change, from the perspective of Fundamentals, would focus on nonreflective recall. From the perspective of Instructions, it would address reflective understanding and skills to solve problems, and from the perspective of Teachings it would address an understanding and commitment to Teachings, revealed in a contextually-appropriate judgment. As indicated below in figure 12 of the CC model, it could include many activities that would belong to (a) tell, (b) show, (c) feedback, and (d) pressure. Whether presentment happens in person, or whether it is mediated through recorded media, it has to address the needs of the learner towards the achievement of the objectives. It also has to consider the learner’s prior knowledge. It has to anticipate problems and concerns and learner difficulties as they digest the information to build the closest individualized approximation of the knowledge of the sender. It is the sender’s ability to anticipate receiver’s difficulties and to professionally address such difficulties that is a key factor in content development. 


Figure 12. The CC model with an elaboration of presentment.

            Communication pertaining to education is addressed under the heading Content. Not all communication by the presenter to the learner in an instructional environment is part of presentation, yet it could still be part of presentment. Such communication not part of the presentation could include support in the from of fertilizing or pruning. This tree metaphor explains types of support to address a variety of personal needs of the learner, including discipline problems, compliments for good performance or behavior, and to address individualized concerns and issues or challenges and goals.

Core Component Five: Verification

                        Verification is in essence the act of matching data against an established standard. Without verification, communication is impossible. It is the act that enables us to understand each other. If I ask you if “Julgi dile sultanet!” is grammatically correct, you would not be able to verify it. You do not know whether this is a language, and if it is, which language it comes from. If I ask you to do the same verification for “I are sick.” you recognize the language and you have a standard in place against which you can match the received data. The very act of you reading this paragraph involves mental self-verification. If you are not sure you understand, based on your mental self-verification, you would (if possible) resort to a physical verification. You would ask me to restate what a I just said, or with body language you would indicate that you are missing the point. Then I would repeat or rephrase myself.

            Learning is reflected in actions and behavior. Learning is not represented by merely being within hearing distance of someone speaking with the intent to teach. Without verification of learning (within the learner and from the content provider), it is guesswork whether learning did occur, and what precisely was learned. Without verification neither the learner nor the disseminator has any concrete idea as to what has been learned.

            Verification mirrors the components of presentment. This would include tell, show, feedback, pressure, nurturing and pruning.

            Tell would be the ability to express the schema that has been formed and the context of the learning objectives. Show would be the learners physical activity to comply with the educational objectives. Feedback would be to able to troubleshoot and critique personal physical actions and that of others (the learner or the content provider). Pressure would speak of self-discipline to commit to the educational objectives and to move into new area of learning. Nurturing could include behaviorist strategies to reward yourself with a treat if you are able to complete something. It could also be a cognitive strategy to focus and to commit. It could address personal phobias, self-doubts, difficulty with concentration, self-condemnation, and nervousness. Figure 13 below represents the mirrored aspect of presentment and verification.

Figure 13. The reciprocity of presentment and verification.

            Verification can physically be passive or active. Physically passive verification happens at the mental level, thus it is mentally active verification. Verification can be identified as personal verification, called self-verification, and as formal verification. Active self-verification is physically active and observable — it means to do.

            In communication outside of education, passive verification constantly happens in the mind of the receiver. This is the interpretation-on-the-fly to reconstitute the received message. Should the interpretation fail, or be questionable, the receiver could do one of the following. (a) Accept the failure in interpretation due to disinterest in the message, or due to affective impediments like a feeling of intimidation that hinders the receiver from querying the received data. (b) The receiver could anticipate to resolve the concern by anticipating further information. (c) The receiver could flag the data, or lack of data, and shift to an active verification mode to restate the perceived informational value, or identify the deficit. At this time the sender would then react to this request, either as feedback, or as a customization of show and tell.

            In education, passive verification means that it is not an observable verification, but it includes activities like listening, memorizing, internally rehearsing, reviewing, and reflecting and other thinking activities. Some of the activities associated with active verification could include practicing, reviewing, and implementing; doing rewrites, rehearsals, interviews, and peer exchanges; and the development of portfolios, and conducting mock trials.


            Outside of formal instructional environments like schools, colleges, and universities, education is frequently developed for nonformal environments. For example the educator roles of parents, associates, or friends as teachers and instructors are not separated from their roles in person. Some of the subjects to be addressed in a nonformal setting might be things like aspects of behavior, hobbies, or esoteric skills like how to repair a turntable or grammaphone player. In many such nonformal environments, there is no certification process or other formal verification processes of skill or concept acquisition, and it is through self-verification only that the learner establishes what has been learned. This assumes the learner does attempt to establish what has been leaned.

            Should the event require formal verification to occur, it would not imply that self-verification could be ignored. On the contrary, self-verification is a crucial component of good teaching and instruction. Self-verification is non-graded and it is the opportunity the learner has to reflect, to do, to practice, to rehearse, to experiment, and to try. The measure of success during this event provides the learner with a measure of mastery and contextualization. This experience in itself provides the learner with invaluable feedback, enabling the learner to employ self regulation — to persist with current strategies, or to decide to try different approaches to succeed at the educational objectives. Presentment, without adequate opportunities for the learner to personally verify the mastery of the concept or skill, is incomplete instruction or teaching.

Formal Verification

            Commonly education in formal settings like schools and universities require formal verification of skill and knowledge acquisition through graded skill assessment. Implicitly some hold the belief that in essence education is the act of presentation, and learning accompanies good instruction (presentation), and that verification is an after-the-fact assessment to see how effective the disseminated information was internalized.

            Another view is that verification is a dominant part of the learning experience and should be integrated throughout educational activity. In this view, formal verification is the label given to the concluding cycle in a series of self-verification cycles.

            If verification is not integrated into the educational design, it easily happens that the presentment and verification become disjointed. That often transpires where the emphasis on the delivery and the examination do not address the same content.

            How does formal verification take place? A quiz, test, or an exam logically comes to mind. And the stereotypical form of such examinations is paper based, in which questions are posed to the examinee and where answers can be either active or passive.

            In passive formal verification, the examinee selects the correct response rather than having to produce it. Multiple choice would be the most common form of this type of written verification in the domains of Fundamentals and Instructions.

            Active formal verification addresses testing and examination where the examinee provides the correct response rather choosing a correct option. Other forms of formal active verification could include the following:

                      preparing a report

                      doing a project — either singularly or as part of a collaborating team participating in a discussion — which could be a group discussion or a one-on-one interview

                      problem-solving — which could be a hands-on activity, set up to allow the student to demonstrate physical, cognitive, and communicative skills, or a theoretical exercise with an emphasis on cognitive skills

            Figure 14 below provides a graphical representation of verification. It highlights the two stages of verification, namely self-verification and formal verification. Each of the subcomponents for self-verification and formal verification is depicted.

Figure 14. The CC model with an elaboration of verification.


            In abbreviated form, the value of each of these core components is highlighted.

          Community — If there is no community, there is no communication, and with no interaction, there is no education. The learner interacts within two distinct communities, the Learning Community, most frequently within the context of a Gesellschaft, and the Personal Support Community, whose ideal type is a Gemeinschaft.

          Agenda — If there is no agenda, the content is fragmentary or divergent — lacking the cohesiveness and filtering that the agenda imposes. Content without a clear agenda might be like when someone eats a bowl of chips or cheese curls. When the bowl is empty, you might have had your fill, but you do not feel nourished.

          Content — This chapter took an in-depth look at the constituent parts of content. The two key issues related to content is the technical adequacy of the transfer of the content and the optimal validity of the content. The objective is to provide content that is received by the receiver with technical adequacy and optimal validity. The validity relates to the appropriateness and applicability of the content. Validity is concerned with an objective-centered component as well as a the human-centered component. Two other aspects considered with content is the linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of content as perceived by our senses. The other aspect is the concept of verdigting, which is the act of efficiency in communication. It is done by creating a referent for a concept, a person or thing. If we consider Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, too much communition would mean the learner is not challenged, and too much illumination would challenge learners beyond their capacity to process the information.

          Presentment — Presentment has a human-centered aspect and an objective-centered aspect.

                      Presentation is the objective-centered component of presentment and it includes the following components:

                        -          Tell creates context, familiarizing the learner with the background and environment. Tell gives the learner access to the thoughts and thinking patterns of an expert.

                        -          Show further enhances context. It sets the example and enforces a mental image of the objectives. With no tell, the learner can easily over- or underestimate the context, or be deprived of vital information to proceed towards the learning objectives. Without showing, the learner will not see an example and might not be afforded the opportunity to form the desired mental image. In many instances like life-threatening surgery, no showing and only telling could lead to critical misunderstandings.

                        -          Feedback dovetails with pressure in that effective pressure would most likely elicit feedback to confirm progression or to guide and correct inaction or incorrect behavior.

                        -          Pressure in some of its many forms are essential to bridge the gap from having received to doing. No pressure whatsoever would leave the learner without guidance and support.

                      Support is the human-centered aspect of presentment and divides into fertilizing and pruning.

                        -          Fertilizing is the encouragement, the recognition, the praise, and so forth, that the teacher provides the learner.

                        -          Pruning is the acts to focus the learner. This could include discipline and guidance.

          Verification — Within a community for education, the agenda and appropriate content are inherent to what is transacted. This is conveyed through presentment by the disseminators, and lastly, the learner needs to verify what has been learned. Verification can be segmented as follows:

                      Personal or self-verification is the nonformal activities the learner engages in to establish what has been mastered and what has been memorized or can be produced or done.

                      Formal verification is the disseminator’s opportunity to confirm what has been learned. In a learning environment just about every action and communication from the learner can be construed to be part of the confirmation process.

            This concludes the initial discussion of the five core components or the CC model in a educational context at large. In the next chapter, the CC model will be revisited to identify further unique aspects of these core components as they are specifically applied within the three domains of the FIT model.