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Landamatics Theory of Instructional Design
Transcript of Landamatics Theory of Instructional Design
Landamatics Instructional Design Theory has three basic strategies:
- Guided Discovery
- Expository Teaching
- Combination Approach (Landa, n.d.,
1974, 1999; Tate, 2007).
Presented by Wendy Schamber
The Landamatics Instructional Design Theory suggests that all cognitive learning activities are actually composed of operations belonging to a subset of either an algorithmic, semi-algorithmic, heuristic or a semi-heuristic base. Landa’s theory focuses on teaching students cognitive operations allowing them to discover which operation subset a problem belongs to and proceed accordingly (Landa, 1974).
Landamatics Instructional Design Theory was created by Lev N. Landa as a general method for approaching the design of virtually any effective instructional course or lesson plan. His approach, while grounded in behaviorist and associated learning theories, is appropriate for all subject areas, although it has been said to fit better with logical sequential subjects such as math and foreign language courses (Educational Technology, 1993; Landa, 1999).
The overall goal of the Landamatics theory is to teach higher order thinking skills. Landa argues that the only way to gain intelligence is by performing and internalizing operations (Landa, n.d.). He does admit the students must be open to new methods of learning in order to transfer the skills learned to other problems, which could prove to be a problem if the students are not motivated to learn in the first place.
Steps of Guided Discovery
1. Students are guided to discover a general method
of thinking through the use of a system of mental
2. The teacher helps students to understand their
thought processes and then facilitates the
formulation of a method that corresponds to it.
3. The teacher helps the students understand how
to apply the discovered method.
4. The teacher helps the students to internalize the
5. The teacher helps the student to make the
method become automatic.
6. Steps 1-5 are repeated to slowly increase the
generality of the student discovered method to a
higher level (Landa, n.d., 1999; Tate, 2007),
Hsu (n.d.) argues that Landa’s Theory is not sufficient to teach any course requiring creative thinking, only analytical thinking processes.
Landa pointed out that as society is changing at a rapid pace, the knowledge learned today may not be relevant for tomorrow’s success, however the thought processes of how we acquire knowledge are not changing at the same pace (Landa, 1999).
While this method is not incredibly well known, it has been around for some time. As instructional focus changes from learning content to learning how to learn, Landa’s Theory is likely to get another look. Landa’s belief that one of education’s most important goals is teaching general cognitive processes, aligns itself with the discussion of teaching higher order thinking skills within the common core (Hsu, n.d., Tate, 2007).
In the Landamatics Theory, the instructor provides the students with information, facilitates the students through their thoughts about the information and provides feedback in order to shape their learning. After instruction, Landa also emphasizes the need for an assessment method that matches the instruction (Landa, n.d.).
In expository teaching, the same steps occur as in guided discovery, however all of the knowledge is taught to the students without discovery, but rather through ready-made knowledge and methods such as illustrations or examples that help the students to understand the material (Landa, n.d.; Tate 2007).
In guided discovery, the teacher helps to guide the student to understand his/her own thinking by properly guiding the student to make independent discoveries (Landa, 1999).
In the combinations approach, for some concepts within a topic, Landa uses various actions to lead the students to problem solving, pointing out specific actions the student needs to complete or perform in order to reach the desired learning outcome. Other concepts within the topic are taught by providing ready-made knowledge (Landa, n.d.; Tate, 2007).
Educational Technology (1993). Landamatics ten years later. Educational
Technology, 33(6), 7-18.
Hsu, Y. (n.d.). Landamatics instructional theory. Retrieved from
Landa, L. (n.d.). Landamatics. Retrieved from
Landa, L. (1974). Algorithmization in learning and instruction. Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Educational Technology Publications
Landa, L. N. (1999). Landmatics instructional design theory for teaching general
methods of thinking. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional design theories
and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory, Volume II (pp.
342-369). Mahawh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Tate, R. H. (2007). Landamatics model. Retrieved from http://
Landa (1999) believes that how to teach is just as important as what to teach. Learning how to acquire and apply knowledge becomes just as important, if not more so, than learning the fundamental knowledge.
Teaching general cognitive processes and the methods that correspond with them, according to Landa (n.d., 1999), then becomes one of the most pressing goals in education.
In step 2 of the Guided Discovery in the Landamatics Theory, Landa stresses discovery of the mental operations that one should proceed through once given information to help explain or clarify the information (Landa, 1999).
This resembles a dichotomous key, or linear process, one that would indicate "if A is true, then B, if A is not true, then C" This step helps to identify thought processes and also assist in the transfer and application of knowledge to other situations.
In steps 4 and 5 of the Guided Discovery in the Landamatics Theory, Landa indicates the gradual internalization and automatization of a method is a gradual shift from one operation to another (Landa 1999)
- In stage one of learning a method, operations begin
externally by the methods instructions
- In stage two, operations become internal by self-
- In stage three instructional need goes away as the
operations become driven by the goals and
conditions of the problems themselves
Educational Values of the General Method of Thinking
Equips students with the tools needed to acquire, manipulate and apply knowledge
Saves time increasing productivity (students only need to be taught the method once, after which they can apply it to future content)
Increases the quality of acquired knowledge, skills and abilities
Reduces difficulties in both teaching and learning
Prevents or reduces the rate of errors
Creates expert level learners and performers (Landa, 1999).
In Relation to Teaching
The Landamatics Theory of Instructional Design prescribes three ways of teaching. Included are Guided Discovery, containing the steps for developing the ability to understand cognitive operations, algorithms and heuristics to support general methods of teaching, Expository Teaching containing a more direct approach to instruction, and a Combination Approach.
In using the theory for the practice of Instructional Design, one should consider the goal of instruction (which Landa believes should be HOT skills), the principles of instruction, the conditions of learning, any required media, the role of the facilitator, and the assessment method (which Landa says should be of the same format as the way the material was taught (Landa, n.d.). All of these considerations will help drive the instructional strategies (as Landa has laid out).
Why use the Landamatic Theory for Instructional Design?
Why use the Landamatics Theory
for Instructional design?
Give a man a fish vs teach a man to fish philosophy...