Article Abstract

Zimmerman outlines his personal connections to his work and motivations for engaging in this type of research, stating, “My career path to understanding the source and nature of human learning started with an interest in social processes, especially cognitive modeling, and has led to the exploration of self-regulatory processes. My investigation of these processes has prompted the development of several social cognitive models: a triadic model that synthesized covert, behavioral, and environmental sources of personal feedback, a multilevel model of training that begins with observational learning and proceeds sequentially to self-regulation, and a cyclical phase model that depicts the interaction of metacognitive and motivational processes during efforts to learn.” In this article, empirical support for each of these models is discussed, including its implications for formal and informal forms of instruction. This self-regulation research has revealed that students who set superior goals proactively, monitor their learning intentionally, use strategies effectively, and respond to personal feedback adaptively not only attain mastery more quickly, but also are more motivated to sustain their efforts to learn. Recommendations for future research are made.

MARIO Connections

Zimmerman’s work is key to MARIO’s vision of self-directed learning and the process through which metacognition and metacomprehension develop. Throughout the entire Framework, one can find echoes of Zimmerman’s discussion of the development of self-regulation.

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

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

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.