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Synthesizing instructional technologies and educational culture: exploring cognition and metacognition in the social studies

Abstract : This research was initiated to examine instructional technologies and educational cultures in relation to identified cognitive and metacognitive strategies uses in school tasks. The project involved activities from the social studies curricula that were presented through two new software programs intended to support the development of problem-solving and reasoning strategies - IDEA [Interactive Decision Envisioning Aid, Pea (76)] Notecards (34) - and through instructional approaches bases upon "cognitive apprenticeship" views of learning [Collins, Brown, and Duguid (36)]. After piloting the project, ten high school juniors participated in instruction with these technologies and redesigned methods, composing essays about their selection of arguments about a candidate for U.S. President and about a "most important social issue." Essays about these topics written prior, during and after the project were collected and analysed for their reasoning, using the work of Toulmin (40) and Hillocks (46). In addition, the ongoing interactions of the students with the instructional technologies were recorded and analysed to assess their cognitive and metacognitive strategies as they occurred. Quantitative analyses revealed significant (p<.05) increases in the "breadth" and "depth" of students' reasoning in the presidential candidate" essays as a result of the project (independently of the presented knowledge base), but little or no improvement in their reasoning in the "issue" essays (intended as transfer tasks). data collected from students' ongoing use of the technologies is also analyzed and reported, including positive correlations (Rho=.68, Rho=.78) between written reasoning and interactions with the "executive control" functions of the software programs. These results, as well as qualitative findings, are discussed in the relation to recent literature about cognition and learning with instructional technologies.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 23, 2007 - 8:50:55 AM
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Devin G. Thornburg, Roy D. Pea. Synthesizing instructional technologies and educational culture: exploring cognition and metacognition in the social studies. Journal educational computing research, 1991, 7(2), pp.121-164. ⟨hal-00190566⟩



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