INTRODUCTION Scientists have been discovering and uncovering each part of the human memory system in order to help better understand how we encode our memories, and retrieve them as well.
Understanding these memory processes can help parents to improve the prospect of a higher education for their children early in life, and help people improve the quality of their memory and recollection processes
OVERVIEW Psychologists refer to storing memories as an encoding process--a procedure for transforming something a person sees hears, thinks, or feels into a memory.
Scientists have determined there are different methods in how we lay down our memories. This is done through encoding.
Shallow Encoding Maintenance Rehearsal (Craik,1979) Repeating information to yourself, such as a phone number, is a process of encoding that is part of our working, short-term memory most of us use when we need to hold a small amount of linguistic information in mind for several seconds. Repeating a phone number to yourself only temporarily stores the information.
Many people do not understand why this type of encoding doesn't work for long-term memory -- it is due to our utilizing our brain's phonological loop, that relies on a part of the brain designed only for short-term memory purposes.
Elaborative Rehearsal If you've ever had trouble remembering something you truly wanted to remember, as most of us, you probably just view yourself as possessing less intelligence than others.
These continued experiences of not being able to remember something promotes low self-esteem, not to mention embarrassment. What you are really missing in the memory encoding process, isn't intelligence, but a type of mental glue, scientists call elaborative encoding.
Elaborative Rehearsal In order to encode incoming information, or an event, into long-term memory, the best way to do this is to link, associate or connect the incoming information with something already in your memory in order to make it meaningful. You can retrieve the memory, because you have an actual means to recall it, due to associating, linking or connecting the incoming information with something already in your memory.
Research Suggests Research suggest that elaborative rehearsal is far superior to maintenance rehearsal for long-term recall but that it tends to use considerably more of a person’s cognitive resources than maintenance rehearsal (Craik, 1979). It also suggests that maintenance and elaborative rehearsal need to be thought of as representing opposite ends on the continuum of rehearsal.
Research cont. At one extreme of the continuum would be the minimal processing needed to repeat a term over and over. Susan (pg. 66) started at the top of her spelling list, reads the first word, and spells it to herself over and over. She does this six times for each of the 25 words on her list and than sets the list aside.
Research cont. At the other end would be processing activities (elaborative rehearsal) in which the to-be-learned information was linked with several bits of information already in memory. An example of elaborative rehearsal in learning the spelling words can be seen in how the fourth-grade daughter of one of the authors learned to spell respectfully (pg 67). She connected the word with the lyrics of an old song Respect.
MEDIATION Mediation is one of the simplest elaborative encoding strategies. Mediation involves tying difficult-to-remember items to something more meaningful. The original research on mediation in memory was based on the learning of paired nonsense syllables (e.g., BOZ and BUH). Mediation results in deeper, more elaborate encoding than simple repetition of new content.
Mnemonics There are visualization or guided imagery techniques you can also use to recall memories. You can visualize your mind as having many rooms, full of many objects related to your memories, of which you can add a new memory by placing it in its most appropriate room and location. Mnemonics has been used effectively throughout history and has played a major role, exerting a large influence on artistic and religious life, especially during the Middle Ages
Mnemonics cont. Mnemonics are memory strategies that help people remember information. Typically, mnemonics involve pairing to-be-learned information with well-learned information in order to make the new information more memorable. Mnemonics helps use learn new information by making it easier to elaborate, chunk, or retrieve it from memory. “i before e except after c” “Every Good Boy Does Fine”
Different Methods of Encoding The Peg Method - students memorize a series of “pegs” (pg 70). The Method of Loci -use of location to recall information (pg 71). The Link Method - best for learning list of things, form image for each item in the list of things to be learned.
Different Methods of Encoding The First-Letter Method students report using this method. Use first letters of to-be- learned words to construct acronyms or words. The Keyword Method - two separate stages: stage one - the acoustic link - id keyword. Stage two - visual image of the keyword interacting with the meaning of the to-be- learned vocabulary word.
Since 1975, a very large amount of research has been done on the keyword method. In general, results have been positive among students of all ages (J.R. Levin, 1986, Raugh, 1975; Pressley: 1977); the keyword method has been exceptionally effective in improving the learning of students with mild retardation and learning disabilities (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 1989).
Schema Activation Schema Activation refers to various methods designed to activate students’ relevant knowledge prior to a learning activity (Pearson, 1984).
Conclusion Summary of Mnemonics (pg. 74) Mnemonics are rhymes, sayings, and other procedures designed to make new material memorable. They help create more elaborate encoding of new materials and strong memory traces.
The peg method and the method of loci both depend on a well-learned base to which to-be-learned information is related. The link and story methods put to-be- learned items together in a list and rely on the recall of the overall image or story to facilitate recall.
The first-letter mnemonic chains items together by forming a word or acronym from the first letters of the words in a to-be-learned list. The most powerful and flexible mnemonic is the keyword method, which employs interactive imagery to form and acoustic and visual link.
Importance - Application For over two decades there has been an abundance of research regarding strategy instruction. Originally, most of this research focused on the effects of strategy instruction on students with learning disabilities. Researchers are currently looking at how strategy instruction affects all learners.
Strategy Instructions Psychology & Education The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997 and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 focus on improved achievement by all students.
Skillstreaming There are a variety of methods designed to assist teachers in developing programs and curriculum focused on social skills training. Skillstreaming is one method formed by Ellen McGinnis and Arnold Goldstein that systematically teaches prosocial skills to young children (1990).
McGinnis and Goldstein describe three settings where social skills are taught: large groups, small groups, and individual instruction. Large groups consist of twenty or more children and are used when teaching a class general instructions regarding a new skill.
To allow for role-playing and optimal practice time, small groups that include eight to ten children are often typically seen. Although primarily designed for a group setting, children with autism appear to benefit from individual instruction. (used in family therapy)
The first step in a Skillstreaming program is to acquaint students with the concept of social skills and illustrate activities that will be performed.
Teaching the new skills includes a four- step procedure: Modeling (showing how to do a skill) Role playing (trying the skill with the teacher or a peer) Performance feedback (talking about how they did) Transfer training (practicing the skill)
Children with autism need extra help learning social skills and they often lack the prerequisites to function as part of a group (McGinnis and Goldstein, 1990).
There are forty specific skills outlined and described in the Skillstreaming manual that range from "listening" to "knowing when to tell"
References Burning, R., Schraw, G., & Associates. (2004). Cognitive Psychology and Instruction. Upper Saddler River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. De La Paz, S. (1999). Self-regulated strategy instruction in regular education settings: Improving outcomes for students with and without learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 14, Pressley, M., Woloshyn, V., & Associates. (1995). Cognition strategy instruction that really improves children’s academic performances. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.