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Chapter 6 addresses two ways in which our minds can be constructive: either by making inferences on the basis of what’s already there – filling in gaps of information, or by transforming what’s there into something new. This twofold ability of the human mind to construct is basic to our existence, enabling us to go beyond what we encounter around us. The way we talk reflects both inference and transformation processes systematically. Inference involves taking observable facts and combining them with further knowledge or assumptions, in order to come to new insights or conclusions that aren’t directly observable. Transformation, on the other hand, involves taking observable facts or objects and turning them into something different, something that isn’t yet there but that can be accomplished using available tools and operators. Chapter 6 looks at each of these processes of cognitive constructiveness in turn.
The year that followed Piero’s and Maddalena’s high-ranking marriages in 1488 saw Piero faced with a choice between two different ways of life. On one hand, he had to play his part in the civic life of Florence and learn the political role that he would inherit from Lorenzo. On the other, he had been seduced by his reception in Rome and by the courtly pleasures he had experienced there with Franceschetto and his curial friends. Its impact on him became clear when, at the end of that year, he demanded two of Franceschetto’s men to accompany him to Milan for Gian Galeazzo Sforza’s wedding, ‘because here it’s impossible to find men who are their equal’.1 Like Hercules approaching the crossroads as a young man (according to the well-known tale told by Prodicus), he seemed to be faced by a choice between a rocky uphill path and an easy downhill one.2
Over the 10 years of ‘Closing the Gap’, several interventions designed to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have been trialled. In 2014 the Australian Government announced the ‘Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Programme’ (FLFRPSP) which was designed primarily to improve the literacy outcomes of students in remote schools with mostly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The programme, using Direct Instruction (DI) or Explicit Direct Instruction, was extended to 2019 with more than $30 million invested. By 2017, 34 remote schools were participating in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. This paper analyses My School data for 25 ‘very remote’ FLFRPSP schools with more than 80% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students. It considers Year 3 and 5 NAPLAN reading results and attendance rates for participating and non-participating primary schools in the 3 years before the programme's implementation and compares them with results since. Findings show that, compared to very remote schools without FLFRPSP, the programme has not improved students' literacy abilities and results. Attendance rates for intervention schools have declined faster than for non-intervention schools. The paper questions the ethics of policy implementation and the role of evidence as a tool for accountability.
The aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy of a small-group reading instruction program that was delivered over two school terms to Australian students in Years 3 through 6. A large cohort (n = 239) of primary school children was assessed on their literacy skills before and after receiving ‘MacqLit’, a phonics-based program designed for older struggling readers. Parametric and nonparametric difference tests were used to compare results at pre- and postintervention time points. Statistically significant improvements with large effect sizes were observed on all raw score measures of word reading, nonword reading, passage reading and spelling. Statistically significant improvements were also observed on standard score measures of nonword reading and passage reading, suggesting the gains were greater than what might be expected to have resulted from typical classroom instruction. The results indicate that older middle primary school-aged students may benefit from phonics-based, small-group reading instruction.
Group-exercise instructors are a vital social determinant of exercise enjoyment, attendance, and adherence. Instructors also affect the degree to which physical cultures are socially inclusive. In order to elucidate the roles that instructors play in affecting these outcomes, we conducted a scoping review. Scoping reviews are a preliminary method for assessing the breadth and depth of existing literature in order to identify key themes and gaps therein. Based on Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) framework, we identified 52 articles and book chapters, 33 of which were older-adult specific, using a university search engine that simultaneously searches multiple databases. We conceptually mapped the literature, which revealed instructors’ vital roles as: (1) constructors of group social cohesion, (2) cultural intermediaries, (3) competent practitioners, (4) leaders and communicators, and (5) educators. Of these, the instructor’s educative role lacks empirical attention. We conclude with implications for future research, practice, and policy.
