Theoretical views on mind styles in a changing world Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/d217qr92h

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  • This study examined the teaching experiences of six elementary student interns from Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR during fall and winter quarters, 1991. The primary intent of the study was to examine critically the roles and effects of mind styles as applied in actual classroom instruction and learning, in terms of feasibility and student outcomes. The research focus was to examine the roles and effects of mind styles in an elementary educational setting by addressing the following questions: (1) Do elementary school students exhibit mind styles that are dominant or less dominant and which vary among individuals, as has been found in adults; (2) do mind styles exist among elementary students, (3) are mind styles determinable among elementary students; (4) can a researcher-developed self-assessment instrument for elementary students be used to accurately identify their dominant mind styles? The research methodology was qualitative. Specifically, the nature of the invisible driving forces that shaped students behavior within the classroom setting were observed. Data was gathered through journals and lesson plans from the student interns, video tapes of teaching experiences, task analyses, field notes, and maintenance of a diary by the researcher. The Self-Assessment Children's Instrument was administered to each elementary student who took part in the study, involving them in self-ranking themselves in relation to a variety of qualities. The research methodology and instrument were field-tested with satisfactory results. After testing 129 students and completing 43 observations on each student in six classrooms, the following was concluded from the results of the research: 1) Some learners are generalists who enjoy understanding the big picture before focusing on specifics. They want a context in which to put new ideas, and they are good at seeing relationships as they learn. 2) Some learners display an active, hands-on, exploratory pattern. These students learn physically and through concrete experiences and activities. 3) In every classroom there are students for whom personal relationships are important. These learners enjoy helping each other and working in groups. 4) Other students are structured and systematic in their approach. These students want rules for new materials to be presented clearly and logically with examples that build from the simple to the complex.
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