Article Abstract

Design thinking is generally defined as an analytic and creative process that engages a person in opportunities to experiment, create and prototype models, gather feedback, and redesign. Several characteristics (e.g., visualization, creativity) that a good design thinker should possess have been identified from the literature. The primary purpose of this article is to summarize and synthesize the research on design thinking to (a) better understand its characteristics and processes, as well as the differences between novice and expert design thinkers, and (b) apply the findings from the literature regarding the application of design thinking to our educational system. The authors’ overarching goal is to identify the features and characteristics of design thinking and discuss its importance in promoting students’ problem-solving skills in the 21st century.

MARIO Connections

Razzouk and Shute’s study articulates how design thinking might be applied in educational settings. MARIO embraces this study’s exploration of how the incorporation of design thinking can influence student responses to challenge. 

Article Abstract

Designers have traditionally focused on enhancing the look and functionality of products. Recently, they have begun using design tools to tackle more complex problems, such as finding ways to provide low-cost health care throughout the world. Businesses were first to embrace this new approach – called Design Thinking – now nonprofits are beginning to adopt it too. 

MARIO Connections

MARIO utilizes the Stanford IDEO model of design thinking, which is described in Brown and Wyatt’s work. This article also personifies the intentionality of design thinking applications within MARIO.

Article Abstract

This is the first issue of Metacognition and Learning, a new international journal dedicated to the study of metacognition and all its aspects within a broad context of learning processes. Flavell coined the term metacognition in the seventies of the last century (Flavell, 1979) and, since then, a huge amount of research has emanated from his initial efforts. Do we need metacognition as a concept in learning theory? Already in 1978, Brown posed the question whether metacognition was an epiphenomenon. Apparently, she was convinced otherwise as she has been working fruitfully for many years in the area of metacognition. Moreover, a review study by Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1990) revealed metacognition to be a most powerful predictor of learning. Metacognition matters, but there are many unresolved issues that need further investigation. This introduction will present ten such issues, which are by no means exhaustive. They merely indicate what themes might be relevant to the journal.

MARIO Connections

Veenman et al.’s description of the evolution of thought surrounding metacognition and its role in education broadened and deepened MARIO’s own definition of metacognition. MARIO envisions metacognition as an active process, constantly evolving, in part due to its complex nature as described in this study.

Article Abstract

Erik de Corte describes a progression in which earlier behaviorism gave way increasingly to cognitive psychology with learning understood as information processing rather than as responding to stimuli. More active concepts of learning took hold (“constructivism”), and with “social constructivism” the terrain is not restricted to what takes place within individual minds but as the interaction between learners and their contextual situation. There has been a parallel move for research to shift from artificial exercises/situations to real-life learning in classrooms and hence to become much more relevant for education. The current understanding of learning, aimed at promoting 21st century or “adaptive” competence, is characterized as “CSSC learning”: “constructive” as learners actively construct their knowledge and skills; “self-regulated” with people actively using strategies to learn; “situated” and best understood in context rather than abstracted from environment; and “collaborative” not a solo activity.

MARIO Connections

De Corte’s work defines how learning is currently understood to be an active, self-regulated, social experience rooted in authentic context. MARIO, in all aspects, espouses this view of learning. It is fundamental to how MARIO defines the learner’s role.

Article Abstract

This research analyzed the network of psycho-social influences through which efficacy beliefs affect academic achievement. Parents’ sense of academic efficacy and aspirations for their children were linked to their children’s scholastic achievement through their perceived academic capabilities and aspirations. Children’s beliefs in their efficacy to regulate their own learning and academic attainments, in turn, contributed to scholastic achievement both independently and by promoting high academic aspirations and prosocial behavior and reducing vulnerability to feelings of futility and depression. Children’s perceived social efficacy and efficacy to manage peer pressure for detrimental conduct also contributed to academic attainments but through partially different paths of affective and self-regulatory influence. The impact of perceived social efficacy was mediated through academic aspirations and a low level of depression. Perceived self-regulatory efficacy was related to academic achievement both directly and through adherence to moral self-sanctions for detrimental conduct and problem behavior that can subvert academic pursuits. Familial socioeconomic status was linked to children’s academic achievement only indirectly through its effects on parental aspirations and children’s prosocialness. The full set of self-efficacy, aspirational, and psychosocial factors accounted for a sizable share of the variance in academic achievement.

MARIO Connections

Bandura et al.’s study of the connection between external influences, self-efficacy, and academic achievement informs how MARIO prepares the educator and parent to support the learner’s development of self-efficacy. Aspects of this discussion are also incorporated into MARIO diagnostic tools because understanding the power of a student’s perception of self-efficacy is imperative to the work we do.

