The development of executive functions (EF) in bilingual children with a specific learning disorder (SLD) is a growing area of research interest. Our objective is to study the development of EF in Lebanese children with typical development (TD) and presenting SLD, in the primary grades (Grades 2, 3, and 4). Ninety TD and ninety SLD children, in Grade 2, 3, and 4, were recruited in Lebanese public and private schools. Inhibition, working memory (WM), flexibility and planning were evaluated through the following tests: Image matching test, Numbers retention test in backward order, Corsi block tapping test, Opposite Worlds test, Categorization test (Animal Sorting), and LABY 5–12 test. When comparing the two groups of children in terms of inhibition and WM, the statistical tests show significantly that SLD children are more impulsive than TD children and have a lower visuospatial and verbal WM. SLD children are also slower than TD children in the Opposite Worlds test that assesses flexibility. Similarly, the planning capacity is lower in SLD children compared to TD children. All results improved across grades. This work can explain the cognitive components related to learning, for a better management of specific learning disorders.
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- Go to article: Comparative Study of Executive Functions in Bilingual TD and SLD Children From Grade 2 to Grade 4
This article discusses the role of the three components of executive functions (EF) in geometric understanding. Discussing several examples of geometry problems, this article shows how EF are actively employed to solve geometry problems. Inhibition as the first component of EF helps the individual to suppress contextually irrelevant information. This strengthen the degree of focus on what is relevant to the problem being solved. In some geometry problems, the individual needs to rotate or manipulate shapes in her/his mind. Working memory as the second component of EF keeps a mental image of various positions of the rotating shape before rotation, after rotation, and during rotation. Keeping a clear mental image of these positions and comparing them with each other could facilitate the process of relating inferences to each other throughout the process of solving a geometry problem. Cognitive flexibility as the third component of EF helps the individual in the process of shift of attention between various parts of geometric shapes. Finally, it is suggested that the components of EF are in active collaboration with other cognitive resources such as the motor system in the process of solving geometry problems.
This qualitative study aimed to examine: 1) the manner in which kindergarten children and first graders make sense of the term “area” regarding optimization problems; 2) how this manner is manifested in their decision-making and “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills; 3) how kindergarten children and first graders comprehend the concept of “cover maximal area.” Six kindergarten children and six first graders participated in the study.
To investigate the children’s knowledge objectification, a multi-semiotic data analysis was conducted; to investigate the children’s decision making an optimal model of a metacognitive process for individuals served us. Our findings indicate that all the children’s knowledge objectification process included three stages: visual, contextual, and symbolic. In the visual stage, children focused on gathering data while demonstrating basic “STEAM” skills. In the contextual stage, they focused on ergotic gestures, planned how they would cover the area using strategies of symmetry and overlapping, and demonstrated engineering and mathematics skills. The symbolic stage was demonstrated by symbolic gestures, self-evaluation, self-feedback, and mathematical skills.
The findings indicate that numeracy and geometric intuition underlie kindergarten children’s and first graders’ perception of the term “cover maximal area” and that this can and should be developed by providing geometry-based optimization activities particularly in kindergarten both when teaching mathematics in general and for STEAM subjects in particular.
- Go to article: Metaphor Literacy: Varying Levels of Relational-Structure Consistency in Interpretations by Indonesian Native Speakers
Metaphor Literacy: Varying Levels of Relational-Structure Consistency in Interpretations by Indonesian Native Speakers
One major view as to the mechanism underlying metaphor interpretation is that it is based on relational-structure consistency (a.k.a. analogy) between target and vehicle. This entails a possibility of varying levels of stringency of analogical processing by individuals. This can be viewed as metaphor literacy. The study, involving 77 Indonesian college students, investigates the extent to which metaphor interpretations made by early-adult native speakers are analogically grounded. The study used eight metaphors selected through a familiarity-rating survey of 37 metaphoric expressions taken from printed media sources. The results showed that, for each metaphor, there was an average of 12.1 different suggestions (S.D. ranging from 4.2 to 9.7) and that 72.2% of the interpretations were categorized as not being strongly grounded on relational-structure consistency. The study suggests that the looseness of the interpretations can be accounted to either the subjects’ preference for not being stringent in observing analogical processing or their being unaccustomed to an analogical manner of metaphor interpretation.
- Go to article: A Novel Proposal to Use Thinking Maps to Embed Blooms’ Taxonomy Within Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
A Novel Proposal to Use Thinking Maps to Embed Blooms’ Taxonomy Within Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
In this article, a methodology for utilizing eight Thinking Maps that are linked to a cognitive taxonomy will be explored. Firstly, the various taxonomies focusing on cognitive processes will be elaborated upon, namely Bloom’s Taxonomy as well as Barret’s Taxonomy that is used in the education system. Following this, the article will explore the questioning strategy that links questions to either taxonomy and how this strategy is currently employed in classrooms worldwide. A section then elucidates the eight Thinking Maps and what types of thought processes are associated with each map. A methodology will be discussed that links the eight Thinking Maps to verbs that are all associated with the previously mentioned taxonomies. Finally, an adaptive systematic methodology will be elaborated upon, linking to the information processing theory.
How much people believe that they understand information, so-called metacomprehension, is important for education. This ability to discriminate between well-learned versus not well-learned information is important to allow the student to decide which areas need further understanding. Feedback can affect metacomprehension and is important for guiding student self-regulated learning. The effects of taking an assessment and finding out the score on self-rated understanding, interest, and knowledge were measured. Participants sampled via MTurk were randomly allocated to one of three groups using Qualtrics in-built randomizer, with the restriction of equal numbers in conditions. The three groups were asked metacomprehension questions: a) after reading a passage but before taking an assessment (Pre-Test group); b) after taking an assessment but before being told their score (Post-Test group); and c) after hearing their score (Post-Feedback group). Responses for understanding and interest substantially decreased between those asked these questions before receiving the feedback versus those asked after receiving the feedback. These self-ratings were also used to predict scores on a later assessment and were similar in their diagnostic value for all conditions.
- Go to article: A Modest Proposal: Towards a Theory and Practice of Teaching Using Vygotsky’s N + 1 Principle in Dialogic Learning
A Modest Proposal: Towards a Theory and Practice of Teaching Using Vygotsky’s N + 1 Principle in Dialogic Learning
This article addresses the problem of “education for all,” and offers a research proposal that replaces procedural learning by a learning practice whereby all are engaged. Although educational research since 1990 of dialogical learning (DL) and collaborative learning (CL) have shown that it is possible to promote the learning practices that they focus on, little evidence is available on long-term effects of school achievement. Teachers also face pressure from both the UK and USA governments having produced policy documents favouring procedural teaching. An exception is CASE, Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (1984 onwards), and a 2-year course for 12–14 year-olds. This functioned by collaborative learning placed in highly structured theory-based science lessons based on Piagetian models of difficulty. Students consistently performed higher in National exams in science, maths and English at 16 (Shayer, 1999b). It is argued that a better way of changing teaching practice would be to place it in teachers’ initial training. By assisting trainee science teachers, in designing their science curriculum lessons—assisted by DL and CL literature—to extract and use the same theory-base that had been used by CA staff for constructing CASE lessons, they would possess a valid theory and practice of teaching.
- Go to article: The Importance of Metacognitive Strategies in Reading Literacy—Results of the PISA Testing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Importance of Metacognitive Strategies in Reading Literacy—Results of the PISA Testing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a large-scale assessment of 15-year-old students’ achievements in three broad areas: Reading, science, and mathematics. PISA results are widely used in discussions on various educational aspects, such as educational policy, quality of education, and teaching methods. Although PISA started in 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) participated for the first time in 2018. The core subject for the 2018 circle of testing was reading. Thus, the goal of the present article was to examine the effects of metacognitive strategies on the reading achievement of students in BIH. The sample for this analysis was composed of 5,482 students (2,701 female and 2,781 male students). The results showed that metacognitive strategies had a significant effect on reading achievement. We conclude the article with some remarks on how teachers can employ metacognitive strategies in their everyday practice and thus increase their students’ reading achievement.
- Go to article: Test Difficulty in Second Language Setting: Measuring With Receiver Operating Characteristic
In order to assess the accuracy and validity of proficiency diagnostic tests in Second Language (L2), specifically regarding the linguistic (orthographic, semantic, syntactic, lexical) and cognitive (verbal reasoning, lexical decision) components for the immigrant population in Portugal, a study of cut-off points of 6 tests was conducted. This study was motivated by the unknown tests and the gap concerning the testing and rating of individuals in L2 settings, different from English as L2. The objective was to validate and inform about new tests (and how to establish rating scores and understand the proficiency level of students) in Second Language Testing (for European Portuguese) especially concerning different psychometrics for specific skills (e.g., phonemic blending). In this way, we contribute to identify new procedures for schools and professionals about testing of cognitive functions in immigrant populations. First, we examined 108 non-native students attending Portuguese schools, aged 7–17 years, speakers of mother tongues other than Portuguese and residing in Portugal for a period not exceeding eight years. Then, series of univariate analyses, non-parametric tests and the calculation of percentiles enabled the subsequent classification of the subjects’ proficiency levels: With or without proficiency. Several levels were identified. The sensitivity and specificity indexes were calculated using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis to define the cut-off points for each test. The score calculation took into account the chronological age, age of immigration and gender variables. The evidence from this study suggests that all tasks are suitable to assess immigrant students. However with the ROC analysis, this assessment differs regarding degrees of proficiency between groups given the characteristics of the tasks and of the subjects. The importance of doing tests with discriminatory power of the subjects’ performance to be able to intervene in the linguistic and cognitive areas with the greatest deficit is examined here.
The testing effect occurs when a person’s memory performance is enhanced by previous tests. The current studies examined the performance effects of a classroom testing procedure on high and low performing students and their transfer of learning.
We predicted testing in the classroom would lead to a testing effect and transfer of learning but did not make specific predictions about the effect of student aptitude due to previously mixed findings.
Students in a psychology course completed unit exams and a final cumulative exam. Students could re-answer questions that were the most frequent incorrectly answered on the exam (Frequent Incorrectly answered Questions, FIQ) from each unit exam during an in-class testing activity following that exam. On the final cumulative exam, students answered the FIQs and non-FIQs (Study 1) or FIQs in multiple transfer conditions (Study 2). Proportional performance change on each question type was the dependent variable.
Both high and low performing students’ performance on FIQs increased compared to non-FIQs (Study 1). Performance in the Near Transfer condition was significantly greater than the Same Questions and the Far Transfer condition (Study 2). The findings presented here add to the evidence that supports testing in the classroom because it both facilitates longer term retention of the learned material and transfer of learning.
