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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: External Memory and Verbalization in Students with Moderate Mental Retardation: Theory and Training
Persons with moderate mental retardation were trained to use external memory strategies in order to overcome their working memory limitations. We expected that metacognitive training would allow these individuals to use external memories and that this would be associated with higher recall. It was further hypothesized that the training would be more effective when combined with a short verbalization instruction. Verbalization of one’s own thinking and actions should support and reinforce strategic thinking and structure representation. Verbalization should also permit the participants to acquire or access meta-knowledge, one of the basic components postulated for transfer of strategies. Furthermore, performance in analogical tasks should be improved by transferring the use of external memory strategies. The results show that only some of the participants of the experimental group with and without verbalization used the external memory strategy after training. Those who did use the external memory strategy at posttest performed well with regard to recall performance. We concluded that an external memory strategy is required if the task memory load is high and that the memory performance depends on the use of an external memory aid. The problem of transfer to analogical reasoning tasks remained, most likely because how external memories could be used in such tasks was not made explicit, and did the tasks did not allow much use of external memories.
- Go to article: Dynamic Assessment of Learning Potential: Inter-Rater Reliability of Deficient Cognitive Functions, Types of Mediation, and Non-Intellective Factors
Dynamic Assessment of Learning Potential: Inter-Rater Reliability of Deficient Cognitive Functions, Types of Mediation, and Non-Intellective Factors
The objective of this study was to investigate the reliability of three major domains of individual dynamic assessment (DA): (a) deficient cognitive functions (DCF), (b) types of mediation given during DA, and (c) non-intellective factors. A sample of 35 young adolescents was administered eight tests from the Learning Potential Assessment Device (LPAD) (Feuerstein, Rand, & Hoffman, 1979). The sample was composed of children diagnosed with learning disabilities and educable mental handicaps, and normally achieving children. The DA procedure for each case was videotaped for 8 to 15 hours and later rated for the three main domains. Results in general showed moderate reliability scores for DCF and mediational strategies and lower reliability scores for the non-intellective factors (NIF). Separate analyses were carried out for ratings which include a 0 category (examiners could not observe a behavior) and ratings without a 0 category. The results showed a general tendency for higher agreement among raters when the 0 category was removed. In type of mediation, ratings were similar with or without the 0 rating only in the training phase, when agreement was higher in approximately 10% of categories when 0 ratings were included than when not. These results were explained by referring to the interaction of type of task and phase of testing (situation) interaction.
- Go to article: The Cliques Participation Index (CPI) as an Indicator of Creativity in Online Collaborative Groups
After introducing the networked flow as a collective creativity process, this article analyzes whether certain social network analysis (SNA) indices could be possible predictors of the social structures’ collective creativity. An empirical study was conducted in which online collaborative groups of adults on a postgraduate course interacted by a web platform to achieve a shared objective. The groups’ final products were evaluated on their originality and transferability, and these were then compared to the groups’ collective activity parameters. Final results show that the Cliques Participation Index (CPI), purposely created for this study, is a potential predictor in the groups’ collective creativity.
- Go to article: Assessment of Learning Potential: Construction and First Evaluation of the Psychometric Characteristics of an Analogical Reasoning Test
Assessment of Learning Potential: Construction and First Evaluation of the Psychometric Characteristics of an Analogical Reasoning Test
This master’s thesis (Berger, 2003) concerns a new learning potential test of analogical reasoning, the Hessels Analogical Reasoning Test (HART; Hessels, 2003) aimed at the assessment of pupils from 5 to 15 years of age in a group situation. A frequently emphasized problem of learning potential tests is the time needed for their administration. We intend to be able to assess a whole group of approximately 20 pupils in the context of their classroom, in a relatively short time of about 45 to 60 minutes.
The analogies are presented in two different formats: 2 rows x 3 lines with six response alternatives or 3x3 with eight response alternatives. The number of elements varies from one to three, as does the number of transformations. We created nine series of increasing complexity for a total of 70 items. The items were constructed by pairs, meaning that two items had the same number of elements, and the same number and kind of transformations applied. The complexity, that is, theoretical difficulty, was defined by the number of transformations and elements present in the analogy. For example, an item with one element and one transformation is easier than an item with three elements and two transformations. The procedure was divided into two phases. In the first phase, a collective introduction was offered using four example items aimed at familiarizing the pupils with the tasks and the different formats of the matrices. Immediately after, a pre-test combined with training (after each item an explanation was given about the transformations applied) was administered using the first set. The second phase was a static post-test administered a few days after the pre-test/training using the parallel forms of the pre-test/training items. For each degree, a series of items was defined, according to level of difficulty, varying between 12 (1st grade) and 20 items (6th grade) for each phase of the test.
We administered the HART to 117 pupils of a primary public school (mean age 8;11). In addition, these pupils took the Standard Progressive Matrices of Raven (SPM) and an arithmetical test in a static and collective administration. Teachers of each class completed a rating scale for each of his pupils about three noncognitive variables (participation in the lessons, application in schoolwork, and behavior in class) and two cognitive variables (school success in French and mathematics).
The results showed that the training caused great inter- and intraindividual variation, explained by the learning process taking place during this phase. Due to this variation, internal consistency was low for this phase. Thus, for subsequent analysis, we only considered the reliable results of the post-test. Of main interest were the correlations between the HART and the other variables measured. The noncognitive factors given by the teacher’s judgments showed lower correlations with the HART than with the SPM. For instance, the HART showed a correlation of .08 (ns) with pupil’s behavior, whereas the SPM showed a correlation of .21 (p<.05). This result means that the score offered by the HART is more independent of behavior in class. Moreover, the arithmetic test is more correlated with the learning test than with the SPM. Finally, a stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that the SPM predicted 14.2% (F1,116=19.151; p<.01) of the variance of success in mathematics; the HART predicted an extra 4% (F1,115=5.557; p<.05). For French, the stepwise regression analysis shows that the HART has a slightly superior predictive validity.
These first results show that the instrument can be used in a group situation and has promising properties. The research will be extended to different populations, with variations in the procedures and methods.
The focus of this article is on the effects of mediated learning experience (MLE) interactions on children’s cognitive modifiability. In this article, I discuss the MLE theory, and selected research findings demonstrating the impact of MLE strategies in facilita ting cognitive modifiability. Research findings derive from mother–child interactions, peer-mediation and cognitive education programs. Mediation for transcendence (expanding) was found consistently as the most powerful strategy predicting cognitive modifiability and distal factors in samples of children with learning difficulties directly predict cognitive modifiability. Findings of peer-mediation studies indicate that children in experimental groups participating in the Peer Mediation with Young Children program showed better mediational teaching style and higher cognitive modifiability than children in control groups. Application of dynamic assessment as a central evaluation method reveals that the contribution of the cognitive education program was not simply supporting the development of a particular skill practiced during the program; it also involved teaching children how to benefit from mediation in a different setting and consequently improve their cognitive performance across other domains.
- Go to article: Underexplored Contexts and Populations in Self-Regulated Learning and Measurement Issues
- Go to article: Performance-Evaluation Threat Does Not Adversely Affect Verbal Working Memory in High Test-Anxious Persons
Performance-Evaluation Threat Does Not Adversely Affect Verbal Working Memory in High Test-Anxious Persons
In two studies, we set out to examine whether the verbal working memory of high and low test-anxious students differed under performance-evaluative threat. In Study 1, 84 schoolchildren completed a backward digit span task under threat or no-threat conditions. In Study 2, 71 schoolchildren completed a backward digit span task in both threat and no-threat conditions. Results showed that the verbal working memory capacity of highly test-anxious students in Study 1 did not change under low or high threat conditions. In Study 2, the verbal working memory capacity of highly test-anxious students decreased under performance-evaluative threat when this condition was taken first but increased when this condition was taken second. To account for the effects of performance-evaluative threat, it is necessary to consider how increased effortful control may compensate for anxiety-induced reduced efficiency when tasks are not timed.
