Final presentation- Learning & Cognition


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Final presentation- Learning & Cognition

  1. 1. An analysis of how a child interprets, processes, and mentally organizes the details of the story of Purim
  2. 2. Introduction  The Purim Story ◦ Recorded in Ketuvim (Writings) as a Megilah that is read annually during the Hebrew month of Adar ◦ Studied by all ages in Jewish Day Schools ◦ Follows a relatively simple storyline, but is comprised of more complex mini stories ◦ Follows a specific cause-and-effect literary sequence so that the story doesn’t seem miraculous.
  3. 3. What To Look For…  The Purim Story ◦ Sequence of events in chronological order ◦ Understanding cause and effect between individual events in the story ◦ Ability to organize events of story by subtopics ◦ How participant fills in gaps in memory of story. ◦ Differences in learning styles due to age and maturity
  4. 4. Specific Strategies and Concepts  Mental Production Systems ◦ If-Then Condition Rules: Sequence and Cause and Effect in Story ◦ Top Down Vs. Bottom Up  Schemas ◦ Story Scripts- Characters & Roles, Conflict & Resolution, and logical cause and effect  Expert Vs. Novice ◦ Does exposure to story and age help chunk events in story?  Generative Theory ◦ How child fills in the gaps when the story doesn’t make sense  Visual Vs. Abstract ◦ Ability to interpret pictures and visualize the storyline  Mental Model ◦ How the story in the participant’s mind differs from the pictures
  5. 5. Interview Context  Participants were siblings: 6 years old and 9 years old  Interviews were conducted partly in Yeshiva University and partly in the home of the participants located in New Jersey. ◦ Siblings attended same kindergarten and had the same teacher ◦ 6 year old seemed timid and afraid in YU, but was able to find comfort in being at home when candy and food was available.
  6. 6. Interview Procedure  Baseline Questions ◦ “Can you tell me everything you know about Purim story?” (Baseline Facts & Knowledge) ◦ Can you teach me the story from the beginning until the end?” (Baseline understanding of sequence)  Leora was able to answer both just using Prompt #1  Explanation of Cards  What part of story does each card represent?
  7. 7. Materials
  8. 8. Interview Procedure  Chronological Explanation ◦ Participants asked to use picture cards to tell over the story of Purim in chronological order  Prompt: “Speak out loud your thought process- why you are putting the pictures in that order”  Cause and Effect ◦ Participants asked to reorganize the pictures into pairs based on cause and effect  Analysis: Are there any differences between the order of pictures in these two tasks? If so, how could that be?  Back to Chronological Order ◦ This step aims to bring to the participant’s attention any differences between the first two tasks.  Analysis: By observing these three tasks, we can gain insight into the learning and metacognition of the
  9. 9. Teaching Task  Teaching Method ◦ Taught pictures and what they represented ◦ Groups with titles/topics  Zack could not understand the concept of groups and cause and effect ◦ Taught participant the entire story of Purim while explaining both chronological order and cause and effect  Filled in any missing blanks and focused on specific mistakes that the participant made
  10. 10. Post- Interview  Asked participant to retell the story of Purim but by organizing events (pictures) by cause and effect ◦ The idea was to see if participant was able to succeed in this task and by doing so actually also organizing the pictures in chronological order as well.
  11. 11. Schema Theories  Organized pattern of thought or behavior  Story Schema o Setting- Shushan, Palace o Characters- King, Queen, Haman (evil), Mordechai (nice) o Problem- The Jewish people face extinction o Goal- To stop the plan to destroy the Jews o Complication- Haman has the king’s approval o Resolution- King changes loyalties to Mordechai and finds Haman to be disloyal. Jews are saved
  12. 12. Story Schema  Zach (6 Years Old) o Top-Down: knew the basic structure of the story and filled in the details - Referred to the characters as “Mean Haman” “Mordechai HaYehudi” and “Beautiful Queen Esther” - Had trouble remembering Bigton and Teresh possibly because they were conflicting bad guys, or because the role of antagonist was already taken by Haman
  13. 13. Story Schema • Leora (9 Years Old) o Bottom up- Knew the details of the story and tried to fit it into a story format - When asked to tell the story, she started from the middle and then back-tracked as she fit the details into the story schema. - We asked her to put the details that she knew in order and then we had her group them into cause and effect groups. She succeeded in these tasks.
