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Using Concepts to Frame History Content

Todd Twyman, Jennifer McCleery and Gerald Tindal
The Journal of Experimental Education
Vol. 74, No. 4 (Summer, 2006), pp. 331-349
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20157435
Page Count: 19
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Using Concepts to Frame History Content
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Abstract

Two groups of middle school students were taught U.S. colonial history during a 5-week period using 2 different instructional strategies. In the experimental group, concepts and problem-solving strategies were explicitly taught; in the control group, content was presented using lectures and reading. All students took a pretest and several posttests. Declarative knowledge tasks measured factual content knowledge and domain vocabulary acquisition; procedural knowledge was measured with problem-solving essays. Whereas performance was not statistically different between the 2 groups on the fact tests, significant differences were found on the vocabulary tests and problem-solving essays. These findings support using direct instruction for relational thinking and problem solving with explicit reference to concepts and attributes.

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