Much of science, mathematics and engineering deals with phenomena not available to perception and action. Entities in these domains are thus accessed and manipulated using imagination and external representations. The ability to understand, transform and generate domain-specific external representations is therefore critical for learning and practice in these domains. This skill is termed Representational Competence (RC) in the education literature. Our research examines the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying RC, and how new media systems, particularly manipulable simulations, could augment RC.
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