- Go to article: The Effectiveness of Training Based on Cognitive-Emotional Mediation on Increasing Mothers’ Interactive Literacy and Improving Preschool Children’s Metacognition
The Effectiveness of Training Based on Cognitive-Emotional Mediation on Increasing Mothers’ Interactive Literacy and Improving Preschool Children’s Metacognition
This study was conducted with the aim to design a parenting training program based on cognitive-emotional mediation and evaluating the effectiveness of this program on increasing mothers’ literacy of interaction and children’s cognitive modifiability in the field of metacognition and theory of mind. The curriculum was designed with a combination of parenting implications of mediated learning experience theory, developmental, individual differences relationship-based approach, and metacognitive approach. Twenty-five pairs of mother and child participated in the study voluntarily. The children were in the preschool age range (4–6). Mothers learned how to use mediation in daily interactions during 12 sessions of group theoretical training and one session of individual practical training. At the end of the training program, the mothers’ literacy of interaction and the children’s metacognition and theory of mind were assessed. The results of repeated measures-analysis showed that mothers’ participation in the training program increased their literacy of interaction in four dimensions of communication, emotional, cognitive, and sending fundamental love messages. In addition, the implementation of training programs for mothers led to children’s cognitive modifiability in the areas of planning, working memory, metacognition, and theory of mind.
- Go to article: A Pilot Study on the Effectiveness of Kindergarten Games to Enhance Mathematical Skills
Adaptive serious mathematical games in kindergarten were used to investigate whether kindergarteners could grasp mathematics topics. A pretest–posttest-follow up design with two conditions. (Condition 1 educational kindergarten games on the computer, focusing on counting and comparison, Condition 2 educational kindergarten games on the computer, focusing on memory, counting and comparison) and one active control group (playing educational kindergarten games without mathematical content) was set up dealing with 45 preschoolers with a mean age of 68.78 months (SD = 4.46). Children were matched in kindergarten on their early mathematical and language skills as well as on their intelligence before the interventions took place. The study revealed that playing mathematical games in kindergarten had the potential to enhance the early mathematical skills. Children with initial weak mathematical skills in kindergarten caught up with their average performing peers, pointing to the importance of serious numerical games as “opportunities” in kindergarten. Both boys and girls benefitted, with a sustained effect in grade 1, revealing promising potential effects of offering opportunities to focus on mathematics even in very young children.
- Go to article: Examining Effectiveness of Rapid Automatized Naming and Reading Skills in Identifying Gifted Students
Examining Effectiveness of Rapid Automatized Naming and Reading Skills in Identifying Gifted Students
The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and reading skills in distinguishing gifted students from their non-gifted peers. A total of 260 third grade students participated in the study. Of these students, 144 were gifted, while the others were not. As the data collection tools, personal information form, reading text, and the RAN test were used. The RAN test scores (time for naming shapes, colors, numbers, and letters), reading speed, and rate of accuracy in reading were the main variables of the research. In the research, correlational research was used as the method, logistic regression and MANOVA were used for the data analysis. The results of the study showed that all predictive variables (reading rate, reading accuracy, time for naming shapes and time for naming numbers) are significant predictors of giftedness, except for variables related to time for naming letters and colors, and that there was a statistically significant difference between gifted and non-gifted students in terms of the RAN scores regarding all sub-tests and reading variables. According to the research findings, it can be suggested that evidence on time for naming numbers and shapes, reading rate, and accuracy skills can be used as additional supporting components in distinguising gifted students from their non-gifted peers.
- Go to article: Promotion of the Control of Variables Strategy Through Structured-Inquiry and Implicit Guidance Among 6- to 7-Year-Olds
Promotion of the Control of Variables Strategy Through Structured-Inquiry and Implicit Guidance Among 6- to 7-Year-Olds
Planning and conducting experiments require the application of the control of variables strategy (CVS). Research indicates that older children can learn the CVS by engaging in guided-inquiry activities. It has not been studied yet whether this is also the case for children as young as 6- to 7-years. 145 children aged 6–7 years participated in a study with a pre-, post-, follow-up test design comprising two experimental groups (EG 1, EG 2) and a control group (CG). EG 1 and EG 2 received a structured-inquiry lesson, thus, carrying out six predetermined experiments with an adult's implicit guidance. While the lesson in EG 1 was in the same physics domain as the test's physics domain, in EG 2 the lesson's physics domain differed from the test's domain. The CG did not experiment. We assessed children's CVS ability with a multiple-choice test. Results suggested that some children in the EGs learned the CVS, whereas in the CG, no learning effects occurred. However, most children in the EGs did not gain in the CVS ability, indicating that the small dose of six experiments in one physics domain was insufficient for learning the CVS.
- Go to article: Revisiting the Relationship Between Number-Line Estimation and Basic Addition and Subtraction in Elementary School Children and Adults
Revisiting the Relationship Between Number-Line Estimation and Basic Addition and Subtraction in Elementary School Children and Adults
This study aims to examine the differences in numerosity estimation on a right-to-left number line between second- to fourth-grade students and undergraduate students, together with whether number-line estimation is related to basic arithmetic tasks (addition and subtraction). Hence, 53 Arabic-speaking children and 63 Arabic-speaking adults performed a paper-based number-line estimation task and also an arithmetic task. Number-line estimation was represented either by the percentage of absolute errors in positing the quantities on the line, by the accuracy, or by the r score for linearity of representation. The results show that, although children's addition (but not subtraction) performance resembles that of adults, the correlations vary between number line and arithmetic scores. Addition scores are positively correlated with error percentages in the children's number-line tasks, while subtraction is negatively correlated with adults' error percentages. These differences are assumed to be attributed to various uses of recall and procedural strategies.
- Go to article: Transcoding Errors of Two-Digit Numbers From Arabic Digits Into Verbal Numbers and From Verbal Numbers Into Arabic Digits by Arab First Graders
Transcoding Errors of Two-Digit Numbers From Arabic Digits Into Verbal Numbers and From Verbal Numbers Into Arabic Digits by Arab First Graders
The study focuses on the effect of the lexical-syntactic structure on the patterns of errors by Arab first graders in tasks involving reading two-digit number and writing two-digit numbers to dictation. Children made few change or omission errors, indicating that they had little problem with the lexical aspects of the counting system. However, they made frequent substitution errors (e.g., 23 for 32), especially in the number reading task, and especially for numbers that depended strongly on the numerical syntactic structure. Such errors were less common for decade numbers and for the 11–19 number range than for other two-digit numbers. The results suggest particular difficulty with the syntactic rather than lexical aspects of the counting system. The syntactic aspects may be particularly difficult for Arabic-speaking children, due to the inversion feature of the Arabic counting system.
- Go to article: The Effects of a SFON-Based Early Numeracy Program on Multilingual Children's Early Numeracy and Oral Language Skills
The Effects of a SFON-Based Early Numeracy Program on Multilingual Children's Early Numeracy and Oral Language Skills
In this quasi-experimental study we examined how the Count How Many (CHM) intervention program can support multilingual children's early numeracy and oral language skills. The program is aimed at promoting spontaneous focusing on numerosity (SFON) and early numeracy skills in 3- to 5-year-old children who attend day care. We examined the effects of the CHM intervention with existing, but unanalyzed data, of16 multilingual children who participated in the intervention, which consists of 6 weeks of intensive training followed by a 5-month rehearsal phase. We matched two monolingual participants with each multilingual participant by age, SFON, and cardinality-related skills for each multilingual child. One of the matched children participated in the CHM intervention, while the other took part in an early literacy program, Let's Read and Talk. Children's early numeracy and oral language skills were measured at pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest. Multilingual children's SFON tendency, cardinality skills, number sequence production abilities, and story comprehension skills developed at a similar rate as monolingual participants during the follow-up period. The results suggest that it is possible to enhance SFON tendency and cardinality-related skills in multilingual children before school age. Furthermore, the time spent supporting early numeracy skills does not take away from language learning. However, more research is needed in larger populations to determine the applicability to broader segments of national and global societies.
- Go to article: Long-Range Impact of a Scale-up Model on Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Persistence, Sustainability, and Diffusion
Long-Range Impact of a Scale-up Model on Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Persistence, Sustainability, and Diffusion
Scaling up educational interventions in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field is critical but under-researched. We review and draw implications from a series of studies investigating the long-range impact of an implementation of an early mathematics scale-up model based on learning trajectories. Lasting effectiveness includes persistence, sustainability, and diffusion. We conclude that persistence of the effects on individual children's trajectories of learning is difficult to achieve, and support for children must be maintained through elementary school. More positive and perhaps more important, implementation of the scale-up model showed impressive sustainability with teachers as it increased their use of intervention components and their fidelity to high-quality instruction. Also promising has been indications of diffusion.
- Go to article: Introduction to the Special Issue on Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Kindergarten
The objective of this study was to examine in what ways and to what extent preschoolers (5–6 years of age) manifest early Engineering Habits of Mind (EHoM) while engaging in an open-ended problem-solving construction task. The study comprised 228 children (120 boys and 108 girls). The study implemented a quantitative approach. The main research tool was an open-ended LEGO problem-solving play-like construction task (bridge building). All participants and their problem-solving processes were video-recorded. Micro-analysis of videos was conducted using a detailed coding scheme. The results of this study revealed evidence of all six EHoM during participants' execution of the open-ended Bridge Task. Most EHoM were performed by participants to a medium-low extent, based on the coding scheme. Significant positive correlations were found among five EHoM measures: systems thinking, problem-finding, creative problem-solving, visualizing, and improving. The children's scores on the adapting measure did not correlate with any of the other EHoM measures. Significant correlations were found between four of the EHoM and the three measures of the quality of the construction product (length, height, stability) and the time-on-task. To conclude, young children demonstrate nascent EHoM with great enthusiasm. They invent, design, construct, and evaluate like young engineers.
- Go to article: Developing Young Children's Mathematics Knowledge and Reasoning Through Mathematics E-Book Activities Supported by Metacognitive Scaffolding
Developing Young Children's Mathematics Knowledge and Reasoning Through Mathematics E-Book Activities Supported by Metacognitive Scaffolding
The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of an intervention in which mathematics e-book (EB) activities were supported by metacognitive scaffolding on kindergarten children's mathematics knowledge and mathematics reasoning. Participants were 60 Israeli children who studied in three intact kindergarten classrooms in the Arab sector (age 5–6 years old). The kindergarten students were randomly assigned to three research groups, 20 children in each group, as follows: (a) using a mathematics EB; (b) using the same EB supported with metacognitive scaffolding (EBM); and (c) a control group who studied with no EB and no metacognitive scaffolding. Results indicated that the EBM group significantly outperformed the EB and control group on both mathematics reasoning and mathematics knowledge; the EB group significantly outperformed the control group on mathematics reasoning, but the differences between the EB and control groups on mathematics knowledge were not significant. Educational implications of the study are discussed.
- Go to article: Number Sense Makes All the Difference: Calculation Using Number Sense by Pupils With and Without Learning Difficulties in Math
Number Sense Makes All the Difference: Calculation Using Number Sense by Pupils With and Without Learning Difficulties in Math
The research examined the calculation methods used by pupils in Grades 3–6 when they were presented with problems that could be worked out efficiently and flexibly by applying number sense. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of 179 pupils between the ages 7 years and 10 months to 12 years and 10 months. in mainstream education in Israel, who attended schools belonging to different sectors and situated in different areas of the country with varied socioeconomic profiles. The test included addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems that pupils were asked to solve mentally, in writing and by identifying correctly and incorrectly solved problem. Some of the problems presented pupils with opportunities to apply number sense. As expected, the research findings showed significant differences in calculation accuracy between pupils with and without learning difficulties, especially in multiplication and division tasks. Still, the performance of pupils with difficulties in the accuracy variable was above average, and there was high variance within this group. We found significant differences between pupils with and without difficulties in the calculation-speed variable in all tasks and in all calculation modalities. One of the implications is that pupils, and especially those with difficulties, should be afforded enough time to work out problems, and should be presented with tasks that would enable them to use number sense in order to retrieve prior knowledge and apply it.