- Go to article: The Bayley-III-NL Special Needs Addition: A Suitable Developmental Assessment Instrument For Young Children With Special Needs
Education at its best allows students to experience the fruitfulness and joy of the creative process. One complexity of applying research findings to education is that creative work unfolds in phases and the various phases engage distinctively different cognitive processes. Since Wallas first described four phases, psychologists have elaborated on them and pointed to additional phases and subphases. Some involve effortful conscious processes; others entail implicit cognition and/or effortless attention. The field has benefitted from research in related areas as well as from direct studies of conditions that enhance various phases of creative performance. This article reviews current knowledge on the phases and incorporates findings from related areas. The challenge for educators is to structure student work in ways which support the different phases—both deliberate phases such as preparation and evaluation and those which appear to emerge spontaneously such as insight and flow. The findings underscore of the value of specific classroom activities, activities which scaffold and/or invite the different phases of creative work. The cognitive processes engaged by the creative process also benefit from other activities which enhance executive function, elevate mood, and allow opportunities for flow.
- Go to article: What to Do About Educational Research’s Credibility Gaps? Become More Scientific A Commentary on Levin and O’Donnell1
What to Do About Educational Research’s Credibility Gaps? Become More Scientific A Commentary on Levin and O’Donnell1
In their article, Levin and O’Donnell argue that educational research has sunk to the level that it is becoming irrelevant to educational theorizing or educational practice. They indicate several reasons for this. Among them are tensions between laboratory or experimental research approaches as contrasted with contextual approaches that tend to be poorly informed by theory or rigorous scientific method. Levin and O’Donnell go on to offer practical suggestions how to “fix” the problem by employing rigorous methodological approaches. In my commentary to Levin and O’Donnell I point out points of agreement with their general thesis and suggest historical as well as contemporary ways we might approach the problem. These include moving beyond simplistic qualitative versus quantitative arguments about educational research, contextualizing and clarifying “constructivism” in educational parlance, and reforming training in education so that graduates will be better versed in the method and content of ancillary fields that inform or should inform educational research and practice.
- Go to article: Communities of Learners and Thinkers: The Effects of Fostering Writing Competence in a Metacognitive Environment
Communities of Learners and Thinkers: The Effects of Fostering Writing Competence in a Metacognitive Environment
In this study the author examines the efficacy of translating socio-cognitive principles into practice, by using the FCL (Fostering Communities of Learners and Thinkers) method devised by Brown and Campione. The benefits of FCL are compared with traditional interventions, within the context of writing competence. The principle hypothesis of this study is that an FCL intervention program will deliver greater writing competence than more traditional methods. It is shown that students exposed to the metacognitive and shared problem solving environment that is created by FCL derive larger benefits than students exposed to traditional instruction. Moreover, it is shown that the benefits of the FCL approach increase with time, even after the intervention has ceased.
- Go to article: A Comparison of the Scaffolding Approach and the Cognitive Enrichment Advantage Approach in Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills in First-Year University Freshmen
A Comparison of the Scaffolding Approach and the Cognitive Enrichment Advantage Approach in Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills in First-Year University Freshmen
Although there is no universally accepted operational definition of critical thinking, there is agreement that it can be improved through various means of instruction. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of a modified, condensed version of the Cognitive Enrichment Advantage (CEA) approach and the Scaffolding approach in enhancing critical thinking skills in first-year university freshman.
A modified pre-test/post-test comparison group design was employed in this study. Participants were students enrolled in a freshman seminar course for first-year freshman in a merit-based scholarship program for African American students. The first phase, the Pre-Intervention Phase, included the first of three critical thinking assessment administration sessions to obtain baseline data of all participants’ critical thinking ability. This phase also included a two week period of direct instruction of critical thinking knowledge to all participants. After the pre-intervention phase, matched pairs were randomly assigned to the CEA group and the Scaffolding group, based on scores from the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) obtained during the second assessment administration session.
The Intervention Phase included five weekly, 40-minute teaching sessions for both groups. During the intervention period, both groups completed practice worksheets, providing a step-by-step expert strategy for critical thinking. In the Scaffolding intervention, participants also received pre-determined verbal prompts and cues to support their critical thinking. In the modified CEA intervention, participants were encouraged to create their own personal strategies, based on the metastrategic knowledge (Building Blocks of Thinking & Tools of Learning) introduced during each session. Participants were also encouraged to provide both self-evaluation and evaluation on the contributions of their colleagues. Finally, in the modified CEA intervention, participants developed decontexualized principles for using the Building Blocks and Tools in other settings, encouraging transfer of learning. The Post-Intervention Phase included the final assessment administration session.
Results indicate no significant change in critical thinking performance in the CEA group, based on both assessment tools. Results, based on the critical thinking performance assessments, indicated no significant change in the Scaffolding group; however, results, based on the W-GCTA, indicated a significant decrease in critical thinking performance in the Scaffolding group. It was concluded that the modified CEA intervention supported the retention of the participants’ critical thinking skills and facilitated learning transfer, while the Scaffolding intervention did not positively influence the participants’ critical thinking skills. Recommendations for future research and issues related to conducting intervention research are offered.
This article is a literature review of stress and social problem solving skills. The authors emphasize the need for a joint consideration of stress and social problem solving. This article integrates some ideas and theoretical concepts from Goleman’s theory of emotional intelligence, as well as Sternberg’s theory of successful intelligence. The article contributes to knowledge regarding the relationship between cognitive (social problem solving) and affective (stress) processes. The information in this article is also useful for teacher education program reform. It should encourage student teacher educators to put an emphasis on certain emotional dimensions such as student teachers’ stress and social problem solving before, during, and after student teaching.
- 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.
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: 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.
Increasing people’s interest and involvement in science is a growing concern in education. Although many researchers and educators seek innovations for classroom instruction, much could be gained by harnessing the activities that people perform at their leisure. Although new media are constantly emerging, comic book reading remains a popular activity for children and adults. Recently, there has been an explosive increase in the creation of educational comic books, including many about science. This rapid increase in science comics far outstrips our understanding of how comics impact people’s beliefs and interests in science. In this theoretical article, we draw on research from cognitive science and education to discuss heretofore unexplored cognitive impacts of science comics. We propose several ways in which learning could be enhanced or impaired through reading science comics and discuss several broader issues related to the use of comic books in education, including individual differences and informal learning.
Cognitive education is usually considered in terms of its impact on students’ problem-solving skills and their acquisition of disciplinary knowledge. Little is known about the impact of cognitive training on the cognitive skills of teachers themselves. In this pilot study, 80 South African high school teachers participated in the cognitive education (Instrumental Enrichment) course and then implemented the principles of cognitive teaching/learning in their classroom instruction. Teachers’ problem-solving skills were evaluated before the start and after 9 months of training and implementation. Significant changes were observed in teachers’ problem-solving performance. Teachers with better mastery of cognitive education program also demonstrated better cognitive task performance on the posttest. Teachers with weaker pretraining cognitive performance made greater relative gains than teachers with stronger initial performance. Recommendations are made regarding the use of Instrumental Enrichment as a tool of cognitive enhancement for teachers.
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.
- Go to article: A Comprehensive, Scholarly, and Practical Guide to Assessment of Children: A Review of Carol Lidz’s Early Childhood Assessment.
- Go to article: Cognitive, Language, and Educational Issues of Children Adopted from Overseas Orphanages
Within the last two decades over 200,000 children from overseas orphanages have been adopted in the USA. Research findings and clinical experiences about language, cognitive, and academic issues of internationally adopted post-institutionalized children in the cultural context of North America are discussed. Theoretical conceptualizations of Vygotsky and Feuerstein serve as the major paradigm in psycho-educational and remedial components of the cultural issues of international adoptees. Native language attrition and dynamics of English language acquisition are considered in the context of transculturality. The specificity of cumulative cognitive deficit (CCD) in international adoptees is linked to prolonged institutionalization, lack of cultural mediation in early childhood, and profound native language loss. The issue of remediation is examined with an emphasis on cognitive education in the context of acculturation.
