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Unformatted text preview: tural characteristics of situations are learned gradually and over a long period of
time. A derived structural schema, is similar to a natural schema, in that it preserves
structural relationships, but is different in being consciously derived, or produced by an
expert. Presenting students with a derived structural schema helps them to learn
Dansereau (1995) refers to derived structural schema as “generic analogs,” (p.
107) and suggests that teaching using derived structural schema, shares many of the
advantages of teaching with analogies, while avoiding some of the disadvantages
associated with variation in the learners’ prior knowledge.
Figure 8.4 (appears at the end of the chapter) provides an example of a derived
structural schema applied to the familiar electric circuit/plumbing analogy. The idea is 23
that the teacher, acting as the expert, creates a derived structural schema that represents a
class of concepts or procedures that he or she will be teaching. The teacher then presents
the derived schema to the learners as a concept map, list of questions, outline, or
whatever form seems most appropriate for the subject being taught. The learners can then
use the derived structural schema as a guide to organize and elaborate new information in
a variety of learning activities.
The derived structural schema presented in Figure 8.4 identifies five categories of
structurally similar information that can be found in a variety of distribution systems. The
five categories of information are: what, activators, routing, problems, and systems and
can be remembered by the acronym WARPS. Figure 8.4 also shows two examples of the
kind of information that might be placed in the categories for two different types of
distribution systems. This same structural schema might be used to study transportation
systems, information systems or market economies. Dansereau (1995) identifies five
characteristics of good a structural schema, including:
1. Clear identification of important structural characteristics of the category
in order to assist learners in identifying analogous attributes in new
examples of the category.
2. The organization of the derived structural schema should be tailored to the
anticipated uses in order to make its use as easy as possible.
3. Keep the number of characteristics of the Derived structural schema to
seven or fewer to avoid overloading working memory.
4. The characteristics should be labeled in a meaningful way in order to aid
the recall of the characteristics. 24
5. Memory aids such as Acronyms should be used when possible to help
learners remember the characteristics of the category.
Declarative Knowledge Transferred to Procedural Knowledge
In 1908, Judd summarized an experiment that assessed the effects of principled
understanding of a situation on performance. Figure 8.5 (appears at the end of the
chapter) shows the general set up of the experiment two groups of boys practiced
throwing darts at an underwater target. One group had been given an explanation of the
concept of refraction of light through water, and how refraction distorts the apparent
position of underwater objects, while the other group received no explanation of the
refractive qualities of water. Initially both g...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08