Skip to main content

Learning strategies for making sense out of expository text: The SOI model for guiding three cognitive processes in knowledge construction

Abstract

This article examines learning strategies that promote meaningful learning from expository text as evidenced by problem-solving transfer. The teaching of learning strategies involves decisions concerning what to teach, how to teach, where to teach, and when to teach. The teaching of learning strategies also depends on the teacher's conception of learners as response strengtheners, information processors, or sense makers. Three cognitive processes involved in meaningful learning are selecting relevant information from what is presented, organizing selected information into a coherent representation, and integrating presented information with existing knowledge. Finally, exemplary programs for teaching of learning strategies are presented. The most effective method for teaching students how to make sense out of expository text is for students to participate in selecting, organizing, and integrating information within the context of authentic academic tasks.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bartlett, F. C. (1932).Remembering, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bloom, B. S., and Broder, L. J. (1950).Problem-Solving Processes of College Students, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, A. L., and Palinscar, A. S. (1989). Guided, cooperative learning and individual knowledge acquisition. In Resnick, L. B. (ed.),Knowing, Learning, and Instruction: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 393–451.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chi, M. T. H., Bassok, M., Lewis, M. W., Reimann, P., and Glaser, R. (1989). Self-explanations: How students study and use examples in learning to solve problems.Cog. Sci. 13: 145–182.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1990). Anchored instruction and its relation to situated cognition.Educ. Res. 19: 2–10.

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, A., Brown, J. S., and Newman, S. E. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the crafts of reading, writing, and mathematics. In Resnick, L. B. (ed.),Knowing, Learning, and Instruction: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 453–494.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook, L. K., and Mayer, R. E. (1988). Teaching readers about the structure of scientific text.J. Educ. Psych. 80: 448–456.

    Google Scholar 

  • Covington, M. V., Crutchfield, R. S., and Davies, L. B. (1966).The Productive Thinking Program, Brazelton, Berkeley, CA.

    Google Scholar 

  • DuBois, N., Staley, R., Guzy, L., and DiNardo, P. (April 1995). Durable Effects of a Study Skills Course on Academic Achievement. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, D.C.

  • Graesser, A. C., Bertus, E. L., and Magliano, J. P. (1995). Inference generation during comprehension of narrative text. In Lorch, R. F., and O'Brien, E. J. (Eds.),Sources of Coherence in Reading, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 295–320.

    Google Scholar 

  • Katona, G. (1940/1967).Organizing and Memorizing, Hafner, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiewra, K. A. (1994). The matrix representation system: Orientation, research, theory, and application. In Smart, J. (ed.),Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Agathon, New York, pp.331–373

    Google Scholar 

  • Lave, J. (1988).Cognition in Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E. (1984). Aids to text comprehension.Educ. Psychol. 19: 30–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E. (1989). Models for understanding.Rev. Educ. Res. 59: 43–64.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E. (1992a). Cognition and instruction: On their historic meeting within educational psychology.J. Educ. Psychol. 84: 405–412.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E. (1992b). Guiding students' cognitive processing of scientific information in text. In Pressley, M., Harris, M., and Guthrie, J. T. (eds.).Promoting Academic Competency and Literacy in School. Academic Press, San Diego.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E. (in press a). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions?Educ. Psychol.

  • Mayer, R. E. (in press b). Incorporating problem solving into secondary school curricula. In Phye, G. (ed.),Handbook of Academic Learning: The Construction of Knowledge, Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 473–492.

  • Mayer, R. E. (in press c). Learners as information processors: Legacies and limitations of educational psychology's second metaphor.Educ. Psychol.

  • Mayer, R. E., and Anderson, R. B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An Experimental test of a dual-coding hypothesis.J. Educ. Psychol. 83: 484–490, pp. 473–492.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. E., and Wittrock, M. C. (1996). Problem solving transfer. In Berliner, D., and Calfee, R. (eds.),Handbook of Educational Psychology, Macmillan, New York, pp. 47–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moely, B. E., Hart, S. S., Santalli, K., Leal, L., Johnson-Baron, T., Rao, N., and Burney, L. (1986). How do teachers teach memory skills?Educ. Psychol. 21: 55–72.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nunes, T., Schliemann, A. D., and Carraher, D. W. (1993).Street Mathematics and School Mathematics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perkins, D. N. and Salomon, G. (1989). Are cognitive skills context-bound?Educ. Res. 18(1): 16–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piaget, J. (1930).The Child's Conception of Physical Causality, Kegan Paul, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pressley, M. (1990).Cognitive Strategy Instruction That Really Improves Children's Academic Performance, Brookline Books, Cambridge, MA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pressley, M., and McCormick, C. B. (1995).Cognition, Teaching, and Assessment, Harper Collins, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sternberg, R. J. (1985).Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tharp, R. G., and Gallimore, R. (1988).Rousing Minds to Life, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thorndike, E. L. (1924). Mental discipline in high school studies.J. Educ. Psychol. 15: 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thorndike, E. L., and Woodworth, R. S. (1901). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions.Psychol. Rev. 8: 247–261.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vygotsky, L. S. (1978).Mind in Society, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weinstein, C. E., and Mayer, R. E. (1986). The teaching of learning strategies. In Wittrock, M. C. (ed.),Handbook of Research on Teaching: Third Edition, Macmillan, New York, pp. 315–327.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wertheimer, M. (1945/1959).Productive Thinking, Harper and Row, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • White, B. Y. (1993). Intermediate causal models: A missing link for successful science education? In Glaser, R. (ed.),Advances in Instructional Psychology (Vol. 4), Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 177–252.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mayer, R.E. Learning strategies for making sense out of expository text: The SOI model for guiding three cognitive processes in knowledge construction. Educ Psychol Rev 8, 357–371 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01463939

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01463939

Key words

  • learning strategies
  • expository text
  • cognitive processes
  • knowledge construction