- Go to article: An Emergent View of Problem Solving, Thinking, and Intelligence in Animals: Review of Primate Perspectives on Behavior and Cognition
- Go to article: Development of a Theoretical Framework and Practical Application of Games in Fostering Cognitive and Metacognitive Skills
Development of a Theoretical Framework and Practical Application of Games in Fostering Cognitive and Metacognitive Skills
In this article, traditional games are proposed as complementary tools for metacognitive intervention. Games allow addressing various cognitive and metacognitive processes and strategies involved in learning and thinking. They are easily available, stimulating for students who usually exhibit resistance to learning, and represent valuable learning devices for students for whom few cognitive education programs are available (young children and students with intellectual disability). A framework for analyzing games with regard to the (meta)cognitive processes involved is presented and criteria for mediation are formulated. Two adolescents with intellectual disability participated in an intervention based on this model. The students progressed on a procedural level as well as on different untrained tasks. Results were maintained after 8 weeks. This study, although not generalizable, illustrates the relevance of using games in a metacognitive perspective.
- Go to article: Review of Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities
- Go to article: Neurobiological Correlates of Learning Potential in Healthy Subjects and in Schizophrenic Patients
Dynamic testing has increasingly been recognized as a measure of neurocognitive modifiability. For instance, executive function deficits as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) can be ameliorated in a subgroup of schizophrenic patients by integrating instructions and feedback into the testing procedure. In the first study reported herein, we investigated the relation between learning typology on the WCST and chronicity in 60 first-episode patients and 44 patients with chronic schizophrenia. We found that nonretainer categorization of WCST performance is not related to chronic schizophrenia. In the second study, we investigated the relationship between learning potential on the WCST and cerebral metabolism, assessed by single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), in 43 schizophrenic patients and 37 matched healthy control subjects. The level of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a marker of neuronal integrity, in the DLPFC correlated with performance on the dynamic WCST in healthy subjects. In schizophrenic patients, a significant correlation was observed between NAA in the ACC and learning potential (cf. Ohrmann et al., 2008). These data suggest the involvement of different neuronal networks in learning among schizophrenic patients as compared to healthy controls.
Three experiments were conducted to investigate whether part-set cuing effects generalize to an educational style learning and assessment task. Mnemonic performance was assessed in terms of overall recall, item gain (reminiscence) and item loss (forgetting). In Study 1 we found that negative part-set cuing effects extended to the recall of general knowledge items. In Studies 2 and 3 we explored the boundaries of the observed partset cuing effect further, focusing on cue set size and cue set order. Greater inhibition was observed with 15 than 5 cue items (Study 2), and cue set order was found to affect item gain when cue set order was emphasized prior to or at retrieval (Study 3). The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of learning, recall and assessment.
The writing of narratives is a frequently used educational tool in teacher education. This activity has several aims, such as bridging the gap between theory and practice, transforming experience into knowledge, and fostering consciousness and reflexivity among prospective teachers. We consider that the writing of narratives, framed with some guidelines, represents a mean to build professional knowledge. To get a better insight into the processes involved in the writing of narratives, this article examines the cognitive and discursive mechanisms that underlie professional development. We rely on indicators of professional development observed through a psycholinguistic analysis of narrative texts. This type of text analysis is anchored in a Vygotskian perspective, according to which language; thinking and action are interdependent in the constitution of an individual’s system of mental representations. In this article, we present an educational artifact for narrative writing, a grid for the analysis of discourses in the context of teacher education (the Analysis of Discourses About Professional Apprenticeship grid), our methodological framework and some results. The use of this grid is illustrated with examples of the prospective teachers’ narratives and questionings. Finally, we suggest that professional knowledge results from the convergence between enunciative undertakings, regulations of action, and conceptions and reflective spectrum. This convergence determines the strength of professional knowledge built. Moreover, the texts that have been analyzed reveal the fundamental questionings the trainee teachers have when faced with the task of textualizing their professional knowledge as well as the meaning they give to their activity.
- Go to article: Using Mediated Teaching and Learning to Support Algebra Students with Learning Disabilities
An approach to the teaching and learning of high school mathematics to special needs pupils, based on philosophies of Freire, Feuerstein, and Vygotsky, is described, as is the experience of two teachers who shared the teaching of a class. Learners were from minority ethnic communities that were characterized by poverty and unstable home situations. Major emphasis was placed on enhancing the learners’ self concepts as learners, their attitudes toward school learning, and their study and organizational skills.
- Go to article: Does the Dynamic Testing of Working Memory Predict Growth in Nonword Fluency and Vocabulary in Children With Reading Disabilities?
Does the Dynamic Testing of Working Memory Predict Growth in Nonword Fluency and Vocabulary in Children With Reading Disabilities?
This three-year longitudinal study assessed whether working memory (WM performance) when tested under dynamic testing conditions is related to growth on measures of phonological awareness and vocabulary in skilled readers and subgroups of children with reading disabilities (RD) (children with RD-only, children with both reading and arithmetic deficits, and low verbal IQ readers). A battery of memory and reading measures was administered to 78 children (11.6 yrs) across three testing waves spaced one year apart. WM tasks were presented under initial, gain, and maintenance testing conditions. The important results were (1) growth curve modeling showed that WM performance administered under initial and maintenance testing conditions was a significant moderator of growth in receptive vocabulary, whereas the number of probes and WM performance under gain testing conditions were significant moderators of growth in nonword fluency and (2) WM performance was statistically comparable within subgroups of children with RD, but inferior to skilled readers across all testing conditions. The results support the notion that children’s WM performance when measured under dynamic testing conditions was related to the rate of growth on basic reading and vocabulary measures.
This paper is a report of an evaluation of the Bright Start program that has been designed to assist the cognitive development of children in the early school years. Children in both experimental and control groups lived in the same public housing project in North Marseilles, France, went to school in the same district, and were of the same chronological age. Analyses were conducted on two non-independent criterion variables: overall school achievement, and achievement scores in specific subject areas. The results of the study showed that it is possible to learn to learn at preschool. Pupils who received cognitive early education in kindergarten learned better and applied more effectively a range of new academic knowledge in the two years that immediately followed the intervention than did comparable children who did not receive cognitive early education.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”
This article reports on the development and evaluation of a meta-cognitive tool for practitioners’ reflection on the ‘shadow’ between espoused theories and theories-in-use. The learning theories profile (LTP) was developed to support practitioners in education to identify and reflect on the theoretical perspectives that underpin their professional decision-making. In order to assess the usefulness of the LTP for reflection on professional development and practice, 15 special educators who were enrolled in a university course took part in a trial of the tool. Data from pre-activity and post-activity surveys suggested that the LTP helped students to critically consider contemporary and traditional theories of learning, raised awareness of the application of learning theories in education practice and supported users to reflect on their own professional practice, and interactions.
Despite the global universality of physical space, different cultural groups vary substantially as to how they memorize it. Although European participants mostly prefer egocentric strategies (“left, right, front, back”) to memorize spatial relations, others use mostly allocentric strategies (“north, south, east, west”). Prior research has shown that some cultures show a general preference to memorize object locations and even also body movements in relation to the larger environment rather than in relation to their own body. Here, we investigate whether this cultural bias also applies to movements specifically directed at the participants’ own body, emphasizing the role of ego. We show that even participants with generally allocentric biases preferentially memorize self-directed movements using egocentric spatial strategies. These results demonstrate an intricate system of interacting cultural biases and momentary situational characteristics.
