The Peer Mediation with Young Children (PMYC) was investigated in computerized versus noncomputerized environments using process (e.g., mediation strategies) and performance variables (e.g., cognitive modifiability) as outcome measures. The sample consisted of 108 pupils drawn from fourth- (tutors) and first-grade (tutored) classes randomly assigned to experimental (n = 27) and control (n = 27) dyads. Dyads in each group were randomly assigned to either computerized or noncomputerized learning environments. Experimental tutors received training in the PMYC program whereas control tutors received general preparation for peer tutoring. Following the PMYC program, each dyad was assigned to a collaborative learning situation in which the older child taught his/her partner a problem solving task. All children were tested on a set of cognitive measures before and after the PMYC program. The findings showed that the experimental tutors used significantly higher levels of mediation strategies and achieved higher cognitive modifiability than did the control children in both learning environments. Children tutored in the computerized environment achieved higher cognitive modifiability than children tutored in the noncomputerized environment. The findings are discussed in light of Vygotsky and Feuerstein’s theories and recent research on peer-assisted learning.
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- Go to article: Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: Cognitive Effects of a Peer Mediation Intervention
- Go to article: Relationship Between Mother-Child Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) Strategies and Mothers’ Attachment Style and Mental Health
Relationship Between Mother-Child Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) Strategies and Mothers’ Attachment Style and Mental Health
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between mother-child mediated learning experience (MLE) strategies and mothers’ attachment and mental health. Fifty two Israeli mother-child dyads were videotaped at home in two interaction conditions: free play and structured. The interactions were analyzed using the Observation of Mediated Interaction (OMI). Mothers rated themselves on the Attachment Scale and the Mental Health Inventory. MLE strategies were found to be positively predicted by secure attachment and negatively by anxious attachment. In addition, MLE strategies were positively predicted by feelings of wellbeing. Gender differences are discussed. The findings support previous findings about affect-cognition relationships, and indicate the importance of perceiving the mediator from a holistic point of view. Mediation is perceived not only as a determining factor of affective processes, but also as being determined by them.
The focus of this article is on the effects of mediated learning experience (MLE) interactions on children’s cognitive modifiability. In this article, I discuss the MLE theory, and selected research findings demonstrating the impact of MLE strategies in facilita ting cognitive modifiability. Research findings derive from mother–child interactions, peer-mediation and cognitive education programs. Mediation for transcendence (expanding) was found consistently as the most powerful strategy predicting cognitive modifiability and distal factors in samples of children with learning difficulties directly predict cognitive modifiability. Findings of peer-mediation studies indicate that children in experimental groups participating in the Peer Mediation with Young Children program showed better mediational teaching style and higher cognitive modifiability than children in control groups. Application of dynamic assessment as a central evaluation method reveals that the contribution of the cognitive education program was not simply supporting the development of a particular skill practiced during the program; it also involved teaching children how to benefit from mediation in a different setting and consequently improve their cognitive performance across other domains.
- Go to article: Cognitive Modifiability, Emotional–Motivational Factors, and Behavioral Characteristics Among Gifted Versus Nongifted Children
Cognitive Modifiability, Emotional–Motivational Factors, and Behavioral Characteristics Among Gifted Versus Nongifted Children
This study was designed to investigate the differences in cognitive modifiability, emotional–motivational factors, cognitive behavioral characteristics during dynamic assessment (DA), and openness to mediation and level of mediation among gifted versus nongifted children. One hundred forty-five 3rd-grade children in 4 groups (gifted [G], n = 41; outstanding-high [OH], n = 31; outstanding-low [OL], n = 35; and typical [T], n = 38) were given a battery of emotional–motivational tests and two DA measures: analogies subtest from the Cognitive Modifiability Battery and Rey’s (1956)Complex Figure test. Several behavioral categories were rated during DA. The G and OH groups were found to be similar on variables of cognitive modifiability and behavioral characteristics, and both were higher than the OL and T groups. The OH group was consistently higher than the G group on emotional–motivational factors. Discriminant function analysis showed that all variables significantly differentiated the four groups. The OH group was similar to the G group on cognitive modifiability but higher on emotional–motivational and cognitive behavioral characteristics. The data raised questions about the conventional procedures of selection of gifted children for enrichment programs.
