A Cognitive Approach to the Research Essay
There are four main sections of this project. First, why I switched the topic of my Capstone. Second, I explain how this project fits into the current education system in America. Third, I provide my rationale for the cognitive approach and address Learners and Learning, the Learning Environment, Curriculum Development & Strategy, and Assessment. Finally, I present my unit plan. Presented here are seven lesson plans that approach teaching the research with the student's cognitive development at the core. Modeled are several ways that an understanding of cognitive development can provide a firm groundwork for educational practices. These lessons are centered around explicit strategy instruction of transferable strategies, moving from domain general strategies to domain specific ones. These lessons are meant for tenth or eleventh grade students who have written papers before and are therefore aware of some of the basic components of writing essays (thesis, outline). This project is an effort to put learners and learning back at the center of education, to craft a learning environment best suited for this purpose, to develop curriculum and teaching strategies as a community, and to assess students adequately and appropriately in accordance with how they are prepared.
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