ERIC Number: ED343783
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Transitions in Learning: Evidence for Simultaneously Activated Strategies.
Goldin-Meadow, Susan; And Others
Children rarely cite more than one strategy when asked to explain how they solved a particular arithmetic problem, hence their verbal explanations will not necessarily reveal whether they have considered multiple strategies on that problem. However, previous work has shown that, when asked to explain their performance on a task, children often use gestures along with their spoken explanations, and these gestures convey substantive information about the completion of that task which is different from the verbal information. While solving a primary, arithmetic task as part of this study, discordant children (n=7) who produced explanations with different strategies in gesture and speech, and concordant children (n=10) who produced explanations with a single strategy were both given a secondary task, or cognitive load. Discordant and concordant children alike produced the same number of correct responses on the primary task. However, as predicted, the discordant children expended more effort on the primary task due to the activation of two strategies, thereby reducing their capacity to perform on the secondary task in comparison with the concordant children. Discussion focuses on the suggestion that the transitional knowledge state with respect to conceptual attainment in the young learner appears to be characterized by multiple representations which are simultaneously held in the same mental space and are activated when the learner attempts to actively engage in problem solving. (JJK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conceptual Change; Conceptual Frameworks; Mathematics Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).