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Knowledge Construction

In everyday contexts and educational settings alike, individuals are bombarded with a vast amount of information and faced with the task of sorting through material, connecting it to previously learned content, and building upon what is already known. Ironically, the apparent ease with which knowledge is constructed, organized, and extended often leads us to underestimate the complexity of these processes and take them for granted. Not in our lab! A major focus of our research is furthering our understanding of how children and adults learn and remember information and build upon it by self-generating new knowledge. For more information click Here!

Storybook Study: STEM Book Analysis

This purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which books for preschool-aged children that are targeted towards learning STEM- related facts provide contexts that are supportive and demanding of such learning. Additionally, this study is aimed at identifying the opportunities provided by books for integrating facts learned across pages and whether such opportunities for integration are provided within supportive and/or demanding contexts. It is hypothesized that on average STEM-related books provide many opportunities to learn novel STEM facts; however, most books are low in cohesiveness and provide limited support and demand for learning. Additionally it is hypothesized that there will be limited opportunities for integrating information across pages within the children’s books.

Storybook Study: Parent and Child STEM Book Reading

This study investigates how the content provided in children’s STEM books and parental book reading styles interact to support children’s STEM fact recall and integration. To what extent does maternal extra-textual talk during book reading surrounding STEM facts differ based on the extent to which the books provide supportive and demanding contexts? Does maternal extra-textual talk during book reading mediate or moderate the relation between book context and fact recall? If maternal extra- textual talk is a mediator this would suggest that the book context predicts differences in maternal extra-textual talk, which is turn relates to differences in children’s recall performance. If maternal extra-textual talk is a moderator, this would likely indicate that children recall the most facts when maternal style is highly elaborative. However, when the book contexts are highly supportive and/or demanding children will recall more facts despite low maternal elaboration.

Note- Taking Study
This purpose of this study is to understand college students’ note-taking behavior in science classes when their lectures are taught using diagrams or graphics. It is hypothesized that students who are provided with the same diagram in their notes as they see in their lecture will have higher performance at test than students who do not receive the lecture diagram.

Autobiographical Memory
How long is the tale of your memory? What do you remember about your early childhood? The course of development of the ability to remember personally meaningful events is a long and winding one. Almost as soon as they can talk, children tell us that they have personal or autobiographical memories. Yet over the course of early to middle childhood, autobiographical memory changes dramatically. We use a number of methods and approaches to find out why. For more information click Here!