- Go to article: Student Cognitive Motivation: The Mediating Role of Self-Reactive Influences on the Relationship Between Negative Feedback and Intended Effort
Student Cognitive Motivation: The Mediating Role of Self-Reactive Influences on the Relationship Between Negative Feedback and Intended Effort
This study examined college students’ cognitive motivation based on goal intentions in the context of negative performance–goal discrepancies. Specifically, an integrated model of intended effort was developed to further understand the relationships between negative performance–goal discrepancies, self-reactive influences, and intended effort toward the next proximal goal. We explored these relationships within an authentic achievement-oriented setting by using actual exam performance with a sample of 451 undergraduate students. Primary results from a path analysis suggest that, among other things, future affective self-evaluation is more predictive of intended effort than performance–goal discrepancy or self-efficacy toward original goal attainment. Implications are primarily intended for those interested in fostering students’ cognitive motivation.
- Go to article: Teaching Fractions With Technology: What Type of Support Do Students Need as They Learn to Build and Interpret Visual Models of Fractions Ordering Problems?
Teaching Fractions With Technology: What Type of Support Do Students Need as They Learn to Build and Interpret Visual Models of Fractions Ordering Problems?
This study examined 78 students as they began learning how to use a computer system to create visual models of fractions ordering problems and then use the visual models to reason about the correct answers to the problems. We used quantitative data collected by the computer system during a 2-day intervention to identify groups of students with similar performance characteristics. After the intervention, we conducted individual interviews with 10 students for the purpose of investigating qualitative differences between the groups. Our results indicated that most of the 78 students learned to use the computer system to create accurate models in a relatively short period, but not all students learned how to use the models to reason about the correct answers to the problems by the end of the intervention. We hypothesize that we can improve future versions of the system by creating differentiated scaffolds for students with different performance characteristics. In addition, we may be able to improve the learning outcomes associated with implementing this type of technology in classrooms by providing teachers with more detailed data about their students’ performance and the correct and incorrect strategies their students use to solve problems.
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.
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: 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.
This article offers a response to two questions: Can we reach a consensus in the domain of dynamic assessment? and Do we want to? The brief response to these questions is first: Yes, it may be possible to reach a sufficient degree of consensus that we can offer some guidelines as to what is and what is not “dynamic” about assessment. The response to the latter question of whether we want to or not is a more qualified, “Well sort of, and to some extent, but with a great deal of latitude, flexibility, and room for diversity.” The article goes on to discuss the core concepts of dynamic assessment, what a general consensus might look like (also known as generic model), and, finally, some reference to the exciting developments that have emerged which make me advocate for diversity and flexibility in our model-building.
Sociocultural theories of development posit that higher cognitive functions emerge through socially mediated processes, in particular through language. However, theories of human communication posit that language itself is based on higher social cognitive skills and cooperative motivations. Prelinguistic communication is a test case to this puzzle. In the current review, I first present recent and new findings of a research program on prelinguistic infants’ communication skills. This research provides empirical evidence for a rich social cognitive and motivational basis of human communication before language. Next, I discuss the emergence of these foundational skills. By considering all three lines of development, and by drawing on new findings from phylogenetic and cross-cultural comparisons, this article discusses the possibility that the cognitive foundations of prelinguistic communication are, in turn, mediated by social interactional input and shared experiences.
Traditionally, many educators and psychologists believed that successes and failures within the school context are attributable mainly to individual differences in such classic variables as ability, personality, and learning motivation. This article presents research evidence demonstrating that intellectual styles, that is, people’s preferred ways of processing information and dealing with tasks, also play critical roles in students’ learning and development and in teachers’ practices. It further demonstrates that some styles are more valued than are others and that styles are malleable.
The article is divided into four parts. The first part briefly introduces the background of the research to be presented. The second reviews the key literature, supporting the position that intellectual styles are value laden, with creativity-generating styles (also known as Type I styles) being more adaptive than are norm-favoring styles (also known as Type II styles). The third part highlights some research findings indicating that styles can be modified. The final and fourth part of the article discusses the implications of the research evidence for various parties of educational institutions at all levels—generally referred to as “schools” in this article.