Two experiments compared closely related interventions to teach the control of variables strategy (CVS) to fourth-grade students. Over the two experiments, an intervention first developed by Chen and Klahr (1999) was most effective at helping students learn how to design and evaluate single-factor experiments. In Experiment 1, attempts to reduce the cognitive load imposed by Chen and Klahr's basic teaching intervention actually produced poorer learning and transfer of CVS. In Experiment 2, attempts to simplify Chen and Klahr's algorithm for teaching students how to set up a valid experimental design also produced poorer learning and transfer of CVS. Both experiments illustrate that oversimplifying a domain or the logic behind controlling variables can undermine the effectiveness of an intervention designed to teach CVS.
|Translated title of the contribution||Oversimplifying teaching of the control of variables strategy|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 2020|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the U.S. Department of Education. Robert Lorch gratefully acknowledges the support of the Scientific Council of the Midi-Pyrenees Region of France, the Laborataire CLLE-LTC and OCTOGONE Laboratoire at the Universite de Toulouse – Le Mirail. Finally, Robert Lorch and Elizabeth Lorch thank the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky for providing each of them with a sabbatical leave, during which time this manuscript was prepared.
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305H060150 to the University of Kentucky.
© 2020 Colegio Oficial de la Psicología de Madrid.
- Elementary science education
- Instructional design
- Science education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology