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Expanding retrieval practice: An effective aid to preschool children's learning.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Series a Human Experimental Psychology
Issue number7
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)991-1004
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Abstract The benefits of expanding retrieval practice for preschool children were explored in two experiments. In Experiment 1, three groups learned names for six plush toy pigs using expanding retrieval practice, a reward incentive, or a control condition. Reward did not significantly improve learning but retrieval practice doubled recall. In Experiment 2, three groups learned names to soft toys, comparing recall following massed elaborative study with either expanding retrieval practice or expanding re-presentation. Recall was tested after 1 minute, 1 day, and 2 days. A very large effect size (d = 1.9) indicated the very considerable benefit from expanding retrieval practice over the elaboration condition. Comparison with the re-presentation condition suggested that half of the benefit of expanding retrieval practice came from spaced scheduling and half from retrieval practice. Expanding retrieval practice provides an effective method to improve learning by young children

Bibliographic note

This paper reports two experiments conducted individually with pre-school children. This research sought to determine whether the benefits of retrieval practice were, at least partly, somewhat automatic outcomes of the act of retrieving or whether they relied almost entirely on the reflective, meta-analytic thought and strategic control that would accompany practising for most adults. The cognitive developmental literature shows that 3- to 4-year old children have little strategic control over their learning processes, so they provided an excellent population to test our speculation. In the peer review process it was apparent that others in the field saw the contribution of the work as important. My contribution to this paper was roughly 75% overall: I was responsible for 90% of the research planning and design, supervised the data collection, contributed about 75% to planning the paper, 50% to the initial draft and 70% to the later revisions. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Education