Chapter 3

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Unformatted text preview: ent each principle and discuss some of the general implications. In later chapters, these principles will be used to organize discussions of the selection of instructional goals, the sequencing of instructional activities, and the assessment of students’ learning. Principle 3.1: Meaningful learning occurs when new knowledge is connected to existing knowledge. One of the most important findings derived from research in cognitive learning theories in general and information-processing theory in particular is that students’ prior knowledge has powerful impact in the quality of their learning. The existing knowledge that students activate during learning will affect where they focus their attention, how Manuscript 9/28/03 40 they interpret the meaning of new information, and how they encode or compile new information. This principle has important implication for lesson planning. When planning instruction, you must be sensitive to your students’ existing knowledge. Successful lessons will provide any relevant knowledge your students lack, correct their misunderstandings, and help them connect new information to relevant prior knowledge. For instance you may want to familiarize yourself with the curriculum of other grades and classes, or administer pretests to better understand what your students know. In addition when planning on a larger scale you should consider how to sequence lessons so that the knowledge gained in one lesson becomes a foundation for later lessons. Principle 3.2: Effective instruction encourages learners to coordinate their various basic mental processes. Learning is a complex mental event that results from the coordination of a number of basic processes. Teachers should try to create learning environments that encourage students to engage in the type of process necessary for successful learning. We will organize the discussion around a few key processes for successful learning of declarative and procedural knowledge. Selective Perception Within the information processing model, the concept of selective-perception processes highlights two important aspects of learning. The first is that for any new information to be stored as knowledge it must first be attended to by the learner. As a teacher you may make use of orienting stimuli to initially attract your students’ attention. But maintaining that attention will also be influenced by the student’s goals. Manuscript 9/28/03 41 The second important implication has to do with your students’ perceptions. What is learned from a situation depends on how a learner perceives the situation. Students’ perception may be influenced by the materials being presented and by their relevant prior knowledge. Elaboration and Organization. The ability of students to understand and apply their declarative knowledge depends on how they encode the information. Successful encoding is facilitated when new knowledge is integrated with existing knowledge through organization and elaboration. Teachers s...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.

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