ERIC Number: ED423284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Predicting Conceptual Understanding with Cognitive and Motivational Variables.
Alao, Solomon; Guthrie, John T.
The relationships among prior knowledge, learning strategy use, interest, learning goals, and conceptual understanding were studied with 72 fifth graders from 3 science classrooms. In September 1996 students completed a knowledge test designed to assess their prior knowledge and conceptual understanding of ecological concepts (plant and animal relationships and interdependencies). In early December, students completed a self-report measure of learning goals, interest, and strategy use, and the knowledge test in that order. Prior knowledge, strategy use, interest, and learning goals were positively related to each other and to conceptual understanding. Prior knowledge accounted for 29% of the total variance in conceptual understanding after the contributions of strategy use, interest, and learning goals were controlled. After controlling for prior knowledge, interest explained 7%, learning goals 6%, and strategy use explained 4% of the total variance in conceptual understanding. With the exception of prior knowledge, individual contribution of each of the other predictor variables to conceptual understanding was no longer significant when contributions of the other predictors were controlled. After controlling for prior knowledge, learning goals and interest accounted for 37% and 17% of the total variance in strategy use, respectively. After controlling for either interest or learning goals, prior knowledge did not account for a significant portion of the variance in strategy use. The mutual support of these processes in knowledge acquisition is discussed. Two appendixes contain the study instruments. (Contains 6 tables and 71 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A