The Effects of Anchored Instruction for Teaching Social Studies: Enhancing Comprehension of Setting Information
A study examined an experimental curriculum developed to enhance students' literacy and social studies skills. Videodisc and text materials (the films "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "Oliver" and stories by Charles Dickens and Conan Doyle) were used to create a "macrocontext" for learning. The curriculum evaluation project spanned a three-year period; findings reported here were collected during the second and third years. During the second year, two classes of students participated. Students were assigned to either an experimental or comparison group with classes taught by the project staff. During the third year, three classes of fifth-grade students participated in the study and were taught by regular classroom teachers. Results from the second year indicated that integrated instruction using macrocontexts had the greatest benefit on lower achieving students. The results of the average students indicated that there may be greater forgetting for students taught using a traditional approach than for students using a macrocontextual approach. Results from the third year indicated that the effects are replicable across teachers and from experimental to field settings. Students in each of the three classes showed significant increases in their knowledge of the time period. Results indicated that macrocontext instruction is relatively more effective than traditional instruction in helping at-risk students learn social studies content, and macrocontext instruction is generally more effective in promoting long-term retention of this information. Results of the inference data provided preliminary evidence that knowledge from one domain is accessible for solving problems in another domain. (Three tables of data are included.) (MG)
Vye, N.J. The Effects of Anchored Instruction for Teaching Social Studies: Enhancing Comprehension of Setting Information.