ERIC Number: EJ1049718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Topical versus Chronological Organization of Lifespan Development: Does It Make a Difference in Student Retention and Understanding?
Spangler, Brooke R.; Kiel, Elizabeth J.
Teaching of Psychology, v42 n1 p73-78 Jan 2015
This study aimed to determine whether taking a chronological approach (CA) or topical approach (TA) to teaching developmental psychology resulted in different learning outcomes. Across two semesters, in four classes, 354 students participated (M[subscript age] = 19.76, SD[subscript age] = 2.93 years), 66% identifying as female. One instructor taught one course type across the two semesters. Identical information about Piaget's theory was presented in each condition. Around 5 weeks after instruction, concept checks were administered to measure understanding. Exam performance was also compared across courses, as were instructor evaluations. The data suggest that CA-instructed students may be better able to comprehend more difficult concepts. This is informative for instructors with the option of presenting information in contrasting ways and may inform textbook choices.
Descriptors: Developmental Psychology, Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Concept Teaching, Intermode Differences, Teaching Models, Achievement Gains, Introductory Courses, Undergraduate Students, Questionnaires, Piagetian Theory, Outcome Measures, Academic Achievement, Comparative Analysis, Time, Comprehension, Concept Formation, Cognitive Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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