- Go to article: Miswriting (Especially Mirror Writing) of the Digits: An Ecological Assessment Using ELFE Data
The French National Cohort of Children Study (Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l'Enfance—ELFE) tested the literacy and numeracy skills of 4- to 5-year-old typically developing children in the second year of école maternelle. Tasks were administered by more than 4,000 teachers at schools across France. One of the study's numeracy tasks required participants to write the number of ducks (up to 5) they had counted. Analyzing the digits written by 14,904 children showed that miswritings were much more common for the digit 3 than for the digit 4. This result is consistent with the right-orienting rule, which young children in Western cultures apply when they do not know a digit's orientation, and which leads them to write, for example, ε instead of 3.The nature and frequency of miswritten digits did not differ significantly between the 466 children presumed to have written with their left hand and the 3,531 children presumed to have written with their right hand. However, a logistic mixed-effects regression showed that two other factors—age of entry to école maternelle and very early smartphone use—had a (modest) influence on the percentage of digits that were miswritten.
Cognitive load theory (CLT) uses working memory resources depletion to explain the superiority of spaced learning, predicting that working memory resources will be less taxed if there are resting/spacing periods inserted between learning tasks, in comparison to learning from the same tasks in a single session. This article uses the working memory resources depletion effect, as a factor, to investigate the hypothesis that delayed testing would show superior results to immediate testing on math tasks for primary students in Singapore, as participants' working memory resources might be restored because of the resting between the immediate and delayed tests. Results confirmed higher performance on the delayed test than on the immediate test, as well as more working memory resources available for the delayed test.
- Go to article: Development and Validation of a New Measure of Mental Rotation for Preadolescent and Adolescent Groups
Development and Validation of a New Measure of Mental Rotation for Preadolescent and Adolescent Groups
Measurement of mental rotation presents a serious challenge to cognitive researchers owing to the lack of a single comprehensive measure that can be applied across the developing age groups. Objective of the present study was to develop and validate a new measure of mental rotation for preadolescent and adolescent age groups. Items were conceptualized and constructed based on existing theories. Study I checked the suitability of these items among preadolescent and adolescent age groups. After revisions, Study II was done to evaluate the item properties using item response theory. Subsequently done Confirmatory Factor Analysis provided evidence for the construct validity of the new measure. Finally, Study III was done to develop the age wise and gender wise norms for preadolescent and adolescent age groups. The newly developed measure was found to have sufficient reliability and validity and hence can be widely applied for measuring mental rotation of preadolescents and adolescents.
- Go to article: Intensive Phonological Training With Articulation—An Intervention Study to Boost Pupils' Word Decoding in Grade 1
Intensive Phonological Training With Articulation—An Intervention Study to Boost Pupils' Word Decoding in Grade 1
The aim of this study is to examine how a structured intensive training period with a phonological multisensory reading training method, at the end of Grade 1, can develop pupils' ability to connect phonemes with the corresponding graphemes as well as their ability to decode. A total of 38 pupils in Grade 1 from four elementary schools participated in this randomized controlled trial (RCT) study. Of the 38 pupils 19 were randomly assigned to be part of the intervention group, the other 19 were included in the control group. The intervention involved 30 minutes of intensive training on a total of 20 sessions. The control group participated in regular reading lessons in the classroom. The study included pre- and posttesting of phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and decoding. The result shows that intensive phonological awareness training with articulation, during 20 sessions spread over 4–5 weeks, stimulates pupils' decoding ability in a positive direction.
- Go to article: Anna's Story: How a Ukrainian Orphan's Acquisition of English as a Second Language Transformed Her Life
Anna's Story: How a Ukrainian Orphan's Acquisition of English as a Second Language Transformed Her Life
This article presents a case study of an adult Ukrainian orphan, Anna, who acquired English as a second and accessed U.S. higher education despite the fact that adopted children or aged out orphans face a unique constellation of educational and psychological challenges in language learning. This article presents Anna's story in her own voice and advocates for the specialized needs of the underserved, often voiceless thousands of older orphans in war-stricken Ukraine. This article suggests that access to institutional agents and social capital played a key role in Anna's success. Of interest to researchers, the article postulates common, current language learning theory perhaps may not fully explain the distinct processes of language acquisition by institutionalized, language-delayed children. The article also offers tangible lessons for educators of victims of trauma, and would thus be of interest to practitioners as well as researchers in the areas of language acquisition and educational psychology.
- Go to article: Examining the Influence of Interactions Between Early Reading Skills and Executive Functioning on Second Grade Reading Achievement
Examining the Influence of Interactions Between Early Reading Skills and Executive Functioning on Second Grade Reading Achievement
Questions still exist about the interplay between foundational literacy components and budding cognitive structures that are thought to influence advanced reading abilities. Understanding interactions between executive functions (EFs) and specific early reading skills could contribute to our understanding of later reading achievement. The present study used multilevel modeling to examine whether EFs (i.e., working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition) moderate the relation between various early reading skills in kindergarten and second grade reading achievement in a sample of 18,174 participants from the ECLS: K-2011 database. Our findings suggested that early teacher-rated reading skills are related to second grade reading abilities. Both working memory and inhibition were important moderators for reading independently in kindergarten and are associated with later reading achievement in second grade. Research implications and the importance of understanding the intersection of cognitive processes and learning in early childhood are discussed.
- Go to article: Feasibility of a Tablet-Based Program for Training Everyday Planning in Adolescents With Intellectual Disabilities
Feasibility of a Tablet-Based Program for Training Everyday Planning in Adolescents With Intellectual Disabilities
Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) show difficulties with everyday planning. A tablet-based training program for everyday planning may be a suitable intervention, but its feasibility must be evaluated. This study evaluated how behavior changes during training and if individuals with ID can use technology by themselves.
Thirty-three adolescents with ID and 30 younger children with a typical development were recruited. The participants were instructed to train in school for a total of 300 minutes. After the intervention, the participants were matched on mental age (MA).
Only 16% of the participants trained for all 300 minutes. Participants in the MA group trained for a longer time than the ID group. Both groups made fewer errors per task at the end compared to the beginning. Individuals with ID started off making less attempts per task and increased their activity during the training. This pattern was not seen in the comparison group.
Both groups used the program independently, without adult supervision. However, a large group of participants in the ID group had a low usage time. Thus, the program might not have been feasible for that subgroup. The ID group increased their activity during the training which might mirror a strategy development of how to use the program. The change in behavior in activity on task attempts can be interpreted such that individuals with ID need a longer time to get familiarized with the technology. Tablet-based training programs are feasible for individuals with ID, but it is necessary to follow up on usage time.
- Go to article: Comparison of Cognitive Performance Between Two Generations of Immigrant School-Aged Children: Child Development Change Over Time
Comparison of Cognitive Performance Between Two Generations of Immigrant School-Aged Children: Child Development Change Over Time
The objective of this research is to comparatively analyze the performance of two generations of children (as first generation of immigrants) attending primary and secondary education in different geographical areas, evaluated in different decades but with equivalent age brackets. Two samples of 169 immigrant school populations in Portugal, with fair immigration criteria, were evaluated for the same verbal reasoning and auditory discrimination tasks in different periods (cohort 1—2001–2009 and cohort 2—2013–2017). The aim is to verify if age remains a differentiating variable of the performance and acuity, as maintained by the critical period hypothesis. That performance referring to two samples evaluated in second language decoding tasks, in different periods. Additionally, to evaluate the emergence of other factors that explain proficiency, cognitive and linguistic discrimination behaviors of two generations of immigrant students in Portugal. The results contribute to a new direction in the analysis and intervention for school groups that are highly diverse in terms of mother tongue and nationalities. The data point to a greater divergence of performance and difficulties not according only to the disparity of ages, but considering the nationality (country of origin and respective educational system). It is also clear, despite just the difference of a decade, how subjects are changing their immigration routes and their cognitive and social development.
The Concept Formation subtest of the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities represents a dynamic test due to continual provision of feedback from examiner to examinee. Yet, the original scoring protocol for the test largely ignores this dynamic structure. The current analysis applies a dynamic adaptation of an explanatory item response theory model to evaluate the impact of feedback on item difficulty. Additionally, several item features (rule type, number of target shapes) are considered in the item difficulty model. Results demonstrated that all forms of feedback significantly reduced item difficulty, with the exception of corrective feedback that could not be directly applied to the next item in the series. More complex and compound rule types also significantly predicted item difficulty, as did increasing the number of shapes, thereby supporting the response process aspect of validity. Implications for continued use of the Concept Formation subtest for educational programming decisions are discussed.
- Go to article: Toward Determinants and Effects of Long-Term Mindfulness Training in Pre-Adolescence: A Cross-Sectional Study Using Event-Related Potentials
Toward Determinants and Effects of Long-Term Mindfulness Training in Pre-Adolescence: A Cross-Sectional Study Using Event-Related Potentials
The present study presents the first attempt at investigating long-term mindfulness training in pre-adolescence, adopting an integrative neurodevelopmental approach. Pupils with an established mindfulness practice (n = 33) were compared with mindfulness-inexperienced pupils (n = 20) on dispositional mindfulness, executive functioning (EF), emotion regulation, and well-being. We also investigated whether increased well-being in mindfulness-experienced pre-adolescents would be mediated by EF and emotion regulation. Moderating influences of the amount and enjoyment of mindfulness training were considered as well. Self-report questionnaires measured dispositional mindfulness and well-being. Parents assessed their child's emotion-regulation using the Emotion Regulation Checklist (ERC). Performance in a Continuous Performance Task and simultaneously recorded event-related potentials (ERPs)—Cue-P3, CNV, Nogo-N2, Nogo-P3—indexed EF. Interestingly, the two groups of pupils did not differ in their dispositional mindfulness. ERP findings revealed that the mindfulness-experienced group demonstrated superior EF in terms of response inhibition, but inferior EF in terms of cue processing. Although the ERC negativity/lability subscale revealed an advantage for the mindfulness-experienced group, no group differences were observed for the ERC emotion regulation subscale or well-being. Mediation analysis results did not support the assumption that mindfulness training leads to increased well-being via improvements in EF and emotion regulation. While outcomes were not moderated by amount of mindfulness practice, enjoying mindfulness was negatively associated with indicators of well-being and EF.
