Investigating the relationship between classroom instruction and students' cognitive strategies



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Considerable effort has been devoted in the past 15 years to research studies investigating the link between teacher behaviors and student achievement (Brophy, 1979a,b; Brophy & Good, 1986; Gage, 1984, 1985) . Most of this research, however, has involved the examination of teaching practices which contribute to the development of basic skills such as comprehension or recall (Brophy, 1979b; Rosenshine, 1979) . Few studies have been conducted to identify, measure, and delineate those teacher behaviors which influence the development of higher-level thinking skills such as reasoning and problem-solving (Grouws, 1985; Stallings, 1984). Recently, there has been an emphasis on the development of students1 higher-order thinking skills (ASCD Update, 1986; Goodlad, 1984; National Commission on Excellence, 1983). These skills include "cognitive strategies", or goal-directed sequences of mental operations (Gagne, 1985) , which the student uses to approach and solve problems. Little is known, however, about the specific teaching behaviors which are associated with the development and subsequent use of these strategies by students in the classroom (Norris, 1985). The teacher's role needs to be investigated as intensely in relation to student acquisition of problem-solving ability as it has previously been investigated in student basics skills achievement (Grouws, 1985). [...]



Thought and thinking--Study and teaching, Problem solving--Study and teaching