Enhancing Learning and Thinking

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

We are currently following up with more specific evaluations of program effectiveness utilizing both within-class and within-subject designs to further elucidate the efficacy of components of the approach.

The results have clear implications for the mainstreaming of students with learning difficulties, as well as gifted students. The impact of the teaching of cognitive strategies on the learning disabled students, particularly at grade 4, suggests that if the teaching approaches are used systematically throughout the elementary school, they may prevent some students from developing severe learning problems, and keep them in the mainstream.

The recent research on the teaching of learning/thinking strategies to learning disabled students also demonstrates significant effect with respect to achievement (see, for instance, Palincsar & Brown, 1984; Paris & Oka, 1986).

These approaches should be effective for mildly mentally retarded as well as native children in regular classrooms. Indeed some researchers have suggested this ( Mulcahy & Marfo, 1987; Brown, 1974). There is a need for further research on teaching learning/thinking strategies for these populations. Further investigation into the effects of extending cognitive instruction to primary, senior high, and postsecondary levels is also required. Current research at the preschool level with high-risk children appears to hold significant promise.


NOTES

The work reported in this chapter is based on a longitudinal Cognitive Education Project funded by Alberta Education and supported by the University of Alberta and school jurisdictions in North-Central Alberta. We are grateful to the Planning Services Division of Alberta Education, in particular Drs. Nelly McKeown and Clarence Rhodes, for their invaluable support. Dr. Fred French contributed in many significant ways to initial work on the development of the instructional model described in the chapter. We wish also to acknowledge Dr. Charles Norman and Jonas Darko-Yeboah for their assistance with data management and analysis.

1.
This is not meant to restrict the definition of strategic behavior to the conscious use of a cognitive strategy. In fact, as pointed out later in the discussion, the ultimate goal of strategy instruction is to place strategic behavior under automatic control.

REFERENCES

Ausubel D. P. ( 1960). "The use of advance organizers in the learning and retention of meaningful verbal learning". Journal of Educational Psychology, 51, 267-272.

Ausubel D. P., Novak J. D., & Hanesian H. ( 1978). Educational psychology: A cognitive view. 2d ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Baker L., & Brown A. L. ( 1984). Metacognitive skills in reading. In P. D. Pearson (ed.), Handbook of reading research. New York: Longman.

Baron J. ( 1985). Rationality and intelligence. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Belmont J. M., Butterfield E. C., & Ferretti R. P. ( 1982). To secure transfer oftraining instruct self-management skills

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