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Conditions for cognitive strategies. Because cognitive strategies can be
considered a subtype of intellectual skill, the conditions for learning intellectual
skills are relevant to cognitive strategy learning with some adaptations
First, many task specific strategies such as outlining or mnemonics can be
taught well through demonstration and explanation. The explanation of the
strategy should include a verbal description of how the strategy is being used and
why it’s being used in this situation.
Second, there should be opportunities to practice the strategy in different
contexts and distributed across time. Teachers of different grade levels or content
areas can help this by collaborating on the teaching of similar strategies (Derry &
Murphy, 1986). Paula Romanowski, principal at Johnson Junior High School,
does it this way.
⇒ “Rather than trying to teach 100 different strategies, our staff has
identified five strategies that will be taught in each class, but for
different purposes. We want our students to know a few strategies
well.” 39 Third, strategy practice should include opportunities for informational
feedback. This feedback should include information on the effectiveness,
efficiency and/or creativity of the strategy use by the student. This is how Donald
Perry addresses this in his high school science class.
⇒ “After I have demonstrated a science learning strategy and students
have used it, we hold a class discussion about how they used it and
how well it worked. I not only emphasize the successful uses, but we
talk about how to improve less successful uses.”
A comparison of Gagne and Gropper. You may have noticed a number
of similarities between Gropper’s instructional treatments and Gagne’s conditions
of learning. This is because both theories describe how instruction can be
designed to teach specific types of behavior or knowledge. Combining the ideas
from both theories can provide a comprehensive view of how to teach
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
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