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BEHAVIORAL APPROACH VS. COGNITIVE APPROACH AND HOW TO FIND A BALANCE Hilary Rimmer and Tessa Gromoll

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ARGUMENT In Instruction it is important to not just follow one single approach to Instruction, but to find a balance between effective methods.

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Instructing students using stimuli to get a desired behavior. ( Snowman, Jack, and Rick McCown,448). Direct instruction is a popular approach for using this method.

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Information processing theory- emphasize the learning of facts and skills that teachers or school boards, have decided are important (Chen, Irene). Direct Instruction Approaches- Lectures, tutorials, drills, demonstrations, and other forms of teacher controlled teaching (Chen, Irene). Teaching Applications- Relate material to real world situations (Chen, Irene). Break down instruction- Break down the material into smaller units (Chen, Irene).

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Is a cognitive process that cumulates to yield competence ( Wearne, Diana, and James Hiebert). Most often associated with self- regulated learning (Snowman, Jack, and Rick McCown, 451) Focuses on helping students process and store information by using techniques for visual and auditory learners( Clark, Ruth, and Gary Harrelson).

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Encoding- The integration of new data into existing schemas( Clark, Ruth, and Gary Harrelson). Cueing Devices- Such as word emphasis, bolding letters, or drawing arrows (Clark, Ruth, and Gary Harrelson). Instructional objectives- Writing objectives clearly for students to see (Snowman, Jack, and Rick McCown, 447). Retrieval techniques- Teaching a lesson that helps students apply material they have learned in different settings (Clark, Ruth, and Gary Harrelson).

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Grade Level : Freshmen – Juniors Instructors: Dr. Robinson, and Dr. Faucette Subjects : Elementary Linear Algebra, Survey of calculus, College Algebra, and Pre calculus.

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Student Demographics : Majority Caucasian, some African American, South American, and Middle eastern students. Female to male ratio was either balanced or predominantly male. Approximately 18 students in every class. Length of Observations : 16 hours

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Student- Teacher Interaction There were more interactions between the students and the teachers in upper level classes. Students were more comfortable asking questions in upper level classes. In longer classes students became restless, and the interaction subsided throughout the class.

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Student-Student Interactions In pre-calculus and college algebra, there was more interaction between the student before class. For the morning classes, there was less communication. Classmates were helping explain concepts to one another.

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Teacher-Student Interactions In all of the classes, we observed teachers using humor to increase student attentiveness. The teachers were confident in the material; which made all of the students more comfortable in communicating with the instructor. Each teacher taught from the front of the classroom, to maintain classroom management.

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OBSERVING COGNITIVE APPROACHES IN CLASS OBSERVATION In Dr. Robinson’s Survey of Calculus class he used bright colors, and different colors to coordinate his charts and call attention to specific material. Dr. Robinson organized his study guides based off of the same layout he uses on his tests. We observed Dr. Robinson wanted all of the students to improve their test scores, and understanding of the material for their next test. Dr. Robinson used graphing calculators for his lessons.

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OBSERVING COGNITIVE APPROACHES IN CLASS OBSERVATION CONTINUED Dr. Faucette gave students a break during instruction, so that the students will have time to process the information. Dr. Faucette provides office hours for students, so they can ask for help on their own. Gave the students the choice for when they wanted their test. In Dr. Faucette’s linear algebra class, he wanted them to relate back to geometry.

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OBSERVING BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES IN CLASS OBSERVATION In Dr. Robinson’s class, he stated “you can only go up from here;” when the students got the test scores back. Dr. Robinson had an outline prepared ahead of time for each lecture. He related math problems to economics. In his notes he wrote on the board, he underlined key vocabulary words for students to know.

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OBSERVING BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES IN CLASS OBSERVATION CONTINUED Dr. Faucette gives guided worksheets for homework to his elementary linear algebra class. Also, he uploads solutions on his website. Trig/cal In every class, Dr. Faucette gave an outline of what to expect from lessons each day. In his pre-calculus, he separately taught the law of cosines and law of sines.

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Chen, Irene. "Behavioral Theories." An Electronic Textbook on Instructional Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2012.. Clark, Ruth, and Gary Harrelson. "Journal of Atheletic Training." Designing Instruction That Supports Cognitive Learning Processes 37 (2002): 152-59. NCBI. Web. 10 July 2012.. Snowman, Jack, and Rick McCown. Pyschology Applied to Teaching. 13th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2012. Print. Wearne, Diana, and James Hiebert. "A Cognitive Approach to Meaningful Mathematics Instruction: Testing a Local Theory Using Decimal Numbers." Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 1-43 (1970-2012): 371-84. JSTOR. Web. 10 July 2012..

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