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Fons Vernooij

Downloadable Publications

Authors: Fons Vernooij and others

Problem Solving

  1. Tracking the knowledge structure of students
    Vernooij, A.T.J. (2000). In: Educational Innovation in Economics and Business V: Business Education for the Changing Workplace (ed. Lex Borghans, Wim H. Gijselaers, Richard G. Milter and John E. Stinson). Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    This article tries to gain insight into the mechanisms that cause students to misunderstand the knowledge offered to them. I reflect upon the way experts handle their terms, and I suggest a new way of teaching where explicit interest is shown in how students build a knowledge structure. This is done with a simple true-false test which was used to investigate the ability of students do deal with economic terms like cost, payment and expenditures.

    The article starts with an investigation into the nature of misunderstandings. The approach is based upon cognitive psychology and can be of help in developing curricula by shifting attentention away from the two usual perspectives in education, namely economic practice and economic theory, towards a third perspective: the knowledge structure studens build in their minds.
  2. Problem Solving Strategies
    Vernooij, A.T.J. (1995). In: Educational Innovation in Economics and Business Administration: The Case of Problem-Based Learning (ed. Wim Gijselaers). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers

    Problem-based learning requires the development of problem solving skills. Therefore cognitive strategies must be instructed. Some of these strategies have recently been investigated (Vernooij, 1993,c). They are part of a knowledge base (Ferguson Hessler, 1989), required to solve accounting problems. A knowledge base can be described in terms of Cognitive Psychology (Anderson, 1985).

    As far as strategic knowledge is concerned four stages are recognized to solve a problem:
    - orientation on the problem situation,
    - analysis of the problem structure,
    - planning of the solution,
    - calculation of the answer.
  3. Problem Solving in Management Accounting
    Fons Vernooij (1995). Economia, The Journal of the Association of European Economics Education. Volume 5, Part 1, Summer 1995.
    Herdruk in Zuid Afrika: (1995). Ekonomie, Tijdskrif vir onderwijsers van die Ekonomiese Wetenskappe.

    Once you have explained the problem, I do understand, but if I have to solve a problem like that at home, I don't know where to start. This remark can often be heard in class. It indicates that it is not enough to explain a problem in accounting but that instructions have to be given how to tackle it. This requires explicit instruction in cognitive strategies which may help the student to discover the beginning of a solution. This article reports about the results of a study in management accounting from the perspective of cognitive psychology.
  4. The use of spreadsheets in business education
    Fons Vernooij & Eric Visch (1994a). Economia, The Journal of the Association of European Economics Education. Volume 4, Part 1, Summer 1994.

    This article is about the usefulness of spreadsheets in business education. These computer programs can force students to analyse the relationships between the data and the unknown, while the program takes care of the required calculations. It was found that an instructional method, using explicit diagrams of the business models behind the computations, resulted in better problem solving capacities than an instructional method using the traditional examples of computations.
  5. Spreadsheets as a medium to conceptualize mental models
    Fons Vernooij & Eric Visch. (1994b). Presented for Economia, but replaced by Problem Solving in Management Accounting.

    If I have to believe the instructions of this study problem, I have to compute the product costs per unit by adding up the purchase price and the purchasing costs per unit and a markup for overheads. However, it is not at all in my textbook this way.
    Still it was.
    While solving problems in business administration, students develop a mental model of these problems. Spreadsheets can be used to conceptualise these mental models, as the computer performs the calculations once the students have formulated the relationships between the data and the unknown. Investigations of these mental models showed mental processes, that are crucial in understanding the difficulties many students have in acquiring skills in business administration. They make it possible as well to predict the mistakes students make.

Influence of new media on education

  1. New media and their role in education (paper-presentation)
    Fons Vernooij, Thomas Thijssen en Remko Schermerhorn. (2001). Paper at the 8th Edineb International Conference in Nice. The theme of the Conference was: Technology, Pedagogy and Innovation.

    To investigate the relationships between learning outcomes and new media a tool was developed to describe the functionalities and disfunctionalities of media. In the attached paper the relationships are described. The presentation in PowerPoint of this paper is here downloadable, just like the paper. An elaborate abstract is to be found at www.incasa.nl.
  2. New media and the role of teachers (paper-presentation)
    A  report on new practices at the Johan Cruyff University
    Fons Vernooij. (2001). Paper at the 8th Edineb International Conference in Nice. The theme of the Conference was: Technology, Pedagogy and Innovation.

    At the Edineb in Nice a second paper was presented to describe the role of teachers at the Johan Cruyff University as influenced by the application of competency based learning and the introduction of new media. The presentation in PowerPoint of this paper is here downloadable, just like the paper. An elaboraten abstract is to be found at www.incasa.nl.


  1. Learning by sharing
    Thomas Thijssen, Rik Maes, and Fons Vernooij. (2002).
    In: Educational Innovation in Economics and Business VI: Teaching Today the Knowledge of Tomorrow (ed. Tor A. Johannessen, Ansgar Pedersen, Kurt Petersen). Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    The dawn of the information society requires a successful combination of life-long learning, entrepreneurial behavior and self-development. The model described involves three types of participants in the learning process and three methods of learning. The integrating concept is called learning by sharing. The participants are: business individuals, teachers/researchers and students. The three methods of learning are: learning by experimenting, learning by investigating, and learning through practice.
  2. Breaking the boundaries between academic degrees and lifelong learning
    Thijssen, J.P.T., and Vernooij A.T.J.(2004).
    In: Educational Innovation in Economics and Business IX: Breaking Boundaries for Global Learning. (ed. Richard G. Milter, Valerie S. Perotti and Mien S.R. Segers). Dordrecht / Berlin / Heidelberg / New York: Springer.

    Many educational institutes and their staff, struggle with the issue of capturing the market of lifelong learning, whilst continuing to offer traditional courses. Whereas traditional courses are more or less fixed in curricula and cover certain topics in a planned period of time, lifelong learning requires agreements between teachers and students on specific topics related to competencies acquired before. Students with working experiences are mostly skilled in self-regulated learning processes. Education has to benefit from that.
  3. Social Entrepreneurship and Cultural Change
    Thijssen, J.P.T., and Vernooij A.T.J. (2004).
    In Educational Innovation in Economics and Business X, (2008). Dordrecht / Berlin / Heidelberg / New York: Springer.

    The relevance of this research is to be found in the use of collaborative learning as essential part in a new approach to get social service counselors ready for a role as social entrepreneur. Instead of behaving like bureaucrats who follow the rules of the system, social service counselors should behave more like entrepreneurs trying to grasp opportunities to support the individual development of clients. This requires a reorientation of counselors where they must acquire knowledge about entrepreneurship and skills to perform as required.
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