- Go to article: Prediction of Early Literacy by Analogical Thinking Modifiability Among Kindergarten Children
Previous research has emphasized phonological, morphological, and syntactical awareness, naming, and phonological working memory as specific domain determinants of early literacy. General cognitive processes and intelligence have not usually been considered important in the early stages of acquisition of early literacy. The main objective of this study was to assess the power of a major cognitive process: analogical reasoning, to predict early knowledge of writing as evaluated by kindergarten teachers. 103 kindergarten children, randomly selected from 10 kindergartens, were administered the Children’s Conceptual and Perceptual Analogical Modifiability (CCPAM) test. The children were also evaluated for their primary knowledge of writing by their kindergarten teachers as part of a routine didactic assessment. Early writing was significantly predicted by analogical reasoning above and beyond age and gender. Analogical reasoning and early writing may have similar cognitive components requiring inferential processing and closing of information gaps.
- Go to article: Durability of Effects of Instrumental Enrichment in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
21 adults with intellectual disabilities were examined three years after participating in a cognitive intervention program in order to assess the durability of their cognitive achievements. The sample consisted of two age groups: 30-49 years (n=12) and 50-59 years (n=9). The primary intervention method was the Instrumental Enrichment Program. The effects of the intervention were examined by three types of thinking instruments: logical thinking (Reversal and Verbal Abstraction Tests), predictive thinking (Maze Tests), and insightful thinking (Postures and Children Tests). These tests were given five times: two times prior to the cognitive education program, spaced two months apart; two times after the cognitive education program, spaced two months apart; three years after the program. This repeated-measurement was used to compensate for the absence of a control group (an absence due to reality-based technical considerations). The original study yielded significant improvement from Time 2 to Time 3, and two months later (Time 4), showing a divergent effect for two types of thinking. The follow-up evaluation (Time 5) showed a drop in the cognitive functioning relative to Time 4, but not to Time 3, a finding that indicates a durability effect. The results support Feuerstein’s structural cognitive modifiability theory, according to which long-term individual changes are possible regardless of the individual’s age and cognitive functioning level.
Children with specific learning disabilities (SLD) exhibit specific difficulties in high-order components of emotional understanding that involve language (e.g., recognition of complex emotions from situations), or defining emotions and providing examples. The objectives of the current study were to study (a) modifiability of emotional understanding using a short-term mediation program aimed at enhancing emotional understanding among children with SLD as compared with typically developing (TD) children, (b) the correlation of language ability with emotional understanding. A sample of 64 boys with SLD and 33 TD boys (9–11 years old) were administered emotional understanding measures, and tests of language processing. The children were given the Language of Emotions Mediation Program and retested on the emotional understanding measures. Children with SLD revealed initial lower level of emotional understanding than TD children but higher pre- to postmediation improvement. The correlation between emotional understanding measures and verbal ability decreased from pre- to postmediation only in children with SLD. These findings indicate less cohesiveness between the two domains because of the mediation program.
The study’s main objective was to investigate the transfer effects of training in one type of analogies (conceptual versus perceptual) on performance of the second type. A sample of 396 kindergarten children (mean age = 5:8 years) were randomly assigned to three experimental (E1, E2, E3) and one control group. Groups E1 and E2 received training in either conceptual (n = 118) or perceptual analogies (n = 121), respectively. Training included encoding, inference, mapping, application, and response. Group E3 (n = 93) was trained only in the relation between the analogy terms A : B and the control group had no training. All groups were administered the Children’s Conceptual and Perceptual Analogical Modifiability (CCPAM) test before and after the training. Groups E1 and E2 improved their test performance significantly from pre- to posttraining as compared with group E3, which showed a significant decrease in conceptual analogies and no improvement in perceptual analogies. Perceptual training (group E2) was limited to gains in perceptual analogies whereas conceptual training (group E1) was effective in improving conceptual and perceptual analogies. Group E3 showed a pre- to posttraining performance decrease. The findings are discussed in relation to mediation processes, task characteristics, conditions for transfer, and practical implications for teaching.