Effective communication requires an understanding of the interlocutor's perspective. Being able to infer someone else's knowledge about a situation is a critical skill in any communication and social interaction. These abilities are part of Theory of Mind (ToM) skills and are known to be impaired in Down syndrome (DS). It therefore makes sense to investigate ToM development in this population. In our pilot study, we explore the possibility of improving ToM abilities in participants with DS and typically developing (TD) children matched for nonverbal mental age. Participants were assessed with the French adaptation of the “ToM Inventory” before and after a 10-week training session. Results show that trained groups perform significantly better on ToM tasks than untrained groups, whose performances remain stable between pre- and post-test. These results are encouraging as they suggest that, with a specific training, children with DS can improve their ToM skills.
- Go to article: Child Development Mediated by Trauma: The Dark Side of International Adoption, by Boris Gindis
- Go to article: Implementation of Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program in a Primary School in New Zealand
The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) program was implemented in a primary school in New Zealand for 10 years old students with average educational ability. Targeted goals were to examine if the FIE program helped students to be less impulsive, plan well, and better in solving problems. The program started with 17 students for the first two school terms and from this group 8 students continued with two more school terms (one year). Results of this field study suggest that the 8 students who continued the FIE program made good gains in the targeted goals. This is only an exploratory project with a small sample of students and not a formal research study.
A conventional view in education is the belief that expending more effort in mathematics will lead directly to a higher academic achievement. Whilst no one would argue that effort is unnecessary, the link between effort and academic achievement needs to be examined further. In particular, there may be a possibility of mediator variables in this relationship. Thus, the aim of this study is to analyze possible mediation effects of non-cognitive factors, specifically enjoyment, and self-confidence, in the relation between effort and academic achievement. The sample comprised of 227 tertiary level students (92 males 135 females) enrolled in a mathematics module at a tertiary institute. Self-reported measures of effort, enjoyment, and self-confidence were obtained together with their end of semester math examination results. Results indicated that enjoyment and self-confidence sequentially mediate the relationship between effort and academic achievement. Implications to educational practice are discussed.
- Go to article: Dynamic Testing of Children's Solving of Analogies: Differences in Potential for Learning of Gifted and Average-Ability Children
Dynamic Testing of Children's Solving of Analogies: Differences in Potential for Learning of Gifted and Average-Ability Children
This study investigated potential differences in the processes of solving analogies between gifted and average-ability children (aged 9–10 years old) in a dynamic testing setting. Utilizing a pre-test-training-post-test control group design, participants were split in four subgroups: gifted dynamic testing (n = 24), gifted control (n = 26), average-ability dynamic testing (n = 48), and average-ability control (n = 52). Irrespective of ability group, dynamic testing resulted in a larger number of accurately applied transformations, changes in the proportion of preparation time utilized, and more advanced usage of solution categories. Differences were found between and within the groups of gifted and average-ability children in relation to the different process variables examined.
The main objectives of this study were to construct a conceptual model of parent–child math discourse strategies (MDS) and explore (a) the differences between mother's and father's MDS with their children, (b) the relations between parents' MDS and children's responses, and (c) the relations between parent–child MDS and children's math performance. A sample of 56 father–child and mother–child dyads were videotaped while interacting in math-related problems followed by arithmetic problems test administered to children. The interactions were rated by the Observation of Mathematical Discourse Scale developed for the current study. The findings indicate that fathers showed higher Mathematical Extension than mothers. Mathematical Language and Regulation strategies correlated with children's responsiveness. Mathematical Extension was significantly higher for father–boy than for father–girl and higher for mother–boy than for mother–girl. Children's math ability was positively correlated only with fathers' Regulation. The findings were explained in relation to theory and previous findings.
Individuals with low functioning autism spectrum disorders (LFASD) who demonstrate significant cognitive and communication needs benefit from using technology for learning graphic symbols for enhancing participation. This study investigated if an iPad application would increase identification of graphic symbols by children and adults with LFASD. Adults and children with LFASD used an application to learn 15 graphic symbols. Participants were able to focus for the duration of the activity and use the educational software for learning graphic symbols. By the end to the study, 50% of the participants in both groups recognized the meaning of more symbols after intervention. iPad use enabled control of the stimulus by reducing communication barriers, which increased participants' ability to learn symbols. Even participants with little ability to focus were able to complete the whole activity. Technology enabled learning of most of the symbols though the specially created application.
- Go to article: Descriptive Observations of Tool Functionality and Application for Assessing Digital Reading Program Quality
Descriptive Observations of Tool Functionality and Application for Assessing Digital Reading Program Quality
Access to books for students' independent reading practice is undergoing a profound shift from print to digital books in cloud-based digital reading programs. Tools for assessing the qualities of these programs as curriculum products are limited. This study describes a set of analytical tools for reviewing digital reading program software and investigates the learning management system (LMS) qualities of six commercial digital reading programs using these tools. Results examine tool functionality qualitatively and describe the product qualities of programs at platform, dashboard, digital book, and screen page levels. Descriptive observations highlight the need for cross-disciplinary and collaborative research work to improve analytical tool design. Overall product quality of the programs was in the average range.
- Go to article: Description of Boys and Girls' Nonverbal and Verbal Engagement With Electronic and Paper Books
Girls often outperform boys on measures of literacy achievement. This gender gap in literacy performance has been observed to be persistent over developmental time, consistent across multiple domains of literacy, and widely spread geographically. It is sometimes suggested that boys' achievement in the literacy domain might be improved by the availability of reading materials that are designed to engage boys' attention, such as electronic books with interactive features. We addressed the question of boys' versus girls' engagement with reading materials by observing 20 small groups of boys or girls interacting with an electronic book and then a paper book. The children's engagement with the book in each case was coded using Noldus software. Engagement was operationalized in terms of eye gaze (looking at book or reading partner vs. elsewhere), handling (i.e., touching or pointing at book or partner with engaging as opposed to prohibitive actions), and verbal behaviors (i.e., reading, paraphrasing, or talking about the book when compared to not talking or off-task talk). Total time and percent time spent engaged with each book was examined by gender. The results revealed greater nonverbal engagement with the ebook compared to the paper book but greater verbal engagement with the paper book compared to the ebook. No differences in engagement by gender were observed however.
- Go to article: Promoting Low-Income Preschoolers' Vocabulary Learning From Educational Media: Does Repetition Support Memory for Learned Word Knowledge?
Promoting Low-Income Preschoolers' Vocabulary Learning From Educational Media: Does Repetition Support Memory for Learned Word Knowledge?
Children from diverse backgrounds are able to learn new words from educational media. However, learning is often partial and fragile, leaving much room for uncovering strategies that can increase the efficacy of educational media in supporting children's vocabulary knowledge. The present study investigated one such strategy—repeated viewing of educational media—in a sample of low-income preschoolers. One hundred thirty one preschoolers were randomly assigned to view an educational media clip teaching three vocabulary words in one of three conditions: (a) once, (b) three times in immediate succession (massed repetition), or (c) three times with views spaced 1 hour apart (spaced repetition). Children completed a target vocabulary assessment both immediately after the final view and 1 week later. Results indicate that certain types of word knowledge were supported by repetition, particularly spaced repetition. Children also effectively retained the vocabulary knowledge they acquired from educational media over a 1-week period in all conditions. This suggests that educational media is a strong platform for teaching low-income preschoolers new words, and that spaced repetition might further support low-income preschoolers' vocabulary learning.
- Go to article: Comparison of Imitation From Screens Between Typically Developing Preschoolers and Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Comparison of Imitation From Screens Between Typically Developing Preschoolers and Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Typically developing (TD) children exhibit a transfer deficit imitating significantly less from screen demonstrations compared to a live demonstrations. Although many interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include video materials, little research exists comparing the effectiveness of video demonstration over live instruction. The current study compared imitation learning from live and screen-based demonstrations of how to make a puzzle by 3- to 4.5-year-old TD children (n = 68) and children with ASD (n = 17). Children were tested on either on a three-dimensional (3D) magnet board (MB) with magnetic puzzle pieces or a 2D touch screen (TS) with virtual puzzle pieces. Neither TD nor ASD children exhibited a transfer deficit suggesting that for this task, the transfer deficit ends around 3 years of age. Children with ASD were less efficient overall than TD children on the task and performed worse than their TD counterparts when they were tested with the 3D MB puzzle. These findings suggest that children with ASD have greater difficulty acting on 3D objects than 2D TSs. Future studies should investigate if TSs can be used to teach children with ASD other tasks (184 words).
- Go to article: See, Hear, and Touch the Screen: New Technologies and Learning by Students With Diverse Academic Needs
- Go to article: Embodiment in Virtual Environments: The Role of Working Memory in Experiencing Presence as Revealed via Eye Tracking
Embodiment in Virtual Environments: The Role of Working Memory in Experiencing Presence as Revealed via Eye Tracking
Working memory capacity (WMC) is critical in maintaining goal-directed behavior and in inhibiting task irrelevant or conflicting thoughts. Using eye tracking data, the current study developed measures to investigate users' experiences of presence. We investigated the cognitive processing mechanisms of feelings of presence by examining how users of varying WMC coordinate their attention between their actions in using external controllers for computer mediated environments, and the actions produced by their avatars in virtual environments. To rule out the possibility of participants acting out of social pressure, a well-practiced everyday task with minimal social component was used. Participants performed vegetable cutting tasks in a desktop virtual environment by controlling an avatar's arm, with no pressure (Experiment 1) versus while pressured to improve the evenness of their cuts (Experiment 2). The results showed that high WMC participants experienced higher degrees of presence, as indicated by the attention allocated to the avatar's hand and to task planning. Under performance pressure, low WMC participants became more immersed in the tasks. The mechanisms of adaptive and personalized presence in virtual world simulation training environments are discussed in light of our findings on the effects of pressure and individual differences of WMC in experiencing presence.
- Go to article: Teachers' Attitudes, Motivation, and Use of iPads to Support Children With Learning Disabilities Versus Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Teachers' Attitudes, Motivation, and Use of iPads to Support Children With Learning Disabilities Versus Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
The aim of the current study is to compare teachers' attitudes, motivation, and use of iPads to support teaching children with learning disabilities (LD) versus children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Three hundred and nine teachers (294 females and 15 males) between the ages of 25 to 62 (M = 42.66) participated in the study. The teachers were divided into two groups according to their students' disability type: 221 teachers of students with LD and 88 teachers of students with ASD. The teachers were evaluated by six questionnaires: demographic characteristics, general technology use, experience with iPads, digital competencies, attitudes toward iPads, and teacher's preparedness for iPad use. Results show that teachers in both groups find that the iPad is a useful tool to promote teaching and learning. However, the findings reveal that teachers of children with ASD use iPads more frequently and for a longer duration in the classroom. Furthermore, teachers of students with ASD seek more training.
- Go to article: The Role of Calibration of Comprehension in Adolescence: From Theory to Online Training
The current study examined the effects of a computerized training program on reading comprehension, confidence ratings, and calibration of comprehension in adolescents with poor and good reading comprehension. Ninety 10th graders participated in the study and completed three training sessions. In each session, participants read two expository texts and answered multiple-choice questions. For each answer they gave, participants also rated their confidence. Participants were assigned to one of three online training conditions that differed in the type of immediate feedback provided after each question: (a) Feedback on performance; (b) Feedback on performance and on calibration; (c) Feedback on performance with scaffolding (a cue for correcting wrong answers). Results demonstrated that scaffolding feedback was the most effective training condition, leading to improved comprehension performance and calibration, especially for poor comprehenders. These findings highlight the necessity of developing theoretical and practice models of online feedback interventions for reading comprehension and self-evaluation abilities.
