Learning-memory processes in the classroom.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This research involved two studies concerned with pupils' learning and retention of written material in the classroom. Ss being Form I intermediate school pupils. The major study involved structured interviews, following pupils' study of a written passage; to determine their knowledge of their own learning-memory processes, the strategies which they use when attempting to learn and remember written material, and the effect of these two factors on recognition and recall, after a 4 week and 5 day retention period. The subsidiary study compared the relative effectiveness of learner formulated strategies and three experimenter imposed strategies (the later groups having no knowledge of a post-test) on retention, over 2 weeks and 6 days. The effect of pupils' reading comprehension-vocabulary levels and the differences between recognition and recall were also considered. The results suggest that Form I pupils have a somewhat sketchy basic knowledge of factors influencing learning and retention but often have trouble expressing this knowledge and seldom use it in a planned way. No definite conclusions were reached on the relative effectiveness of various study strategies, but the need for meaningful processing, by some means, was emphasized. The effect of the extent of pupils' established knowledge of the to-be-remembered material, on learning and retention, was also noted. The results show the important part teacher instructions can play in determining the effectiveness of pupils' learning and retention in the classroom. However it is the learner who has ultimate control over the depth at which processing takes place.