ERIC Number: ED277882
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Dec-8
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Development and Teaching Vocational Students.
Garner, C. William
Years of research have shown that student learning is based on cognitive development. This finding has implications for the teaching of vocational education, especially to marginal students who are potential dropouts. Research has shown that students who have an internal rather than an external locus of control and who are more field independent (analytical) than field dependent are more successful in learning. Vocational education teachers should, therefore, try various ways of presenting material so that students from any point on the continuum of field dependence-independence can learn. For example, it is helpful first to present new material as a completely independent unit, and then teach the material again and show how it relates to previous material and to the subject as a whole. This is more often effective with field-dependent students than starting out with integrated materials, although this approach will make more analytical students uneasy at first. Vocational teachers should also work on the students' locus of control, so that students understand that they have control over what happens to them and that success or failure is not just caused by luck. Finally, since students who are field dependent have often been unsuccessful in learning by traditional methods, they often have a poor self-concept. Efforts must be made to help these students see themselves as capable and to help them learn how to learn. Techniques such as small groups, individual instruction, and learning activities that require analytical skills may be used. Such an orientation is far more useful than simply teaching job skills; vocational programs that stress cognitive development will be more successful. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Vocational Association (Dallas, TX, December 8, 1986).