- Go to article: The Use of Advertisements as Learning Materials to Enhance Critical Thinking Ability of Elementary Students
The Use of Advertisements as Learning Materials to Enhance Critical Thinking Ability of Elementary Students
This study devised an approach utilizing advertisements for cognitive education, particularly training to foster critical thinking ability of elementary students and conducted a field experiment to verify its educational effect. Fourteen sessions of the critical thinking education were performed over one semester geared toward elementary students in the fifth and sixth grades. Results indicated that students who received critical thinking education using advertisements made statistically significant improvements in both critical thinking skills and critical thinking dispositions, compared to students who did not receive this education. These results demonstrate that education using advertisements as learning materials can help elementary students to improve their critical thinking ability. We discussed several implications of our results for educational practice as well as directions for follow-up studies.
Process-oriented dynamic testing aims to investigate the processes children use to solve cognitive tasks, and evaluate changes in these processes as a result of training. For the current study, a dynamic complex figure task was constructed, using the graduated prompts approach, to investigate the processes involved in solving a complex figure task and changes in these processes as a consequence of training. A new process-oriented measure was developed, which used computer-automated scoring to evaluate children's organization in drawing the figure. Participants were 106 regular primary school children (M = 7.8 years, standard deviation [SD] = 0.42 years). The graduated prompts training led to significantly more progression in complex figure drawing accuracy from pre-test to post-test, compared to unguided control. The level of organization of the figure also became more advanced as a result of training, as reflected by the highest category of organization being attained by trained children only. However, the training did not lead to transfer from the trained domain to an inductive reasoning task.
- Go to article: Interleaving Benefits the Learning of Complex Perceptual Categories: Evidence Against the Discriminative-Contrast Hypothesis
Interleaving Benefits the Learning of Complex Perceptual Categories: Evidence Against the Discriminative-Contrast Hypothesis
Interleaving examples of to-be-learned categories, rather than blocking examples by category, frequently enhances category induction. The presently dominant theory is that interleaving promotes discriminative-contrast, and suggests that category similarity structure modulates this interleaving benefit: that blocking should benefit learning when within-category similarity is low and that interleaving should benefit learning when between-category similarity is low. We test whether predictions of this hypothesis hold when generalized to real, complex categories artists' painting styles. Specifically, we test two predictions: (a) that within- and between-category structure should modulate the interleaving benefit (Exp 1a and 1b) and (b) that deliberately juxtaposing similar examples by different artists to highlight their key differences should improve learning (Exp 2a and 2b). We did not, however, find evidence that the discriminative-contrast hypothesis explains the interleaving benefit for complex, perceptual categories.
- Go to article: The Relationships Between Personality Traits, Subjective Well-Being, and Academic Achievements Among Physical Education Teacher Education Students
The Relationships Between Personality Traits, Subjective Well-Being, and Academic Achievements Among Physical Education Teacher Education Students
The aim of this study was to portray a model that describes the relationships between personality traits, life satisfaction, positive and negative affects, stress, and academic achievements among physical education teacher education students. Participants were 173 first-year students. Four questionnaires were used to collect data: The Big Five Personality Inventory; the five-item Satisfaction with Life Scale; the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; and the Perceived Stress Scale. In addition, the students' average grades were calculated. A Structural Equation Modeling for analyzing the structural model was performed. According to the model, 47% of the variance in subjective well-being is explained by personality traits, and 23% of the variance in academic achievement is explained by subjective well-being and the direct and indirect effects from the personality traits. Our study provides an understanding of the predictive power of personality traits and subjective well-being on academic achievements of physical education student teachers.
The current criterion for acceptance to universities in Israel is based on psychometric testing that presents a strong barrier for acceptance of students of Ethiopian origin (SEO) to the universities. Based on the sociocultural theories of Vygotsky and Feuerstein, we suggest an intervention aimed at integrating SEO, considered to be “culturally different,” in universities. The intervention includes a novel screening process (based on dynamic assessment [DA] and an interview), academic oriented metacognitive course, and supportive counseling. A group of SEO (n = 665) with low psychometric scores, applied for assistance in admission to university, in seven cohorts (2010-2016). A group of 174 (26%) candidates were selected for the project and enrolled for studies in university; 49.4% enrolled in prestigious departments (e.g., medicine). The findings showed that despite the significant lower psychometric scores of the SEO as compared with the national average, only 4.6% have withdrawn at the end of first year as compared with 10.8% of the national Jewish sample and 12.4% among SEO population. A higher percentage of SEO in the current sample enrolled in high prestige departments than SEO in the population. No significant differences were found between dropped-out and continuing students in the psychometric test. Prediction of three-years' grade point average (GPA) by psychometric scores were not significant (R2 = .03, p > .05) as compared to the prediction in SEO population (R2 = .10, p < .001). The findings support Vygotsky's and Feuerstein's approach that standardized tests of students with deprived cultural backgrounds do not reflect their learning potential and that the use short-term intervention may be an effective mechanism of preparing students for academic success.
- Go to article: Dynamic Assessment and Second Language Development: Realizing the “Undiscovered Country” in the Twenty-First Century
Dynamic Assessment and Second Language Development: Realizing the “Undiscovered Country” in the Twenty-First Century
Russian psychologist L. S. Vygotsky and Israeli psychologist and educator Reuven Feuerstein, although working in different times and cultural contexts, arrived at a commensurable and indeed complementary set of theoretical proposals that hold considerable potential for reenvisioning educational activity. One area, in particular, where their theories converge concerns the diagnosis of learner abilities and use of this information to inform targeted interventions to guide psychological development. Specifically, Vygotsky’s (1987) formulation of the Zone of Proximal Development as cooperative activity undertaken with learners to reveal and promote abilities that have not yet formed but are still emerging provides a conceptual framework that aligns with Feuerstein’s elaboration of procedures for identifying learner needs and abilities by engaging with them around specially designed tasks and materials, an approach he referred to as Mediated Learning Experience. Together, these proposals provide the basis for Dynamic Assessment (DA). DA has been widely pursued in the areas of special and cognitive education, where it has been shown to provide insights into the full range of learner abilities and has proven directly relevant to interventions to help all learners develop. This article traces the influence of Vygotsky’s and Feuerstein’s ideas on the field of second language (L2) education. While the field has a long tradition of drawing upon Vygotskian theory to interpret processes of L2 development in instructional contexts, only more recently have researchers begun to invoke it as a basis for organizing educational practices. This has coincided with efforts to understand the relevance of Feuerstein’s research to the domain of children and adult learners of languages beyond their first. Beginning with Poehner’s (2008) examination of DA with learners of L2 French, a sub-field within the area of L2 assessment has emerged that has included applications of DA principles in group formats and computerized procedures and with learners of a wide range of languages and in a variety of cultural contexts. With the continuing trend to elevate certain languages to a “global” status and the growing populations of displaced and immigrant learners, the need for educational approaches that look beyond manifest functioning in order to construct a future with learners has perhaps never been greater.
This study applied the dynamic assessment (DA) of narratives in a bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking early elementary population. We examined transfer and change in narrative performance within and across languages after mediated learning experience (MLE) in Spanish or English. Sixty-eight bilingual children were randomized to two groups: Spanish (n = 24) or English mediation (n = 25), while a control group (n = 19) participated in regular academic activities. The MLE Spanish and English groups participated in mediated learning focusing on storytelling ability, and children’s modifiability was rated. Pre- to posttest narrative macro- and microstructure change was measured for all children. Both MLE groups demonstrated significant gains in macrostructure compared to the no-treatment control group. Children’s stories were stronger in Spanish overall. Children in both MLE groups demonstrated transfer of narrative macrostructure across both languages regardless of the language of the MLE. When the language of MLE matched language of story production, children did not make greater posttest gains than when unmatched. Finally, MLE in English had a small effect on children’s modifiability ratings. For English-language learners, DA may be a valid method to assess children’s modifiability, language learning, and transfer of skills across languages in an academically relevant task.
- Go to article: Social-Emotional Outcomes of Corrective Feedback as Mediation on Second Language Japanese Writing
Despite the growing consensus on the potential of dynamic assessment (DA) in second language (L2) development, application of DA procedures to corrective feedback (CF) on L2 writing has received relatively little attention. Still more neglected has been the social-emotional outcomes of CF operationalized as DA procedures. The present study addressed this research gap by investigating two college-level Japanese-language learners’ social-emotional responses to CF as mediation on L2 writing utilizing a case study approach. The learners participated in writing conferences in which they received CF as mediation. The data sources include semistructured interviews, stimulated recall interviews, and a focus group interview. Interview transcripts were analyzed qualitatively using NVivo for emerging themes. Findings suggest that CF as mediation engendered positive emotions intertwined with interpersonal factors, confidence, and motivation. Furthermore, the findings from the narrative analysis provide concrete examples of how positive emotions can expand the learner’s zone of proximal development.
Little attention has been paid to the question about generality versus modularity of the learning potential (LP). The main research question of our study was: Is the students’ LP established with the help of a dynamic assessment of their English as a foreign language (EFL) oral proficiency general enough to predict their subsequent EFL reading and writing scores? Eighty students (38 boys, 42 girls) received a dynamic assessment of their EFL oral proficiency in a pretest – mediation – posttest format. Six months later they took a standard EFL reading comprehension and writing exam. The results indicate that the correlations between oral LP scores and both reading (r = .42) and writing (r = .45) are significant and much stronger than the correlations with the static oral pretest. Oral LP appears to be general enough to predict students’ subsequent reading and writing achievements.
The development of novel educational assessment models founded on item response theory (IRT), as well as software tools designed to implement these models, has contributed to the surge in computerized adaptive tests (CATs). The distinguishing characteristic of CATs is that the sequence of items on a test progressively adapts to the performance levels of students as they are taking it. An important advantage of CATs is that they can reduce the duration of the assessment by automatically excluding in real time those items that are either too easy or too hard for a student’s capabilities. Furthermore, a CAT can provide real-time feedback to students based on their ongoing performance on the test. More recently, dynamic CATs have emerged that include special features (e.g., graduated prompts, pretest and posttest assessment items, cognitive scaffolding items) to assess the proximal development zone of the students. This allows test administrators to obtain information about the kind and level of mediation required by the students to reach their optimal performance. The following article presents some initial results from the experimental application of a computerized adaptive dynamic assessment battery of reading processes in a sample of Spanish-speaking elementary school students. Specifically, the aim was to analyze the effect of the graduated prompts implemented in a syntactic awareness test on the results obtained. In addition, preliminary results regarding the predictive and incremental validity of dynamic scores on reading competence are presented and discussed.