Article Abstract

Evidence-based practices (EBPs) emerge as inherent to the successful implementation of a comprehensive and combined multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) model. The intended result of multi-tiered intervention progression combined with EBP is a validated, data-based approach to understanding students’ needs along with a description of what promotes or inhibits their academic and social–emotional and behavioral performance. The purpose of this chapter is to present a combined research- and practice-based framework for integrating a comprehensive MTSS model with EBP, and thus, optimize the results stemming from school improvement efforts. Toward this goal, EBPs and strategies are reviewed to address concerns in the academic and social–emotional and behavioral domains along with recommendations for their application within MTSS.

Schools are in the midst of intensive educational reform. A comprehensive multi-tiered model to address a full range of academic, behavioral, and social needs among children and youth is envisioned as a preferable practice model in response to reform initiatives. To attain the goal of successful multi-tiered intervention implementation, however, the model must incorporate evidence-based practices (EBPs). The chapter begins with an overview of EBPs and the rationale for incorporating them within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) model. Next, applications of MTSS and EBP in academic domains and social–emotional and behavioral domains are provided. These sections highlight specific strategies for successful implementation at tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3. Key questions that have emerged regarding EBP approaches within MTSS are addressed. Finally, a summary of the current status of EBP and MTSS is presented along with future research and practice implications.

MARIO Connections

Stoiber and Gettinger’s study connects to the MTSS thread woven throughout the MARIO Framework. In particular, this study drives our work around evidence-based practices and how we measure the success of the interventions we utilize. 

Article Abstract

Problem solving and goal setting are important components of self-determination that young people learn over time. This study describes and validates a model of teaching in early elementary grades that teachers can use to infuse these activities into existing curricula and programs. Can young children set goals for learning using the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, and can teachers implement this model in a variety of subjects and settings with students having diverse learning needs? Our results show that even the youngest students (ages 5 – 6) were able to set goals and use the model to achieve. Teachers used the model effectively to support the investigation of student interests, the facilitation of choices, and the goal setting and attainment of young children.

MARIO Connections

Palmer and Wehmeyer’s work motivates MARIO’s commitment to setting personalized learning goals at all stages of development. This study has implications for MARIO Educators at all levels, but particularly those who are supporting younger learners. 

Article Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has long been thought to reflect dysfunction of prefrontal-striatal circuitry, with involvement of other circuits largely ignored. Recent advances in systems neuroscience-based approaches to brain dysfunction have facilitated the development of models of ADHD pathophysiology that encompass a number of different large-scale resting-state networks. Here we review progress in delineating large-scale neural systems and illustrate their relevance to ADHD. We relate frontoparietal, dorsal attentional, motor, visual and default networks to the ADHD functional and structural literature. Insights emerging from mapping intrinsic brain connectivity networks provide a potentially mechanistic framework for an understanding of aspects of ADHD such as neuropsychological and behavioral inconsistency, and the possible role of primary visual cortex in attentional dysfunction in the disorder.

MARIO Connections

Castellanos and Proal’s study has influenced MARIO’s envisioning of the teacher-student relationship in that an educator with a solid understanding of neuropsychological functioning can better optimize the interventions utilized with learners. This study also presents a pathway for exploring how neuroplasticity can be considered when planning for productive conversations with MARIO learners.

Article Abstract

This article presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from four principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. The more dependable the experiential sources, the greater are the changes in perceived self efficacy. A number of factors are identified as influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arising from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. Possible directions for further research are discussed.

MARIO Connections

This study has informed how intrinsic motivation and the development of self-efficacy are supported in the MARIO Framework. Bandura’s framework directly relates to the intentional design of personalized goal setting, feedback cycles, self-assessment and self-reflective practices as well as the choice of high-Impact learning strategies found throughout the MARIO Framework. 

Article Abstract

This individual differences study examined the separability of three often postulated executive functions-mental set shifting (“Shifting”), information updating and monitoring (“Updating”), and inhibition of prepotent responses (“Inhibition”)-and their roles in complex “frontal lobe” or “executive” tasks. One hundred thirty-seven college students performed a set of relatively simple experimental tasks that are considered to predominantly tap each target executive function, as well as a set of frequently used executive tasks: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Tower of Hanoi (TOH), random number generation (RNG), operation span, and dual tasking. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the three target executive functions are moderately correlated with one another, but are clearly separable. Moreover, structural equation modeling suggested that the three functions contribute differentially to performance on complex executive tasks. Specifically, WCST performance was related most strongly to Shifting, TOH to Inhibition, RNG to Inhibition and Updating, and operation span to Updating. Dual task performance was not related to any of the three target functions. These results suggest that it is important to recognize both the unity and diversity of executive functions and that latent variable analysis is a useful approach to studying the organization and roles of executive functions.

MARIO Connections

This study enriched our understanding of executive functions and how they interact or operate independently depending upon the task a student engages in. This increased awareness is present in both the design of our course elementary EF skills module and throughout the MARIO Framework when self-directed learning is referenced.