Changes in the gifted early adolescent's schemata of the Holocaust : the impact of advance organizers and a museum exhibit / by Joanne Sonosky Hirsch.
The thought processes of 65 sixth-graders were studied over a three-week period to document changes in knowledge and feeling about the Holocaust as a result of varying intensity of advance organizers, exposure to a museum exhibit on the Holocaust, and small-group, peer interaction in creative activities following a visit to the exhibit. Individual concept maps were drawn by students at four time points to access the changes in amount of knowledge and feeling, type of thought (specific, general, reflective), and organization of thought (area covered, density of knowledge and feeling, and entries at the primary level of the maps). Additional data sources were poetry and art; letters to an eyewitness of the Holocaust; group maps and presentations; and interviews. Results of analysis of variance, using repeated measures with prior knowledge as a covariate, indicated that students receiving intensive advance organizers also increased detailed knowledge and reflective thinking about the Holocaust after visiting the exhibit. Following peer interaction in post-exhibit, small-group activities, students receiving limited advance organizers increased their knowledge and reflective thinking. Affective processing, generally not recorded in the concept maps, was evident in the poetry and letters. The study shows the usefulness of advance organizers and peer interaction in small groups in effecting schematic change as well as the usefulness of concept maps as representations of knowledge structures in a specific domain. Concept maps were not effective tools for accessing the affect that occurred. The findings contribute to the developmental theory on early adolescence and theory on schema. They have implications for practical applications for the collaboration between museums and schools as well as the design of museum programs and exhibits.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:46:00
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