- Go to article: Mediational Processes in Support of Learner L2 Writing Development: Individual, Peer, and Group Contexts
Mediational Processes in Support of Learner L2 Writing Development: Individual, Peer, and Group Contexts
The present article reports on a study that extends Dynamic Assessment (DA) to the domain of second language (L2) writing instruction. As in general education, the L2 field has increasingly moved toward a process approach to writing that emphasizes the importance of multiple drafts, opportunities for feedback, and attempts at revision. The present study, undertaken collaboratively with an experienced classroom teacher of L2 Japanese, reformulated this process as three interrelated stages of mediated activity: an initial DA session in which the teacher prompted learners to identify and correct errors in order to identify knowledge and abilities that were in the process of emerging; a peer mediation session to collaboratively review, discuss, and correct exemplar sentences containing representative problematic constructions; and a whole-class discussion of the language constructions. Analysis of recorded and transcribed sessions indicates the value to learners of collaboratively discussing and correcting similar error types in their peers’ writing.
- Go to article: Interaction, Change, and the Role of the Historical in Validation: The Case of L2 Dynamic Assessment
Interaction, Change, and the Role of the Historical in Validation: The Case of L2 Dynamic Assessment
This article examines the implications of argument-based validity for the continued development of dynamic assessment (DA) research and practice. We propose that the move toward validation as a process of interpretation and evidence-based argument is commensurable with DA but that fundamental ontological differences with conventional approaches to measurement must be recognized. Following Ollman’s (2003) explication of dialectical thinking, and in particular the distinction between philosophies of external and internal relations, we submit that the standard view of abilities as discrete traits is untenable in DA. Instead, abilities must be understood in a manner that takes account of (a) available forms of mediation and (b) change that occurs over the course of DA. To illustrate how a process of validation might be undertaken in DA, we present findings from recent DA studies involving second language learners. Our discussion brings into focus both learner participation in DA interactions and score changes over time.
The article describes Tools of the Mind—an instructional program developed 25 years ago and now implemented in a variety of early childhood settings across the United States and in Canada. Based on the principles of cultural-historical psychology, this program addresses developmental and learning needs of young children by offering a comprehensive curriculum and by delivering professional development for early childhood educators. The article provides examples of how Vygotskian and post-Vygotskian ideas get embodied in Tools of the Mind instructional strategies with a special emphasis on make-believe play as a leading activity for preschool- and kindergarten-aged children. The authors discuss the results of several evaluation studies conducted on Tools and how these results helped to shape the current state of the program.
- Go to article: Learning to Reflect: Teachers' Mastery and Development of Mediational Means and Psychological Tools of Reflective Practice
Learning to Reflect: Teachers' Mastery and Development of Mediational Means and Psychological Tools of Reflective Practice
Authors conceptualize the notion of reflection as a higher psychological function from the perspective of cultural–historical psychology of Lev Vygotsky and discuss the development of teachers' reflective practice in the process of mastering and creating mediational means of reflective practice. In the current research literature the terms mediational means and psychological tools are often used interchangeably. On the grounds of the findings from the studies of teachers' reflection, conducted in Ireland, United States, and Russia, the authors distinguish mediational means from psychological tools, discuss their heterogeneity, and explore how the choice of mediational means transforms the process of reflective practice. Authors argue that teachers need to be educated to master meditational means of reflection to build their reflective practice and develop reflection as a higher psychological function.
Mastering the ability for learning to learn is the most ambitious goal of modern educators. A distinction is made between two relatively independent components of this expertise: (a) the reflective component of the learning to learn ability that allows a person comprehend what knowledge and skills he or she lacks to act in the new situation; (b) the search component of the learning to learn ability that allows the learner to find the missing knowledge and appropriate it. The article deals with the reflective component of the ability to learn and the method to develop it within the El'konin–Davydov system of school education. This system has grown from the hypothesis that reflective thinking belongs to the zone of proximal development of children starting school. Within this system, psychological tools are developed for fostering those reflective potentials of the human mind that are left neglected or even suppressed under the school system prevailing today. Psychological and educational means of developing reflection in class are illustrated through the clinical analysis of dialogs on a math lesson in the first grade. The developmental outcomes of the El'konin–Davydov educational system are exemplified using the cases of tasks with missing data. By the diagnostical assessment of the forth graders, we have confirmed that when the content of education is radically changed, the reflective components of the ability to learn can be successfully developed as early as in the elementary school.
This article considers the pedagogical research informed by the writings of L. S. Vygotsky concerned with the teaching and learning of languages beyond the first (L2). Following a brief overview of developments in the application of Vygotskian theory to explicating processes of L2 development in instructional settings, we consider more recent scholarship that has employed the theory as a principled basis for reconceptualizing L2 education. Three lines of research are brought into focus: Concept-Based Instruction (CBI), Dynamic Assessment (DA), and a Vygotskian approach to the preparation of L2 teachers. This work follows the distinctions that have been proposed between, on the one hand, cognitive and meta-cognitive mediation (Karpov & Haywood, 1998), and on the other hand symbolic and human mediation (Kozulin, 2003), and brings these together in a coherent manner to support learner L2 development. Specifically, cognitive mediation through symbolic means centers on the importance of high-quality conceptual knowledge relating to the object of educative activity (e.g., vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing), while meta-cognitive mediation through human interaction stresses the quality of cooperative engagement among teachers and students. Cognitive mediation is brought to the fore in L2 CBI work, which has been strongly influenced by the teaching–learning experiments conceived by Piotr Gal'perin (1967) in his efforts to uncover processes involved in internalization (see Talyzina, 1981). Beginning with Negueruela's (2003) longitudinal L2 CBI project, this framework has attracted considerable attention among L2 researchers and has led to numerous projects involving a range of different languages. We give particular attention to uses of CBI concerned with pragmatics of language use (e.g., van Compernolle, 2014)as this work involves the integration of features of language during communicative activity. The meta-cognitive component of language instruction is emphasized in DA as a tester/teacher (or mediator) engages cooperatively with learners when they encounter tasks beyond their independent ability. DA draws specifically on the Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky, 1978), according to which the quality of support learners require to identify and overcome problems indicates the extent of their emerging capabilities. Thus, DA offers a diagnosis of the full range of development, including abilities that have fully formed and those that are just “ripening” (Vygotsky, 1986). Early research on L2 DA examined dialogic mediation during dyadic interaction (Poehner, 2007, 2008). Subsequent work has extended L2 DA to group and whole-class formats (Poehner, 2009; van Compernolle & Williams, 2012) as well as computerized testing (Leontjev, 2016). Finally, we turn to the preparation of L2 teachers, where significant advances are being made that build upon both cognitive and meta-cognitive mediation to reorient (student) teachers to teaching–learning activity by beginning with their existing knowledge and experiences and moving beyond them through the introduction of theoretical concepts and principles of developmental education (Esteve, 2018; Johnson & Golombek, 2016).
The four articles presented in the JCEP special issue on the Vygotskian approach to instruction provide the readers with examples of how Vygotsky's ideas have been used by his followers in different countries to improve educational practices in various subject domains and for students of different age groups. The articles cover the following topics: preschool instruction that results in the development of children's self-regulation; second language instruction organized as an implementation of Vygotsky's ideas about teaching scientific knowledge; teaching math to elementary school children that results in their high level and meaningful acquisition of knowledge and development of their ability to reflect on their knowledge; and education of teachers aimed at the development of their reflection. The articles are intended to help English-speaking educators better understand the Vygotskian ideas and methodology and adopt them into their practices.
- Go to article: Computerized Dynamic Assessment and Second Language Learning: Programmed Mediation to Promote Future Development
Computerized Dynamic Assessment and Second Language Learning: Programmed Mediation to Promote Future Development
Dynamic assessment (DA) has been implemented to diagnose language-related issues and to promote second language (L2) learners' development through intervention (Poehner, 2008). The goal is to evaluate not only what a learner can do on his or her own but also how far he or she can go with instructional intervention. Recently, scholars have conducted L2 DA research in a computerized format (C-DA) in which preprogrammed mediational prompts are integrated into the online testing procedures. This breakthrough has yielded promising findings for the scalability of this dynamically administered assessment method. However, due to the fact that it is an emerging field, the possibility of using C-DA to assist in L2 learning requires further examination. This article centers on two projects in which C-DA was used to assess university-level learners' performance in an L2 context. In the first, a listening and reading C-DA project was employed to assess reading and listening comprehension, while the second involved using C-DA to evaluate pragmatic comprehension. We specifically bring into focus how the two approaches address topics including definition of constructs, determination of tasks, design of mediation, scoring procedures, interpretation of scores/performances, and evidence of transfer. Through identifying what has been achieved and what needs to be explored further, we provide a critical analysis of L2 C-DA research and propose future directions for applying this unique technology for helping L2 learners develop language skills. We also examine the pedagogical applications of C-DA in terms of interpreting student performance and developing tailored instruction for individuals with diverse learning needs.
- Go to article: The Effects of Mediation of Working Memory on Working Memory, Analogical Reasoning, Self-Regulation, and Academic Achievement in Typically Developing Preschoolers
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.
- Go to article: E-Books for Promoting Vocabulary Among Students With Intellectual Disability as Opposed to Children With Learning Disability: Can Repeated Reading Make a Difference?
E-Books for Promoting Vocabulary Among Students With Intellectual Disability as Opposed to Children With Learning Disability: Can Repeated Reading Make a Difference?
Despite young children's increasing access to electronic books (e-books) and the evidence indicating their effectiveness for promoting language and literacy, no study has yet explored the e-book's effect in this area among students with intellectual disability (ID). Motivated by this challenge, the current study sought to investigate the effect of an educational e-book on vocabulary acquisition among students with ID. The effect on vocabulary of five repeated readings of an e-book among students with ID was measured and compared with that of children with learning disability (LD). The findings indicate that whereas two independent rereadings with the e-book were enough to promote vocabulary acquisition among the students with LD, at least five rereadings were required to make a difference in the group with ID. Explanations and implications of the findings are discussed.
Understanding how struggling students approach math is vital to designing effective math lessons. Many low achieving students rely on a weak knowledge of procedures and attempt calculations without adequate consideration of the problem. We investigated how enabling or preventing premature calculations affected learning math. Students were presented with explanations of math problems that either contained numbers, thus allowing for calculations, or contained variables, thus preventing the possibility of calculations. In Experiment 1, we asked students to learn from a conceptual explanation and found that preventing calculations was beneficial, especially for students with less prior experience in math. In Experiment 2, when the lesson was procedures-focused, we found that preventing calculations did not have the same beneficial effect. Students with less prior experience performed poorly compared to those with more experience. Given students' prior math experience and their usual approach to problem-solving, we can facilitate learning by blocking maladaptive approaches.
- Go to article: The Effect of an Intervention for Mutual Peer Mediation on Peer Interaction and Learning Motivation in a Computerized Classroom Environment
The research study was developed to consider the influence of reflection as an element in bridging life experiences and decision making in professional contexts. The researcher wanted to find out what the reflective process looks like and how this practice might relate to the professional development and personal growth for professionals. Respondents defined reflection and discussed processes, which they used to facilitate reflection on their own professional development. A constant comparative procedure, which is a qualitative coding strategy, was used to examine the process(es) described and then initial themes and categories were established among the narrative responses. An analytic concept mapping procedure described by Novak (1998) and Novak and Gowen (1984) was employed to organize the narrative. This article was developed as a refinement of the initial model with a more nuanced and careful description of the cognitive component in the EVENT PATH model. The findings indicated that reflection for the participants is an internal, cognitive process. The participants engaged in a cognitive process whereby awareness surfaced; a sense of knowing emerged. Understanding cognition as an integral part of the reflective process cannot be overstated and therefore requires continued attention within the research on professional reflection.
