Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chapter 4-Cognitive Information Processing Theory

While reading chapter 4, there were several instances in which I forgot I was reading about human cognition and thought I was reading about computers. After having read this chapter and filtering through its numerous acronyms (LTM, WM, SM) , I was most intrigued with the process of elaboration that is explained on page 161. Elaboration is described as the process in which information is added to new information to be learned. The book leads us to believe that this is beneficial to the student because it enhances their retention of new knowledge. This process appealed to me, because as I was reading about it, it instantly made me think about how I introduce new lessons in my classroom. At the start of a new lesson, I always begin with a brief recap of the previous lesson and ask the students to remind me of what they learned. I then pick one aspect of the previous lesson which relates to the new one, and begin my introduction there. I also like to ask the students how they think this next skill that they are about to learn will apply to their everyday lives. I have always thought that having the students relate new information to something in their lives would further engage them in the lesson, and now I have learned that this also aids in their retention of the new knowledge. This Chapter served as an "A-ha!" moment for me, my question is....Did any of you experience something similiar as you read it?


Jessica said...

Jennifer, I totally agree and understand your “A-ha!” moment. The Cognitive Information Process can seem as if it is made to explain how computers work instead of how a small child actually learns. The concept of elaboration is a good one to focus on. You described elaboration as the process in which information is added to new information to be learned. This reminds me of prior knowledge. Relevant prior knowledge facilitates encoding and retrieval processes. This helps students relate the new knowledge to knowledge they already have. If a teacher understands this process as you do with the example of how you introduce lessons, then teachers will be effective while giving instruction. Although CIP theory does seem challenging to comprehend at first, the instructional teaching strategies we can gain from the theory makes it worth knowing and using in education. This chapter helped me discern that I already use several of these strategies in my classroom; however, I didn’t understand the technicalities of exactly why they worked in my class. A-ha!, indeed!

Juan Miguel Garcia said...

I have to agree with you on the Aha moments. As I am reading the chapters in the book I have experience many of them and said to myself, I have done that in the classroom but now I know their is research behind what I have done in the past. I agree with jessica when she says the concept of elaboration is also like you are tapping into the students prior knowledge. I believe if you relate the information you are teaching to students prior knowledge that they will retain it more and students will be more engaged in your lessons because they can relate to what you are teaching them.