When applications are important it is helpful to have

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When applications are important, it is helpful to have several illustrations or examples. It also is helpful if participants can provide additional examples or make suggestions. The most important thing to remember is that meaningfulness of material promotes and enhances learning. Taxonomy Bloom et al. (1956) developed the cognitive domain for the Taxonomy of Educa- tional Objectives, and this is still useful for establishing instructional goals. These are hierarchical and provide a framework for sequencing and organizing material. The cognitive domain has six levels that call for thinking to move from simple to complex: 1. Knowledge. The first level includes thinking activity focused on recall of specifics, universals, methods, processes, patterns, facts, terminology, trends, principles, and generalizations. Suggestions: Be sure to define terms even if you believe that participants are familiar with them. Be specific about principles, concepts, and so on that are part of the presentation. Be cautious in making assumptions about what participants already know.
Group Leadership and Instruction Theories 77 2. Understanding. The second level incorporates and extends knowledge to include interpretation, translation, and extrapolation. Suggestions: Leaders can get feedback from participants about their levels of understanding. This also gives an opportunity to fill in missing information and to correct misunderstandings and faulty knowledge. 3. Application. Level 3 provides for selective use of abstractions (formed from knowledge and understandings) in particular situations. Suggestions: The leader can present applications after presenting facts and giv- ing feedback on the participants’ understanding of the facts. Participants who can suggest appropriate applications demonstrate successful completion of levels 1 and 2. 4. Analysis. Level 4 cognitive processes include the ability to see discrete ele- ments as well as the whole. Suggestions: Analyzing relationships, patterns, and organizing principles are examples. Analysis involves a relatively high degree of knowledge and experi- ence with the topic, so the leader may be the only one at this level. 5. Synthesis. Level 5 incorporates the previous four levels with the creation of a different or new perspective, product, or process. Suggestions: This level of learning would be somewhat unusual for the purposes or goals of most psychoeducational groups. Groups that have a problem-solving focus may achieve this level. Groups that have personal issue involvement as a primary component may see some members reach this level, especially if the group runs for several sessions. 6. Evaluation. Although this is considered the highest level for cognitive pro- cesses, evaluation can interact with all of the other levels. It is defined as making judgments about strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative points, adequacies and inadequacies. The interaction with other levels can help increase accomplishments at those levels.

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