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ERIC Number: ED220153
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
How to Help Your Students Recall New Concepts Better.
Hodges, Daniel L.
Students' difficulties in assimilating new concepts can be a barrier to learning and may be exacerbated if the concepts are introduced in terms of detailed verbal definitions. Cognitive psychology suggests that a better approach to teaching new concepts may be to use prototypical examples of the concept as building-blocks from which verbal definitions can be understood and remembered. The steps in such a teaching technique include introducing the phenomenon, naming the term, describing one or two prototypical examples, providing the formal definition, matching the characteristics of the prototypes to each part of the definition, and providing additional examples which do and do not fit into the definition. For example, in explaining the concept of a caste system, first, the concept would be introduced; then India's classical caste system, which divided the society into brahmins, warriors, merchants, untouchables, etc., could provide the prototype of a caste system; and next the technical definition of caste system could be introduced and linked to the prototype. In this way the student can reconstruct the elements of the definition of the caste system, even if the verbal definition itself was not recalled. The technique is most effective if prototypes are vivid and concrete, if it is clear that prototypes are not the only examples, and if students are helped to focus on the relevant characteristics of the prototypes. (HB)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Prototypes