- Go to article: The Testing Effect and Its Relation to Working Memory Capacity and Personality Characteristics
Retrieval practice is known to lead to better retention of a to-be-learned material than restudy (i.e., the testing effect). However, few studies have investigated retrieval practice in relation to working memory capacity (WMC) and personality characteristics such as grittiness (Grit) and need for cognition (NFC). In two experiments, we examined retrieval practice and restudy of Swahili–Swedish word pairs in relation to individual differences in Grit and NFC. In Experiment 1, using a between-subjects design, a significant main effect of retention interval was qualified by a Group × Retention Interval interaction. However, there were no effects of Grit or NFC. In Experiment 2, a within-subjects design was used, and a measure of WMC was included. The analyses revealed a testing effect; but again, WMC, Grit, and NFC were not significantly associated with performance. These results indicate that retrieval practice levels out the playing field regarding WMC, NFC, and Grit.
The bidirectional relation of cognition and psychopathology is discussed in historical context as an introduction to the special issue of Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology devoted to contemporary research on this topic. Cognition refers to the processes by which information is transformed, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used. Psychopathology refers to disorders in behavior, cognition, and/or perception. Although rooted in studies of major psychiatric disorders and general intelligence, the field has moved to include developmental disabilities, neurological impairment, and less severe psychological disturbance on the one hand and finer grained cognitive processes on the other as well as a constant concern with language issues. Special methods of investigation reveal subtle effects but important facets of the cognition–psychopathology relation.
- Go to article: Associations Between Interoceptive Cognition and Age in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Development
Associations Between Interoceptive Cognition and Age in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Development
Interoceptive awareness is linked to emotional and social cognition, which are impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is unknown how this ability is associated with age in either typical or atypical development. We used a standard test of interoceptive accuracy (IA) to investigate these questions in children and adults with and without ASD. Perceived number of heartbeats over 4 time intervals was compared with actual heart rate to determine IA. Effects of group, age, IQ, heart rate, and mental counting ability on accuracy were assessed using multiple regression. Post hoc correlations were performed to clarify significant interactions. Age was unrelated to IA in both groups when IQ ≥115. When IQ <115, this relationship was positive in typical development and negative in ASD. These results suggest that cognitive ability moderates the effect of age on IA differently in autism and typical development.
- Go to article: Correlation Between English and Verbal Comprehension Index Scores Class Six, Embu West Sub-County, Kenya
If children fail to understand test instructions, measurements of their competence may be unfair and invalid. This is especially relevant for students with special educational needs (SEN) because they face greater challenges in comprehending instructions. Two interventions were designed to facilitate the comprehension of test requirements by presenting intensified instructions and to enhance students’ attention by engaging them in physical activity before receiving the test instructions. Three-hundred forty-eight students with SEN aged 8–12 years were randomly assigned to an experimental condition or a control group. Even after controlling for relevant variables (reading speed, basic cognitive skills), students participating in the interventions performed better in a reading test than controls. As hypothesized, the intensified test instructions reduced the number of responses that were not compliant with instructions. In conclusion, this study shows the importance of adapting test instructions for students with SEN, and it proposes interventions that can be implemented in other assessments.
- Go to article: Participation Versus Individual Support: Individual Goals and Curricular Access in Inclusive Special Needs Education
Participation Versus Individual Support: Individual Goals and Curricular Access in Inclusive Special Needs Education
Following the recommendations and conventions of the United Nations on inclusion, many educational systems provide inclusive support for children with special educational needs (SEN) within mainstream classrooms. In this context, multiprofessional planning of inclusive support is crucial and individual educational plans (IEPs) are essential tools for professional implementation of inclusive education. IEP should at the same time provide suitable and achievable educational goals for individual learners with SEN as well as lead to adaptations in teaching methods, fostering participation and curricular access. These two functions are somewhat contradictory. Despite the importance of IEP for the inclusive support of children with SEN, its practical implementation has been often discussed and questioned, focusing on the quality of educational goals and on the curricular access of children with SEN.
This article investigates goal setting in IEP for children with SEN in inclusive classrooms. Domain and quality of educational goals are analyzed as well as important factors influencing goal setting in IEP. Furthermore, the curricular access of children with SEN is focused.
One hundred and twenty-five situations of children with SEN in inclusive classrooms in Switzerland were investigated using teacher questionnaires. Goals in IEPs were analyzed using categories from the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (World Health Education, 2007) and criteria for rating goal quality in IEP. Curricular access was investigated measuring the curricular distance of educational goals from the Swiss–French mainstream curriculum.
Results indicate an average to low quality of the goals. Most goals concerned academic topics (56%), and two thirds of the children had goals corresponding to the curricular level. Therefore, the curricular access can be judged as quite good. On the other hand, the question of the right to follow the child’s own pace with adequate curricular adaptations stays under scrutiny.
- Go to article: Evidence of a Phonological Similarity Effect After Rehearsal Training in Adolescents With Intellectual Disability
Evidence of a Phonological Similarity Effect After Rehearsal Training in Adolescents With Intellectual Disability
A phonological similarity effect (PSE) in adolescents with an intellectual disability (ID) has previously been shown with auditory stimuli, but studies using visual stimuli are scarce. In the case of visually presented items, PSE requires verbal recoding before it appears. Using visual items, we trained 15 participants with ID to use rehearsal strategies. Another group of 13 participants took part in nonstrategic training. In both groups, PSE was tested before and after training. Participants in the strategy-training group, who showed no PSE at pretest, began to show such an effect during the training stage and maintained it until posttest as was observed through microgenetic analysis. Participants with ID showing no PSE with visual material can thus be trained to show this effect through extensive use of cumulative rehearsal. Such training would lead them to recode items verbally, which in turn would make phonological similarities more salient and lead to a PSE.
- Go to article: Dynamic Assessment of Figurative Language of Children in the Autistic Spectrum: The Relation to Some Cognitive and Language Aspects
Dynamic Assessment of Figurative Language of Children in the Autistic Spectrum: The Relation to Some Cognitive and Language Aspects
The objectives of this study were to examine (a) differences in figurative language, analogical reasoning, executive functions (EF), theory of mind (ToM), and local/central coherence (LCC) of children with high-functioning autism (HFA; n = 32) and typically developing (TD; n = 32) children; (b) improvement of figurative language using dynamic assessment; and (c) prediction of proverbial understanding by the cognitive variables. A sample of 5- to 11-year-old children with HFA was pair matched with a group of TD children on age, gender, vocabulary, and socioeconomic status (SES). Participants were administered tests of proverbial understanding, metaphorical construction, analogies, language ability, EF, LCC, and ToM. TD children scored higher than children with HFA on all tests. In the HFA group, proverbial understanding was predicted by LCC and verbal ability and in the TD group by metaphorical construction and EF. These findings refute the argument that figurative language among HFA is a function of only verbal ability.
- Go to article: Teaching Inclusive Classes: What Preservice Teachers in Israel Think About Their Training
This article sought to add the voice of the preservice teachers to the discourse by presenting their perceptions regarding the appropriateness of their training for teaching in inclusive-education frameworks. Preservice teachers completing their first (N = 18) or third year (N = 18) in the various types of teacher-training programs (early childhood, primary school, and high school education) were interviewed. The findings of the qualitative analysis revealed that the various training programs differed in terms of the scope of training for inclusion as well as in their approach to inculcating inclusive teaching. Findings indicated that preservice teachers preparing to teach in mainstream schools expected to receive better training for inclusive teaching than what is currently offered in their training programs. The interesting point is that these expectations develop during teacher training. A discussion of the findings highlights the need to introduce changes in the existing training programs to ensure that preservice teachers acquire and internalize the principles of inclusive teaching.
- Go to article: The Effects of a Power-Assisted Exercise Intervention on Alertness in People With Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities
The Effects of a Power-Assisted Exercise Intervention on Alertness in People With Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities
One of the benefits of physical activity in people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) is an increase in alertness. This study investigated the effect of a power-assisted exercise intervention on alertness and the relationship of this effect to the level of additional motor and visual impairments in people with PIMD. A randomized controlled trial design (N = 37) was used with five measurements. Using individual plots and multilevel analysis, differences in change of alertness over time were analyzed between the intervention and control group, as was the relationship of changes to additional impairments. Considerable variation in alertness over time was found. The results showed no difference between the control and intervention groups in terms of alertness. No relationship with additional impairments was found. This study underlines the importance of looking at the effectiveness of interventions for people with PIMD because those interventions may not be as effective as expected.
The present article reviews the phenomenology of obsessive-compulsive checking, examining how action processing can be differentially affected across distinct checking subtypes. Checking is a normal phenomenon which ensures that an intended goal has been actually completed. Checking symptoms have consistently been connected to impairments in processing information related to self-performances. Theoretical and empirical work has explained compulsive checking as a result of various cognitive deficits related to action processing (e.g., low confidence in cognitive abilities, impaired memory for actions, abnormal reality monitoring, overactive action monitoring, defective goal processing). Such apparent inconsistencies are, however, in agreement with clinical and empirical observations highlighting substantial variability in the subjective experience preceding/accompanying checking. Many factors can in fact prevent the cognitive system from determining whether or not an intended goal has actually been achieved. We argue that several action processing mechanisms are likely affected in checking; the related subjective experience may vary accordingly.
- Go to article: Pretest Versus No Pretest: An Investigation Into the Problem-Solving Processes in a Dynamic Testing Context
Pretest Versus No Pretest: An Investigation Into the Problem-Solving Processes in a Dynamic Testing Context
Proponents of dynamic testing have advocated its use as a replacement or addition to conventional tests. This research aimed to investigate the effects of using versus not using a pretest on both the outcome on the posttest and the processes used in solving inductive reasoning tasks in dynamic testing using a graduated prompts training. Sixty-seven 7- to 8-year-old children were assigned to either a group that received a pretest or a group that did not receive a pretest, using a randomized blocking procedure. No significant differences were found between both groups of children on posttest accuracy, process measures, number of hints needed during training, amount of time needed for testing, and the prediction of school related measures. This article concluded that the decision of whether or not a pretest is necessary should be based on the research question to be answered because it does not appear to influence posttest results.
- Go to article: Shared Book Reading Interactions Within Families From Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds and Children’s Social Understanding and Prosocial Behavior
Shared Book Reading Interactions Within Families From Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds and Children’s Social Understanding and Prosocial Behavior
The study explored the nature of mother–child conversation during and after a shared book reading (SBR) interaction and how it relates to children’s social understanding and prosocial behavior. Participants were 61 mother–child dyads (children’s mean age 5 years, 8 months) from low socioeconomic strata (SES). Mother–child SBR and their conversation following the reading were video-recorded. Children’s social understanding was evaluated via their ability to distinguish between social norms violations and moral violations. Prosocial behavior was evaluated through children’s sharing behavior. Results showed that during SBR, mothers and children from low SES tended to stick to the written text, whereas following the book reading, they elaborated beyond the explicit aspects of the text. Furthermore, references to socioemotional issues during mother–child conversation correlated with the child’s social understanding and prosocial behavior, beyond the child’s vocabulary level.
