ERIC Number: ED201541
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Fieldwork in Geography and Long Term Memory Structures.
Mackenzie, Andrew A.; White, Richard T.
This paper discusses a study of learning retention among junior high school students involved in a field trip in a geography course. The study was based on a model of memory proposed by Robert Gagne and R.T. White. This model of cognitive processes, postulated on the belief that recall of any element is a function of its degree of interlinking in memory with other elements, implies that fieldwork should improve retention because it encourages students to associate various types of verbal knowledge, intellectual skills, images, and episodes. The study involved comparing learning retention of geographical facts and skills among three groups of students (141 in all) in grades eight and nine in two junior high schools in Melbourne, Australia. One group was treated to an excursion stressing processing of meaning of phenomena observed and experienced during the field trip; one group participated in a traditional (passive) excursion; and the final group participated in the same basic geography course but had no excursion. It was hypothesized that (1) students who received either form of fieldwork would outperform students with no field trips on a test of geography knowledge, and (2) that students who participated in the field trip stressing knowledge and idea processing would outperform students who participated in the passive field trip. An achievement test was given to all students soon after the completion of the unit and again 12 weeks later to measure retention. Findings from a statistical analysis of test scores supported both hypotheses. The conclusion is that information and skill links such as those encouraged during the geography field trip discussed in this paper, will aid recall of facts and skills. Tests are included in the appendix. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Gagne (Robert M); White (R T)
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).