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5 Knowledge and Reasoning
Pages 85-108

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From page 85...
... The first section of this chapter describes the problem of knowledge integration from the perspective of learning scientists and illustrates with research findings how people integrate their knowledge at different points in their development and in different learning situations. The second section describes what is known about the effects of accumulated knowledge and expertise on learning.
From page 86...
... Instead, elements common to the new and stored memory traces reactivate the old memory and, as the new memory is consolidated, the old memory may be reconstructed and undergo consolidation again (Nader, 2003)
From page 87...
... These studies underscore the active role of the learner; that is, even young children do not simply accrue knowledge from what they have experienced directly but build knowledge from the many things that they have figured out on their own, which, over time, they can do with less repetition and external support. As discussed in Chapter 2, adequate sleep is important for integration and learning.
From page 88...
... Possible reasons why the older children had an easier time integrating and recalling facts include faster processing speed (Kail and Miller, 2006) , a larger knowledge base that made the connections more obvious (Chi et al., 1989a)
From page 89...
... For trials in which the correct responses could be derived through integration of the facts presented, students selected the correct response 56 percent of the time. In contrast, in trials where integration of previous facts was not possible (such as in novel word trials)
From page 90...
... . People also learn to handle complexity by developing mental representations that make specific tasks easier to complete.
From page 91...
... Although some cognitive abilities related to learning novel information decline, on average, with age, these declines are offset by increases in knowledge accumulated through the life span, which empowers new learning. For example, in a study of young adults and older adults (in their 70s)
From page 92...
... But if sufficient additional information suggests a particular interpretation, they should converge on an answer, especially if the higher level of expertise is brought to bear. Beliefs about human-caused global climate change are a good example of the biases that blind individuals to new evidence.
From page 93...
... They routinely generate their own novel understanding of the information they are accumulating and productively extend their knowledge. Inferential Reasoning Inferential reasoning refers to making logical connections between pieces of information in order to organize knowledge for understanding and to drawing conclusions through deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and abductive reasoning (Seel, 2012)
From page 94...
... (2003) gives the example of an architect trying to build an office building with a naturally lit atrium.
From page 95...
... A number of research studies have described the general trajectories of age-related changes in ability, using a variety of measures and research designs (cross-sectional and longitudinal) , and have shown a fairly consistent trend in which the development of knowledge remains steady as reasoning capacity (the ability to quickly and accurately manipulate multiple distinct pieces of factual information to make inferences)
From page 96...
... However, examining peoples' cognitive abilities and learning becomes increasingly complex as people develop past the age of formal education. One reason is that the ways in which people learn become increasingly idiosyn cratic outside of a standardized educational curriculum, and understanding this process requires assessing knowledge gained through a wide variety of adult experiences that different individuals amass over a lifetime (Lubinski, 2000)
From page 97...
... STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT LEARNING People are naturally interested in strengthening their ability to acquire and retain knowledge and in ways to improve learning performance. Researchers have explored a variety of strategies to support learning and memory.
From page 98...
... Strategies for Knowledge Retention The first three strategies are ways of structuring practice that are particu larly useful for increasing knowledge retention. Retrieval Practice Some evidence shows that the act of retrieval itself enhances learning and that when learners practice retrieval during an initial learning activity, their ability to retrieve and use knowledge again in the future is enhanced (Karpicke, 2016; Roediger and Karpicke, 2006b)
From page 99...
... , whereas spaced practice distributes learning events over longer periods of time. Results show greater effects for spacing than for massed practice across learning materials (e.g., vocabulary learning, grammatical rules, history facts, pictures, motor skills)
From page 100...
... Both strategies may also involve spaced practice, and both also present learners with a variety of useful chal lenges, or "desirable difficulties." Researchers have identified potential benefits of variable and interleaved practice learning, but they have also found a few benefits for blocked practice. Several studies have shown benefits for blocking, at least for category learning (Carpenter and Mueller, 2013; Goldstone, 1996; Higgins and Ross, 2011)
From page 101...
... . Interleaved study naturally includes delays between learning blocks and thus easily allows for spaced practice, which has the potential benefits for long-term memory discussed above.
From page 102...
... However, those who created written summaries performed worse than those who re-read. The authors concluded that the drawing was more effective in this case because the learning involved spatial relations.
From page 103...
... . A curious student who applies intelligent elaborative interrogation asks deep-reasoning questions as she strives to comprehend difficult material and solve problems.
From page 104...
... When learners prepare to teach they must construct explanations, just as they do in elaborative interrogation and self-explanation activities. However, elaborative interrogation and self-explanation both require that the learner receive fairly specific prompts, whereas the act of preparing to teach can be more open ended.
From page 105...
... Preparing to teach requires elaborative processing because learners need to generate, organize, and integrate knowledge. Also, as mentioned, the explanations that people create may promote learning in the same way that elaborative interrogation and self-explanations promote learning.
From page 106...
... Accumulating bodies of knowledge, structuring that knowledge, and developing the capacity to reason about the knowledge one has are key cognitive assets throughout the life span. Strategies for supporting learning include those that focus on retention and retrieval of knowledge as well as those that support development of deeper and more sophisticated understanding of what is learned.
From page 107...
... Applying these approaches effectively therefore requires careful thought about how their specific mechanisms could be beneficial for particular learners, settings, and learning objectives.


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