Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-8zwnf Total loading time: 0.557 Render date: 2022-12-03T07:26:43.748Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

1 - Microgenetic studies of self-explanation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Robert S. Siegler
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
Nira Granott
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Dallas
Jim Parziale
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Get access

Summary

Microgenetic methods are useful for many purposes. They can yield more precise descriptions of cognitive change than would otherwise be possible, can reveal both similarities and dissimilarities in change processes across tasks and age groups, and can provide the type of detailed data that are essential for constructing formal models of cognitive change. Further, as is amply demonstrated in this volume, they are useful for examining change involving a wide variety of tasks and age groups and for addressing a wide variety of theoretical issues.

In the present chapter, I pursue two main goals, one quite general and one relatively specific. The more general goal is to describe a theory of cognitive change – the overlapping waves approach – that has arisen from my own and other investigators' microgenetic studies. The more specific goal is to illustrate a use to which the microgenetic method is just beginning to be put, but one that it can serve very effectively: Helping us understand how instructional approaches exercise their effects. The particular instructional approach used to illustrate this function is encouragement to generate self-explanations, that is, encouragement to explain how or why events occurred. I first describe the general theory, then the specific application.

Overlapping waves theory

Implicit metaphors shape our thinking about many topics. A common implicit metaphor underlying traditional views of cognitive development was made explicit by the title of Robbie Case's (1992) book The mind's staircase.

Type
Chapter
Information
Microdevelopment
Transition Processes in Development and Learning
, pp. 31 - 58
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2002

