Published Online: January 29, 2008
Published in Print: January 30, 2008, as Researchers Examine Importance of Learning From ‘Explaining’

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Researchers Examine Importance of Learning From ‘Explaining’

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Learning From Explaining: Does It Matter if Mom Is Listening?

Learning improves dramatically among young children who take the time to explain academic concepts to their mothers or who explain their logic aloud to themselves, a studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader shows.

In particular, the study—conducted by a team of researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.—found that 4- and 5-year-olds who explained concepts to their mothers before taking a test scored correctly on 75 percent of the questions on a test of reasoning, and children who explained concepts aloud to themselves prior to the test scored 72 percent correct. On the other hand, children who did not explain the concepts at all prior to taking the test scored only 42 percent correct.

The study examined 54 youngsters’ ability to correctly place toy insects in a certain pattern based on color and type. A majority of the children studied were from middle-class white families.

Vol. 27, Issue 21, Page 5

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