COGNITIVE STRATEGIES EMPLOYED BY CHILDREN IN SOLVING ISOLATED AND EMBEDDED ANALOGIES

RICHARD RUSSELL CARROLL, Fordham University

Abstract

This study was concerned with inference in the comprehension of text, through the investigation of cognitive strategies used by third and sixth graders in the processing of two types of analogical tasks, isolated and embedded analogies. The purpose of this study was to determine developmental differences in the level of success in solving isolated and embedded analogies; the frequency of use of five inferencing strategies (lexical inference, extrapolative inference, rebinding, D', and justification); and the ability to extract an isolated analogy drawn from a successfully solved embedded analogy of identical context.^ The subjects were 20 third graders and 20 sixth graders reading at or above grade level, attending three elementary schools in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.^ The materials used in this study were devised by the investigator and consisted of five isolated analogies, three embedded analogies, two interview schedules, eight response guides, and two scoring guides. The subjects were individually interviewed and all responses were tape recorded.^ The findings indicated that sixth graders are more successful than third graders at solving both isolated and embedded analogies, and consistently more efficient than third graders in their use of the inferencing strategies investigated. In the isolated task, only the lexical and extrapolative inferencing strategies were found to be essential for analogical reasoning; in the embedded task, only an extrapolative inferencing strategy was essential. In addition, a relationship was found between the embedded and isolated tasks when the material was identical.^ A major conclusion was that third graders were heavily dependent upon word association in the isolated task and exhibited difficulty in evaluating and integrating the embedded task. Sixth graders were capable of symmetrical processing of the isolated task and of identifying the inferential mappings between the paragraphs of the embedded task. The author attributed this developmental difference to the sixth graders' efficient organization of both tasks in memory.^ Instructional materials abound with analogical comparisons. This study demonstrated that analogy depends upon inference. It is essential that teachers teach these inferencing strategies if students are expected to comprehend the analogies that confront them. ^

Subject Area

Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

CARROLL, RICHARD RUSSELL, "COGNITIVE STRATEGIES EMPLOYED BY CHILDREN IN SOLVING ISOLATED AND EMBEDDED ANALOGIES" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8308469.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8308469

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