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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
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
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.
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
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.
- Spring '08