Education researchers study the thinking of experts in various subject areas to gain an understanding of what concepts and procedures are most important to teach and how they are interrelated. The concept is that educators can and should be moving students along a continuum toward real-world subject mastery based on a deep understanding of how subject knowledge is organized (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1986).
To improve reading comprehension, for example, young children can be taught to monitor their understanding of passages by asking questions, summarizing, clarifying any uncertainties, and predicting next events (Palincsar & Brown, 1984). Diagnostic models for procedural bugs in basic mathematical skills.
When compared with novice learners, experts in a subject are notable for how well-organized their knowledge is, which in turn enables them to see patterns quickly, recall information, and study novel problems in light of concepts and principles they know already (Glaser & Chi, 1988).
In other words, their schemas are well-connected and they are able to retrieve chunks of information relevant to a task at hand. They know what they know and what they don'tknow, and plan and monitor the implementation of various mental strategies (Hatano, 1990).
* Identify or develop those tasks that allow students to demonstrate their understanding and skills in these areas, as opposed to rote memorization. Investigating the cognitive complexity of science assessments.
* Make sure tasks or questions are sufficiently complex to get at how students have organized their knowledge and how and when they use it. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practices, 17 (3): 37-45.