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likely to attribute lack of success to insufficient effort, and cognitive strategies are likely
to be see as useful for improving effort. If self-efficacy is extremely low, students may
not see the value in adjusting their effort because they may believe they lack the ability to
succeed. The implication is that we want students to develop the belief that if they use a
more effective strategy, they can be successful (Alderman, 1990; Protheroe, 2002a,
2002b). This means that teachers need to help students identify effective strategies and
reinforce students for using those strategies effectively. 42
Principle 4.3: Learners Have The Potential to Self-Regulate Their Own Learning
From a social cognitive perspective, students self-regulate by establishing goals
for their performance and by engaging in self-regulatory behaviors like monitoring and
evaluating their performance. One source of the difference between successful and less
successful learners is the ability to self-regulate (Biemiller & Meichenbaum, 1997;
Protheroe, 2002a,b; Zimmerman, 2000). In order for students to transfer strategies
appropriately, they need to identify the goal for an activity, select the appropriate
strategy, and monitor their progress toward meeting their goal. In other words, they need
to self-regulate Effective strategy instruction, therefore, should include instruction on
how to self-regulate the use of that strategy (Belmont, Butterfield, & Ferretti, 1982).
Teachers can describe when and why a strategy can be used, provide students with ways
of monitoring their progress, and allow students to reflect on their strategy use through
classroom discussions or journals.
Constructivism Applied to Transfer
Both constructivists and information-processing theorists would agree that
knowledge is more likely to be transferred if that knowledge has been learned
meaningfully. The constructivists, however, offer somewhat different suggestions for
how to facilitate the meaningful learning of knowledge for the purposes of transfer. Their
ideas can be organized around theoretical principles developed in Chapter 5. 43
Principle 5.1: Learning is More Powerful if Learners Actively Construct Their Own
From a constructivist perspective, learning is more meaningful if students invent
or discover key relationships or principles for themselves, rather than having principles or
relationships explained to them by someone else. According to constructivists, invented
knowledge is personally meaningful, more memorable, and more easily transferred to
novel situations (Cobb, 1999; Gesi & Massaro, 1992; Ward, 2001). Research findings on
the effectiveness of discovery learning methods for producing meaningful learning and
transfer provide a somewhat mixed picture (De Jong & van Joolingen, 1998; Geal &
Massaro, 1992; Kittel, 1957; Norton, 1977; Solter & Mayer, 1978). However, it is
possible to conclude that when discovery learning is done well, it can produce the type of
meaningful understanding that leads to transfer. There are, however, a number of factors
that influence the success of discovery learning.
First, all forms of discovery lea...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08