Cognitive Styles and Classroom Learning

By Harry Morgan | Go to book overview
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between the ages of six and eight, to examine the consequences and reported:

The primary purpose of the present investigation was to determine whether hyperacitve and normal children differ in their ability to delay gratification and hence tolerate frustration. In this regard it was predicted that, when faced with a free choice conflicts situation involving smaller-immediate and larger-delayed rewards, hyperactive children would choose the former. The second purpose . . . was to assess whether having some control over the imposed delay period influences a child's ability or willingness to delay gratification. ( 1986, 193)

As expected, Rapport and his colleagues found that hyperactive children choose smaller immediate rewards and preferred not to complete all of the assigned tasks. This style, they suggested, compromised the teaching learning environments. It was also their view, from this experience, that variations in teaching approaches could be designed to encourage children to be more reflective in problem-solving situations. Teaching, practices that employ programmed workbooks, classroom assignments divided into smaller units, and computer assisted instruction, were recommended by Rapport and his colleagues ( 1986).

Educators should also resist the tendency to place children at the extremes of impulsive or reflective, but rather, conceptualize these dimensions along a continuum with a central tendency factor. In other words, teachers should avoid classifying children either/or reflective/impulsive because there are individual characteristics that vary along a continuum, as well as perceptual choices that enable some children to be selective as problem-solving situations change.


Ault R. L., Crawford D. E., and Jeffrey W. E. ( 1972). "Visual Scanning Strategies of Reflective, Impulsive, Fast-Accurate, and Slow- Inaccurate Children in the Matching Familiar Figures Test." Child Development 43, 1412-1417.

Banta T. J. ( 1996). "Educating Children for Adulthood" Young Children 21, 272-280.

Banta T. J. ( 1967). "Existentialism, Morality, and Psychotherapy." The Humanist 27, 44-48.

Banta T. J. ( 1970). "Test for the Evaluation of Early Childhood Education: Cincinnati Autonomy Test Battery." In J. Hellmuth, ed., Cognitive Studies. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Barkley R. A. ( 1981). Hyperactive Children: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Guildford.


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