“We knew that children learn well with their moms or with a peer, but we did not know if that was because they were getting feedback and help,” Bethany Rittle-Johnson, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development, said. “In this study, we just had the children’s mothers listen, without providing any assistance. We’ve found that by simply listening, a mother helps her child learn.”
Rittle-Johnson believes the new finding can help parents better assist their children with their schoolwork, even when they are not sure of the answer themselves. Although the researchers used children and their mothers in the study, they believe the same results will hold true whether the person is the child’s father, grandparent, or other familiar person.
“The basic idea is that it is really effective to try to get kids to explain things themselves instead of just telling them the answer,” she said. “Explaining their reasoning, to a parent or perhaps to other people they know, will help them understand the problem and apply what they have learned to other situations.”
The research is currently in press at the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
Rittle-Johnson, along with co-authors Megan Saylor, assistant professor of psychology, and recent graduate Kathryn Swygert, set out to determine if 4- and 5-year-olds learn more when they have to explain the solution to a problem to someone else. They were shown a series of plastic bugs, and then had to say which bug should come next in the series based on color and type of bug, a problem that is challenging for 4- and 5-year-olds. The children were told to explain the solution to their moms, to themselves or to simply repeat the answer out loud.
The researchers found that explaining the answer to themselves and to their moms improved the children’s ability to solve similar problems later, and that explaining the answer to their moms helped them solve more difficult problems.
“We saw that this simple act of listening by mom made a difference in the quality of the child’s explanations and how well they could solve more difficult problems later on,” Rittle-Johnson said.
The researchers also found that children experience the benefit of explaining a solution at an earlier age than previously thought.
“This is one of the first studies to examine whether or not explanation is useful in helping children under 8 apply what they’ve learned to a modification of a task,” Rittle-Johnson said. “We found that even 4-year-olds can use explanation to help them learn and to apply what they’ve learned to other tasks.”
Melanie Moran | EurekAlert!
05.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Research project: EUR 3.3 million for improved quality of life in shrinking cities
02.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering