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|Title:||Role of examples, generalizations, and explanations in the acquisition of knowledge for explanatory texts|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||Anderson, Richard C.; Brewer, William F.|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Subject(s):||Education, Educational Psychology
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
|Abstract:||The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of three different kinds of information--examples, generalizations, and explanations in acquiring knowledge in explanatory science domains. The first research issue was to examine the role of two types of primary input information (i.e., one specific and one general information) in acquiring inferential knowledge. The second research issue was to investigate the role of several types of explanatory information in acquiring both inferential and explanatory knowledge.
To test these research issues, six acquisition conditions and four types of tests were developed in two science topics ("Seasonal Changes" and "Formation of Island Chains"). The acquisition conditions were created by varying the combination of three types of information. They were Examples, Generalizations, General Explanation, Instantiated Explanations, Explanations of Generalizations, and Student-Generated Explanations. The four types of tests were constructed to infer the forms of knowledge acquired in the six acquisition conditions. They were two inferential and two explanatory tests.
The experiment required two sessions, on separate days, for each student. Students were randomly assigned to the experimental conditions simply by distributing sets of materials arranged beforehand. Ninety-three students in seven sixth-grade classes for whom complete data were available were included in the analysis.
Results showed that the three types of information played almost equivalent roles in acquiring inferential knowledge. Although the role of explanatory information was initially considered very crucial in acquiring knowledge in knowledge-rich, explanatory domains, the students seemed to learn inferential knowledge not only from explanatory information but also from primary input information (Examples and Generalizations).
With regard to the acquisition of explanatory knowledge, the superiority of explanatory information to specific information (Examples) was well demonstrated. However, adding elaborated explanations was not beneficial. Finally, student-generated explanations were more effective than the experimenter-provided explanations. Having students generate their own explanations seems to facilitate the deeper level of understanding the topics and inferring proper explanations for new situations.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1995 Yi, Hwajin|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9522191|