- Go to article: Is There More to Insight Into Illness in Schizophrenia Than Cognition? A Study Applying the Dynamic Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
Is There More to Insight Into Illness in Schizophrenia Than Cognition? A Study Applying the Dynamic Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
Impaired insight is common in schizophrenia. Etiological models focusing on single determinants have not succeeded in explaining insight deficits. More complex models seem promising. This study tests Startup’s (1996) model of insight and cognition, predicting a curvilinear relationship and specific insight–cognition configurations. Patients with schizophrenia diagnoses (N = 248) were assessed with the Dynamic Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCSTdyn) and measures of psychopathology and premorbid intelligence. In a regression model connecting insight and WCSTdyn, the linear and quadratic term accounted for a small but significant proportion of variance. Cluster analysis yielded two cognitively high-functioning groups differing in insight and a group with impaired cognition and reduced insight. Results support Startup’s framework of multiple barriers to insight. Cognitive deficits seem to be one insight-limiting factor, but motivational influences on insight cannot be excluded. Research on therapeutic interventions should take these different pathways into account.
- Go to article: Mediated Learning Experience: Questions to Enhance Cognitive Development of Young Children
Mediated learning experience (MLE) stresses that the quality of interaction between the child and the environment via a human mediator plays a pivotal role in the cognitive development of the individual. Feuerstein’s theory of structural cognitive modifiability posited that humans have the propensity to change the structure of their cognitive functioning. Therefore, teachers and practitioners can intervene early during early childhood to potentially enhance cognition functions of young children, which will prepare them for successful adaptation to the rapidly changing environment. This article rides on the theoretical underpinnings of Feuerstein’s theory of MLE to elaborate appropriate use of questions to enhance cognitive development during early childhood. Essentially, appropriate conditions foster the mediation of intentionality and reciprocity, meaning, and transcendence, the three parameters necessary for mediated interaction to take place and questions are used to mediate the parameters as we scaffold through teacher–student interactions.
- Go to article: At-Risk Students and the Role of Implicit Theories of Intelligence in Educational Professionals’ Actions
At-Risk Students and the Role of Implicit Theories of Intelligence in Educational Professionals’ Actions
Implicit theories of intelligence play a role in teacher’s actions. Adaptive instruction in and out of the classroom is important to optimize learning processes, especially in the case of at-risk students. This study explored to what extent implicit theories of intelligence play a role in the actions of educational professionals around at-risk students. Forty-four teachers and 57 support professionals participated in this research. Data were analyzed separately for teachers and support professionals. Thirty-four percent of the actions of the teacher can be explained by implicit theories. However, in denominational schools this is 61%. Structural equation modeling showed mediation effects of multiple belief factors in the actions of support professionals. Implicit theory of intelligence predicts the belief in IQ testing, which precedes the belief in consequential validity of tests (i.e., link to actions according to test outcomes). These results indicate a strong influence of implicit theories of intelligence in educational practice.
- Go to article: Effects of Teaching Classification on Classification, Verbal Conceptualization, and Analogical Reasoning in Children With Developmental Language Delays
Effects of Teaching Classification on Classification, Verbal Conceptualization, and Analogical Reasoning in Children With Developmental Language Delays
Children, 4–6 years of age, in special education kindergartens were randomly assigned to a classification training (n = 45) and a comparison (n = 49) group. Children in the training group were taught the Classification unit of Bright Start, whereas those in the comparison group received a regular content-oriented curriculum. Both groups were given pre- and posttests of classification, semantic categories, and conceptual and perceptual analogies. Children who received the classification training improved more on all tests than did those in the comparison group. Significant positive correlations were found between verbal conceptualization and classification, conceptual analogies, and perceptual analogies. Teaching classification appears to have effects that generalize to other domains of language and higher order thinking that are significant in the cognitive development of young children with developmental language delays. The findings support the interplay between thinking and language and positive cognitive developmental effects of training in classification.
- Go to article: Visual Attention Processes and Oculomotor Control in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Brief Review and Future Directions
Visual Attention Processes and Oculomotor Control in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Brief Review and Future Directions
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined as persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). However, individuals with ASD show clearly atypical visual patterns. So far, indications of abnormal visual attention and oculomotor control concerning stimuli independent of social function in ASD have been found. The same findings have been shown in individuals suffering of other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., developmental coordination disorder and developmental dyslexia [DD]). Furthermore, visual attention processes and oculomotor control are supposed to be subserved by the magnocellular visual system, which has been found, in turn, to be dysfunctional in ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (i.e., DD). The purpose of this article is to briefly review the link between oculomotor control and visual attention processes and ASD, and to discuss the specificity and overlap of eye movement findings between ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
The need for cognition and motivation are related to performance in school and standardized tests. In this study, 422 students completed a battery of individual difference measures and reported their scores on the American College Testing (ACT) exam, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), high school grade point average (GPA), major GPA, and overall college GPA. Need for cognition was positively related to ACT and SAT scores, respectively, but not GPA. Achievement motivation was positively correlated with high school GPA, major GPA, overall college GPA, ACT score, and SAT score. The results showed that need for cognition may be related to standardized testing performance, whereas motivation, particularly achievement motivation, is related to performance in the classroom and in the major. Our results indicate that the need for cognition is distinct from the enjoyment of thinking and motivation toward challenge.
- Go to article: Profiles of Relationships Between Subjective and Objective Cognition in Schizophrenia: Associations With Quality of Life, Stigmatization, and Mood Factors
Profiles of Relationships Between Subjective and Objective Cognition in Schizophrenia: Associations With Quality of Life, Stigmatization, and Mood Factors
Justification: Recent studies showed that neurocognitive insight difficulties occur in subjects with schizophrenia. However, little is known about the different profiles of neurocognitive insight, their relations with neurocognitive functioning, and their specific links with mood factors and outcomes. Aim: The study explored profiles of relationships between objective and subjective cognition in persons with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) and associations with quality of life (QoL), stigmatization, and mood factors. Method: Participants were 69 outpatients with an SSD. Cluster analysis (Ward method) was performed to explore profiles of interactions between subjective complaints and objective cognitive performances. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were then conducted to compare groups on anxiety and depression levels, stigmatization, and QoL. Results: Cluster analysis produced 3 groups: high cognitive impairment/moderate cognitive complaints (N = 26), good cognitive functioning/moderate cognitive complaints (N = 22), and moderate cognitive impairment/high cognitive complaints (N = 21). The second group has higher objective QoL, and the third group has higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stigmatization. Our results show that (a) not all patients with SSD have neurocognitive insight difficulties, (b) relation between objective and subjective cognition is not linear, and (c) differences between profiles may have theoretical and clinical implications.
- Go to article: What Is Cost and Is It Always a Bad Thing? Furthering the Discussion Concerning College-Aged Students’ Perceived Costs for Their Academic Studies
What Is Cost and Is It Always a Bad Thing? Furthering the Discussion Concerning College-Aged Students’ Perceived Costs for Their Academic Studies
In this article, we present 2 studies with the primary objectives of (a) identifying college-aged students’ perceived costs for their academic studies and (b) exploring college students’ descriptions of “beneficial” aspects of costs. In Study 1, 10 cost concepts were identified from 2 focus groups, including stress, lost opportunities, effort, financial, and lost interest, to name a few. In Study 2, 98 undergraduates were surveyed on their perceptions about possible “beneficial” aspects of cost. Some of the beneficial aspects of costs that were reported included gained rewards and the development of time management skills. Implications of our findings are further discussed, along with avenues for future research.
Recent research indicates that the development of antisocial behavior among students is influenced by the behavioral characteristics of their classmates. However, not all peers in a given class may exert the same influence. Thus, we examined the extent to which individual development is predicted by the perceived proportion of all students with antisocial behavior in the classroom, socially dominant students, and friends. A short-term longitudinal study comprising 4 measurements was conducted on 7th-grade students. In total, 825 students completed self- and peer-reports on aggressive, delinquent, and disruptive classroom behavior. Longitudinal, multilevel negative binomial analyses showed that the perceived characteristics of the entire classroom, dominant students, and friends in one’s class significantly predicted self-reported aggressive and disruptive behavioral development but not delinquency. The impact of the 3 social groups under study in this regard did not differ significantly. Classroom effects were independent of students’ out-of-classroom friend influences.
- Go to article: Seasonal and Compositional Effects of Classroom Aggression: A Test of Developmental-Contextual Models
Seasonal and Compositional Effects of Classroom Aggression: A Test of Developmental-Contextual Models
This study examines seasonal change in child aggressive behavior over 2 calendar years and explores the role of classroom composition on developmental trajectories. Four waves of data were collected in the fall and spring of 2 academic years from a sample of children attending New York City public elementary schools. Using the school calendar year as a reference point, we estimate average rates of change in aggression during the periods in which schools are in session as well as for the summer break. Employing centering strategies, we also explore the effect of different individual and classroom-level distributional positions on the estimated trajectories. Findings support the existence of an important “summer drop” in aggression that contrasts with positive growth during the school year. We also find main and moderated differences in these trajectories associated with the position students and classrooms occupy within the school and sample distribution of aggressive behavior.
- Go to article: An Overview of Classroom Composition Research on Social-Emotional Outcomes: Introduction to the Special Issue
An Overview of Classroom Composition Research on Social-Emotional Outcomes: Introduction to the Special Issue
Classroom composition research on social-emotional outcomes (CCRSO) aims to systematically explore how characteristics of classmates are related to the social-emotional outcomes of children and adolescents. In this introduction to the special issue, we first provide an overview of the scientific roots of CCRSO. We then develop a conceptualization of research areas typically of interest in CCRSO, which comprises 4 different fields of inquiry. Based on this, an overview on exemplary studies in these areas of research is given. Finally, we provide an introduction to methodological approaches and current challenges of CCRSO. We end with a brief discussion on potential future research directions.
The goal of this study was to examine behavioral norm effects in 2 peer contexts (classroom, school) on adolescent substance use (tobacco, alcohol, cannabis) and aggressive behaviors (bullying, physical fighting). Participants were 5,642 adolescents (Mage = 14.29 years, SD = 1.26; 49% boys). There were 3 hypotheses. First, behavioral norms in both contexts affect individual behavior. Second, classroom norms have stronger effects on individual behavior than school norms. Third, classroom and school norms interact and exacerbate each other’s influence. Results indicated that classroom norms had stronger effects than school norms on individual tobacco and alcohol use. Furthermore, school norms had equal or stronger effects than classroom norms on the 2 indicators of aggressive behaviors. There was no evidence for an interaction between classroom and school norms for any dependent variable. This study demonstrates that the complexity of multiple (nested) peer contexts should be considered to fully understand peer influence processes.