This study examines the effects of two cognitive abilities—language analytic ability (LAA) and working memory (WM)—on language learning under five different instructional conditions. One hundred fifty eighth-grade English as a foreign language learners underwent a 2-hr treatment session. They were divided into five groups based on whether and when they received form-focused instruction. One group received pretask instruction on the linguistic target (English passive voice) before performing two narrative tasks; a second group received within-task feedback but no pretask instruction; a third group received both pretask instruction and within-task feedback; a fourth group received feedback after completing the tasks; and the fifth group only performed the tasks. The results showed that (a) LAA was predictive of the posttest scores of the group that only performed the communicative tasks and the group who received posttask feedback, (b) WM was associated with the learning outcomes of the two groups receiving within-task feedback, and (c) neither cognitive variable was implicated in the group that received pretask instruction before performing the tasks. The results suggest that the impact of LAA is evident when there is less external assistance and that WM is involved when learners face the heavy processing burden imposed by within-task feedback.
This study examined the extent to which explicit instruction about first language (L1) and second language (L2) processing routines improved the accuracy, speed, and automaticity of learners’ responses during sentence interpretation practice. Fifty-three English-speaking learners of L2 French were assigned to one of the following treatments: (a) a “core” treatment consisting of L2 explicit information (EI) with L2 interpretation practice (L2-only group); (b) the same L2 core+L1 practice with L1 EI (L2+L1 group); or (c) the same L2 core+L1 practice but without L1 EI (L2+L1prac group). Findings indicated that increasing amounts of practice led to more accurate and faster performance only for learners who received L1 EI (L2+L1 group). Coefficient of variation analyses (Segalowitz & Segalowitz, 1993) indicated knowledge restructuring early on that appeared to lead to gradual automatization over time (Solovyeva & DeKeyser, 2017; Suzuki, 2017). Our findings that EI and practice about L1 processing routines benefited the accuracy, speed, and automaticity of L2 performance have major implications for theories of L2 learning, the role of L1 EI in L2 grammar learning, and L2 pedagogy.
An experiment and a follow-up study were conducted with Brazilian Portuguese-speaking kindergartners (N =90), mean age 53 months, to examine whether emergent readers benefit more from instruction in orthographic mapping (OM) of phonemes than OM of syllables at the outset of learning to read and write, and whether the addition of articulatory gestures in the OM training of phonemes enhances the benefit. In the experiment, children received instruction in small groups in one of four conditions: OM of phonemes with letters and articulation (OMP+A); OM of phonemes with letters but no articulation (OMP); OM of syllables and their spellings (OMS); and no OM control. Results showed that the OMP+A group outperformed the others in phonemic segmentation, reading, and spelling. On literacy assessments 1.5 years later, only the OMP+A group remembered how to segment words into phonemes. We conclude that despite the greater salience and accessibility of syllables than phonemes in spoken Portuguese, teaching phonemic OM better prepares emergent readers to move into reading and spelling than teaching syllabic OM. Moreover, instruction that includes articulation as well as letters to segment words is especially effective. Results support a graphophonemic connectionist theory of emergent reading and spelling.
Given the instant availability of information and the proliferation of questionable news, the ability to critically examine information before consuming it, is of increasing importance. The need for excellent information literacy skills is evident but lacking. This article highlights reasons as to resistance to existing information literacy efforts and suggests components for information literacy programming with a focus on fake news.
This study is an attempt to investigate the effect of metacognitive instruction through dialogic interaction in a joint activity on advanced Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ multimedia listening and their metacognitive awareness in listening comprehension. The data were collected through (N=180) male and female Iranian advanced learners ranging from 16 to 24 years of age in three groups. The first two groups were experimental (n=60), trained through a structured intervention program focusing on metacognitive instruction through dialogic interaction (MIDI) and metacognitive instruction (MI) for 10 sessions. The learners in the experimental group were involved in 60 minutes of practice twice a week. The third group was a control group (n=60), trained through regular classroom listening activities without receiving the structured intervention program. Multimedia listening tests and the Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ) were used to track the advanced learners’ multimedia listening comprehension and metacognitive awareness. The results showed that metacognitive instruction through dialogic interaction did improve both the advanced learners’ multimedia listening comprehension and their metacognitive awareness in listening.
