ADVANCES IN RESEARCH ON INSTRUCTION
Barak Rosenshine University of Illinois at Urbana
This chapter discusses what I regard as some of the most important instructional advancements of the last 30 years. These advancements came from three bodies of research: (a) research on cognitive processing; (b) research on teacher effects, that is, studies of teachers whose classes made the highest achievement gain compared to other classes; and (c) intervention studies in which students were taught cognitive strategies they could apply to their learning. Although I would not advocate converting these ideas into another evaluation form, I suggest that the ideas represented by this research can and should be used to discuss and improve instruction.
A major area of research, one with important implications for teaching, has been the research on cognitive processing -- research on how information is stored and retrieved. This research has shown us the importance of helping students develop a well-connected body of accessible knowledge.
It is currently thought that the information in our long-term memory is stored in interconnected networks called knowledge structures. The size of these structures, the number of connections between pieces of knowledge, the strength of the connections, and the organization and richness of the relationships are all important for processing information and solving problems.