Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Inefficient Elementary Schoolers

Studies like this are good reminders of the obstacles teachers face when striving to educate elementary schoolers. Using the Wisconsin Card Sort (a task that requires sorting cards on the basis of changing rules), elementary school children came up short on their ability to be flexible and ignore distractions.



The results:



Not a big surprise, you might say, but it reinforces the idea that good habits of learning should be begun as early as possible...so reduce sloppy learning (learning the wrong lessons, bad habits), ensure mastery of the big picture and principles before moving on to exceptions or more complex material, and organizing group instruction to minimize task switching as much as possible.

Kids who don't learn from their mistakes may require more repetitions with unmastered material, alternative teaching strategies, and reduced distractions.

Developmental Aspects of Wisconsin Card Sort
Wisconsin Card Sort Task
Masters Thesis Literature Review on Invented Spelling (writer favors some inventive spelling very early, but feedback to start in 1st grade)
Errors as a Source of Learning in Mathematics
Criticizing the New SAT (Factual errors not scored down on the new SAT's writing segment)

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