Despite the accumulated body of research on teaching English as an international language (EIL), few have offered a detailed overview of how to implement an EIL classroom, and still fewer empirical studies have been conducted. Twenty-one university students at a Japanese university participated in the study in the spring semester of 2015. The videoconference-embedded classroom (VEC) as an instructional intervention was implemented for 14 weeks: (1) pre-videoconference task (i.e. reading and presenting/discussing EIL issues) (11 weeks), (2) during-videoconference task (i.e. interacting online with EIL experts from three circle countries) (2 weeks), and (3) post-videoconference task (i.e. writing/presenting the final term paper on EIL issues) (1 week). Using a mixed research method consisting of a questionnaire, post-course class evaluations in spring 2014 (without VEC) and spring 2015 (with VEC), and in-class observations, VEC was found to have important pedagogical benefits as it created an interactive learning environment and deepened the understanding of the EIL content. Additionally, 81% of the participants had positive perceptions of EIL. Pedagogically, practitioners can implement EIL ideas using VEC pedagogy at the instructional level. Theoretically, it can also add new empirical findings to the field, which may help bridge a discrepancy between theory and practice.
In a policy landscape dominated by forces that seek to continually reshape education according to market logics, there are particular impacts on the seemingly intractable crisis of Indigenous education policy making. Entrenched discourses of deficit result in education policy continually being ‘done to’ communities, with little heed paid to the effects of such efforts on the learning opportunities available to young Indigenous learners, particularly those living in remote communities. This paper examines the contemporary network of policy levers that come to shape how literacy policy is framed for Indigenous Australians through narratives of failure and crisis. In doing so, we ask what learning is made (im)possible and what are some of the ‘flattening’ effects on literacy curriculum and pedagogy as a result? Further, this paper seeks to open up the conversation around what learning is possible when the policy landscape is unflattened, when policy is ‘done with’ communities, and when pedagogical practices are opened up, rather than closed down.
Professional development (PD) is critical for instructors who are adopting new roles and competencies in online teaching environments. This mixed-method study examines an online faculty development programme in Turkey, reflecting upon participants’ expectations, readiness and satisfaction. The findings indicate a significant relationship between individual readiness and satisfaction, and reveal that readiness positively predicts satisfaction. Participants’ reflections demonstrate that, to enhance their traditional roles, they need competencies for online learning environments and active practice in real-life applications. PD is important for introducing the new pedagogies required and for integration of technology, while the adoption of new roles is key to developing competent online instructors who have a positive attitude to online learning.
Using a second cohort of Australian school students, this study repeated the propensity score analysis reported by Dempsey, Valentine, and Colyvas (2016) that found that 2 years after receiving special education support, a group of infant grade students performed significantly less well in academic and social skills in comparison to matched groups of students who did not receive support. Using Longitudinal Study of Australian Children data, the present study found that the second cohort of students with additional needs also performed less well than matched groups of peers and that these results also held true for the specific subgroup of these children with learning disability/learning problems. The ramifications of these results to the delivery of special education in Australia are discussed.
One of the most puzzling questions for scholars of fifteenth and sixteenth-century music is how composers went about creating polyphonic compositions. The training in grammar and arithmetic was based on memorization. Training in music was based on exactly the same principles: students would begin by learning the musical gamut through the Hand. The most important part of counterpoint instruction consisted of the systematic memorization of interval progressions. The central fact about visualization of sights is that the pitch on which the added part is visualized through a number is then transposed up by a fifth, an octave, or a twelfth. Composers of isoryhthmic motets chose to organize their pieces in tightly organized structures because it allowed them to work out the pieces in their mind and make them memorable to performers. There is little doubt that oral composition continued throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Writing did not replace oral composition, but could be used side by side with it.