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adolph, K. E. (1997). Learning in the development of infant locomotion. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 62 (Serial No. 251)CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Alibali, M. W., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1993). Gesture-speech mismatch and mechanisms of learning: What the hands reveal about a child's state of mind. Cognitive Psychology, 25, 468–523CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Anzai, Y., & Simon, H. A. (1979). The theory of learning by doing. Psychological Review, 86, 124–140CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ashcraft, M. H. (1987). Children's knowledge of simple arithmetic: A developmental model and simulation. In J. Bisanz, C. J. Brainerd, & R. Kail (Eds.), Formal methods in developmental psychology (pp. 302–338). New York: Springer-VerlagCrossRef
Baer, J. (1993). Creativity and divergent thinking: A task-specific approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Bauer, P. J., & Mandler, J. M. (1989). One thing follows another: Effects of temporal structure on 1-to 2-year-olds’ recall of events. Developmental Psychology, 25, 197–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bielaczyc, K., Pirolli, P. L., & Brown, A. L. (1995). Training in self-explanation and self-regulation strategies: Investigating the effects of knowledge acquisition activities on problem solving. Cognition and Instruction, 13, 221–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carey, S. (1985). Conceptual change in childhood. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Case, R. (1992). The mind's staircase: Exploring the conceptual underpinnings of children's thought and knowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Chen, Z., & Siegler, R. S. (2000). Across the great divide: Bridging the gap between understanding of toddlers’ and older children's thinking. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 65 (2, Whole No. 261)Google ScholarPubMed
Chi, M. T. H. (2000). Self-explaining expository texts: The dual processes of generating inferences and repairing mental models. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Advances in instructional psychology, Vol. 5 (pp. 161–237). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Chi, M. T. H., Bassok, M., Lewis, M., Reimann, P., & Glaser, R. (1989). Self-explanations: How students study and use examples in learning to solve problems. Cognitive Science, 13, 145–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chi, M. T. H., Leeuw, N., Chiu, M.-H., & LaVancher, C. (1994). Eliciting self-explanations improves understanding. Cognitive Science, 18, 439–477Google Scholar
Church, R. B., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1986). The mismatch between gesture and speech as an index of transitional knowledge. Cognition, 23, 43–71CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Coyle, T. R., & Bjorklund, D. F. (1995). The development of strategic memory: A modified microgenetic assessment of utilization deficiencies. Cognitive Development, 11, 295–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coyle, T. R., & Bjorklund, D. F. (1997). Age differences in, and consequences of, multiple-and variable-strategy use on a multitrial sort-recall task. Developmental Psychology, 33, 372–380CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ferguson-Hessler, M. G. M., & Jong, T. (1990). Studying physics texts: Differences in study processes between good and poor solvers. Cognition and Instruction, 7, 41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldin-Meadow, S., & Alibali, M. W. (this volume). Looking at the hands through time: A microgenetic perspective on learning and instruction
Granott, N. (1993). Patterns of interaction in the co-construction of knowledge: Separate minds, joint effort, and weird creatures. In R. Wozniak & K. W. Fischer (Eds.), Development in context: Acting and thinking in specific environments (pp. 183–207). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Granott, N. (1998). A paradigm shift in the study of development: Essay review of Emerging Minds by R. S. Siegler. Human Development, 41, 360–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
King, A. (1991). Effects of training in strategic questioning on children's problem-solving performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 307–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kuhn, D., Garcia-Mila, M., Zohar, A., & Andersen, C. (1995). Strategies of knowledge acquisition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 60 (Serial No. 245)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
LeFevre, J. A., Sadesky, G. S., & Bisanz, J. (1996). Selection of procedures in mental addition: Reassessing the problem-size effect in adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, 216–230Google Scholar
Leslie, A. M. (1982). The perception of causality in infants. Perception, 11, 173–186CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Marquer, J., & Pereira, M. (1990). Reaction times in the study of strategies in sentence-picture verification: A reconsideration. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 42A, 147–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, P., & Aloise-Young, P. (1996). Preschoolers’ strategic behaviors and performance on a same-different task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 60, 284–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nathan, M. J., Mertz, K., & Ryan, B. (1994). Learning through self-explanation of mathematical examples: Effects of cognitive load. Paper presented at the 1994 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association
Neuringer, A. (1993). Reinforced variation and selection. Animal Learning & Behavior, 21, 83–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oakes, L. M., & Cohen, L. B. (1995). Infant causal perception. In C. Rovee-Collier & L. P. Lipsitt (Eds.), Advances in infancy research, Vol. 9. Norwood, NJ: Ablex
Perry, M., Church, R. B., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1988). Transitional knowledge in the acquisition of concepts. Cognitive Development, 3, 359–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Perry, M., & Elder, A. D. (1999). Knowledge in transition: Adults’ developing understanding of a principle of physical causality. Cognitive Development, 12, 131–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Perry, M., & Lewis, J. L. (1999). Verbal imprecision as an index of knowledge in transition. Developmental Psychology, 25, 749–759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Piaget, J. (1952). The child's concept of number. New York: W. W. Norton
Pirolli, P., & Recker, M. (1994). Learning strategies and transfer in the domain of programming. Cognition and Instruction, 12, 235–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schauble, L. (1996). The development of scientific reasoning in knowledge-rich contexts. Developmental Psychology, 32, 102–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shrager, J., & Siegler, R. S. (1998). SCADS: A model of children's strategy choices and strategy discoveries. Psychological Science, 9, 405–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Siegler, R. S. (1995). How does change occur: A microgenetic study of number conservation. Cognitive Psychology, 28, 225–273CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Siegler, R. S. (1996). Emerging minds: The process of change in children's thinking. New York: Oxford University Press
Siegler, R. S., & Jenkins, E. A. (1989). How children discover new strategies. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Siegler, R. S., & McGilly, K. (1989). Strategy choices in children's time-telling. In I. Levin & D. Zakay (Eds.), Time and human cognition: A life span perspective (pp. 185–218). The Netherlands: Elsevier Science Publishers
Siegler, R. S., & Shipley, C. (1995). Variation, selection, and cognitive change. In T. Simon & G. Halford (Eds.), Developing cognitive competence: New approaches to process modeling. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Siegler, R. S., & Shrager, J. (1984). Strategy choices in addition and subtraction: How do children know what to do? In C. Sophian (Ed.), The origins of cognitive skills. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Stevenson, J. W., Lee, S. Y., Chen, C., Stigler, J. W., Hsu, C. C., & Kitamura, S. (1990). Contexts of achievement: A study of American, Chinese, and Japanese children. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 55 (1–2, Serial No. 221)CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stigler, J. W., & Hiebert, J. (1999). The teaching gap. New York: The Free Press
Stokes, P. D., Mechner, F., & Balsam, P. D. (1999). Effects of different acquisition procedures on response variability. Animal Learning and Behavior, 27, 28–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thelen, E., & Ulrich, B. D. (1991). Hidden skills. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 56 (Serial No. 223)CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thornton, S. (1999). Creating the conditions for cognitive change: The interaction between task structures and specific strategies. Child Development, 70, 588–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van Lehn, K. (1983). On the representation of procedures in repair theory. In H. P. Ginsburg (Ed.), The development of mathematical thinking. New York: Academic Press
Webb, N. M. (1989). Peer interaction and learning in small groups. In N. Webb (Ed.), Peer interaction, problem-solving, and cognition: Multidisciplinary perspectives. [Special issue.]International Journal of Education Research, 13, 21–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wellman, H. M., & Gelman, S. A. (1998). Knowledge acquisition in foundational domains. In W. Damon (Series Ed.), & D. Kuhn & R. S. Siegler (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 2: Cognition, perception, and language (5th edn., pp. 523–574). New York: Wiley
119
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×