Enhancing Learning and Thinking

By Robert F. Mulcahy; Robert H. Short et al. | Go to book overview

6
Teaching Cognitive Strategies in the Classroom: A Content-Based Instructional Model

Kofi Marfo, Robert F. Mulcahy, David Peat, Jac Andrews, and Seokee Cho

Over the past two decades, developments occurring contemporaneously in the fields of education and psychology have culminated in substantial intensification of the cognitive education movement. In the field of education, growing discontent--both within and outside the education community--about the progressive decline in educational outcomes has resulted in a constant search not only for improved instruction techniques but also for alternative approaches to selecting and defining the content of instruction.

The forces shaping the discontent with educational outcomes all over the world often have their origins in broader concerns of a socio-politico-economic nature. For example, the politics of technological advancements in space travel, touched off by the launching of Sputnik by the Soviets, was a critical factor in the emergence of the cognitive movement in education in North America during the early 1960s. American educators began to turn away from behaviorism and toward cognitivism in their search for alternative methods and contents of instruction to produce generations of thinkers and problem solvers capable of launching America competitively into the space age. Similarly, concerns about widespread socioeconomic imbalances and about the need to ensure equality of educational opportunity in American society also gave birth in the 1960s to massive national educational initiatives, like Project Head Start, designed (largely but not solely) to boost intellectual functioning in disadvantaged preschoolers. In more contemporary times, the educational "soul searching" that has been going on in North America has been fueled by the perception that rapidly developing economies like Japan pose a serious threat to North America's traditional economic supremacy. In report after report, cognitively oriented inno

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