Enhancing Problem Solving Diposition, Motivation and Skills through Cognitive Apprenticeship

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Title: Enhancing Problem Solving Diposition, Motivation and Skills through Cognitive Apprenticeship
Author: Walker, David Patrick
Advisors: Dr. Richard Peterson, Committee Member
Dr. Alan Reiman, Committee Member
Dr. John Wasik, Committee Member
Dr. V. William DeLuca, Committee Chair
Abstract: To determine the effects of teaching problem solving through the use of a cognitive apprenticeship paradigm, the researcher used a non-equivalent control group design. The experimentally accessible population for this study was high school technology education students in Durham, North Carolina. The sample was two classes of a Fundamentals of Technology course which covered technological problem solving through engineering activities. The control group received instruction through a traditional, prescriptive approach to teaching problem solving. The treatment group received problem solving instruction through a cognitive apprenticeship approach. Each group covered the same content. However, the treatment group received additional exercises to aid in the meta-cognitive process and was guided through the problem solving activity. Both groups received instruction for 2 weeks. A researcher designed disposition instrument, the California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3) and an authentic assessment of the unit problem solving activity were used to measure differences between groups in disposition toward problem solving, motivation to solve problems and problem solving design effectiveness. One-way ANOVAs showed significant differences in some of the dependent variables. Follow-up analysis revealed the following results: (a) significant differences in the disposition scale of Perseverance between groups as measured by a post-test given at the end of the unit; (b) significant differences in the motivation scales of Cognitive Integrity and Process as measured by the CM3; (c) no significant differences in problem solving performance, as measured by the effectiveness of the technological problem introduced in the unit. The study results provided some evidence that teaching problem solving through the use of cognitive apprenticeship is more effective than that of more traditional approaches. Significant differences were found in key areas that are stressed in the cognitive apprenticeship model such as increased importance placed on using a process, as well as motivation to solve problems. In addition, interviews with the participating teachers suggested that teaching problem solving through cognitive apprenticeship has a positive effect.
Date: 2004-02-03
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Math, Science and Technology Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3273


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