  14. 14. Production Systems  Condition action rules (IF… THEN…) o We applied this logic to the story script to see if they could understand the causal relationship between the events of the story. o EX: If we know that Mordechai was riding on the horse in this picture as a reward for saving the King’s life, which picture would have to come before this one?
  15. 15. Production Systems (2)  Zach- Had trouble using this type of thinking Interviewer: Good. Now what is this picture? Zach: Going Sleepy? Interviewer: Who is going sleepy? Zach: The king Interviewer: And is he able to sleep? Zach: [Shook head no] Interviewer: Why can’t he sleep? What is he doing? Zach: Reading Interviewer: What story did he read? What almost happened to the King? Zach: Death Interviewer: By who? Zach: Bigton and Teresh. Interviewer: So what had to come before this one? What caused the king to read the story? Which card? Interviewer: What did he remember? Which story? Zach: I give up.
  16. 16. Production Systems (3) • Leora- Had an easier time with it “for vashti not being queen and esther becoming queen its first there was a party and vashti wouldn’t come down so I put the part and vashti with an x on it, and then esther was queen.” “And I am going to put Bigtan and teresh talking and Mordechai hearing them with the pile of Mordechai going on the horse because that the reason why Achashveirosh wanted him to go on a horse.”
  17. 17. Production Systems (4) • She was clearly able to work within this type of mental framework, and was aware of when she reached an impasse and found a repair Leora: First, Haman… came to Achashveirosh and said like, “I should be rewarded, because I’m like really cool” [giggles]. But, he didn’t say like “I”. He said like, there’s this person like he should be honored and so like Achashveirosh said that he couldn’t have been talking about himself because he would’ve said “I” and he was thinking like yeah this person is really cool and I should honor him because he like helped me a lot. And he was going to honor him. No…wait…yeah he gave, Haman…wait…he said to Haman that “you could”…like…he said he was going to honor this person. So then Haman thought he was going to honor him, and then the next day like, um, I meant that night, he, achashveirosh, was in his bed and he was like sleeping kind of, and he like woke up in the middle of the night,
  18. 18. Other Observations- Analysis • METACOGNITION • Zack was unable to explain his thought processes, whereas Leora was able to stop herself and explain her thought processes • Novice Vs. Expertise • Leora seemed to be much quicker to interpret the pictures, group connected events, and organize by cause and effect. This could be because she was exposed to these events more times and learned about them more times as well. Although Chess wouldn’t officially call her an expert, we consider her to have more expertise than Zack • Visual Vs. Abstract • The visual images were of much help to leora and she utilized them well. Meanwhile, they seemed to confuse Zack because he was unfamiliar with the images and was unable to interpret them with ease. • Mclosky Naïve Theory • We observed a significant difference between Zack and Leora when it came to their post-interview. Leora was able to very quickly remember everything that she had learned, including the three subtopics, without any prompts. Zack had trouble remembering anything that we had taught him. This shows us that learning does not happen instantaneously, but rather systematically. While Leora was able to quickly retain the systematic learning, Zack couldn’t.
  19. 19. Regrets? • Learning Experience: No regrets, but obviously we learned a lot from analyzing our transcripts that we would change for next time: • Do less talking and more listening • Try not to give too much information. It isn’t about getting the right answer, but understanding why the answer was given • Different approach to get insight into Zacks cognitive processes
  20. 20. Application to Jewish Education • Learning isn’t instantaneous, it is systematic. Set realistic learning goals and expectations • When a student gets a question “wrong”, it shouldn’t end with the teacher marking it wrong, but we should understand how the student got to that answer. • Having a conversation with the student, or having them elaborate how they got to an answer could improve the learning experience • Assessment: Thought should go into the assessments we give to the students and into the distance between finishing the unit and