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       STRATEGIES FOR
        DECLARATIVE KNOWLEDGE

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Declarative Knowledge

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Declarative Knowledge is the knowing of basic facts and the recall of stored information. Teachers often use the words explain, describe, summarize and list when writing declarative knowledge objectives. People go through three steps when learning declarative knowledge:

Linking New Information to Existing Knowledge: To learn and recall new information learners have to tie new knowledge to knowledge they all ready possess. By linking new information to existing knowledge, learners make the information more meaningful.

Organizing: Putting new information into groups also helps in the learning of declarative knowledge. This placement of information also involves placing it into different areas of the memory.

Elaborating: Making connections among the the information being received as well as connecting new information to existing knowledge.

The conditions needed to support declarative knowledge learning are dependent upon the instructional strategy tool being used. Organization strategies, classification frames, concept mapping, advance organizers, metaphoric techniques, rehearsal strategies, mnemonics, and imagery are all strategy tools that can be used during a declarative knowledge lesson. Besides these tools there are also techniques that should be used through out the organization of a lesson.

  1.              Introduction

  •    Anecdotes, Animated graphics, and conflicting/parodoxical events can be used to gain attention and arouse interest.
  •    To establish purpose you can relate instructional goals to real life goals, show how a previously used strategy can be used to learn knew material, or just state the purpose directly.
  •    Advanced organizers like expository and comparitive organizers can be used to show how the information is going to be presented and to show the relationship between ideas.

   2.          Body

  •    Advanced organizers, metaphoric devices, and review can be used to activate prior knowledge.
  •    Associational techniques(mnemonics, images, and analogies), organizational techniques(graphic and advance organizers), and elaborative techniques can be used for the processing of information. 
  •    Underlining, listing, and reflecting as well as the use of questions helps focus attention. 
  •    Mnemonics, elaboration strategies, imagery, analogy, organization, chunking, linking, graphic organizers, and rehearsals are all learning strategies that can be employed. 
  •    Practice should involve paraphrased or verbatim recall. This recall should take place over a period of time. The more exposure students have to new material the more likely they are to remember it.
  •    Feedback should evaluate whether the information given is complete and correct if an error has been made the feedback should point out the error and offer suggestions on how to fix the mistake. 

   3.            Conclusion

  •    The summarize and review section can be student or teacher generated. Depending on the objective, this section can be used to clarify material and make sure the students are correctly assimilating the information or it can be used to for practice and repetition.
  •    To ensure transfer connections between bits of material need to be established. The more connections that are made the easier it is to recall information. Inferences between new information and old information also have to be made. If students can see how something they are learning relates to something they have all ready learned it will make the information more meaningful to them and increase recall. 
  •    During remotivation and closure it is important to reemphasize the usefullness of what is being learned. This can be done through rehearsal or elaboration.

  4.          Assessment

  •    Assessment involves being able to recall or recognize information in verbatim or paraphrased form. Assessment tools should assess the learners ability to remember the information.

To show an example of how declarative knowledge strategies might be used. I have provided a lesson with a declarative knowledge objective.

   Objectives:
The students will describe a habitat.
The students will identify the different habitats found on Earth.
The students will identify animals and plants that reside in the different habitats.

  1.          Introduction

  •    To gain student attention and arouse interest tell the students about your home and ask them to tell them about theirs. Anecdotes help gain attention and arouse interest.
  •    To establish instructional purpose and use the direct approach and tell the students that they are going to be working in groups to learn about the homes of other animals.
  •   To preview the lesson have an outline showing the three areas that the assignment will focus on: the description of the habitat, the regions of the earth that this habitat is found, and the animals and plants found in the habitat.

    2.         Body

  •     To activate prior knowledge and process information create a web with the students in class to identify the essential things that they need to find out about the different habitats. Have students identify the things they would like to learn about where an animal lives and have them tell things that they would talk about if they were describing their own home.  
  •     To redirect attention tell the students that they are going to be divided into groups and each group will be making a diagram of an assigned habitat. Then list the things that the students need to look for when they are researching their habitat and identify the features that you want their diagram to have.
  •    To practice what they have learned have them recall the things that make up a habitat.
  •     Provide feedback by either informing students they are correct or by correcting wrong answers.

   3.                Conclusion

  •     For summarize and review have students tell what they have learned about habitat and have them identify what they have to do for their assignment and what things they need to look for and include when doing their assignment.
  •    For transfer have the students tell you how what they learn today relates to what they all ready know and also ask them to tell you how they can use the information they have learned in the future.
  •    To remotivate and close tell students how knowing about an animals habitat can be useful in learning about the animal this reemphasizes the usefullness of the new knowledge.

   4.                Assessment

  •     Assess the students knowledge of the material by using the diagrams they create. Use a rubric to determine if the diagram met the required expectations. If the diagram contains animal life and vegetation known to that area and depicts the accurate climate of the area the student has met the objectives.
  •     Use the rubric to provide feedback to the students. Make comments on how they could have improved their diagrams and what you enjoyed about their diagram.