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The efforts of 69 elementary school teachers to instruct children in cognitive processing activities were observed. Although the teaching of such activities was relatively infrequent, it varied by grade (occurring more often in grades 2-3 than in higher or lower grades) and by the content of instruction. Teachers of grade 4 and above more often provided rationales for the use of cognitive strategies than did teachers of younger children. In a second study, children of three achievement levels were selected from classrooms in which teachers varied in their use of suggestions regarding cognitive processes. Subsequent to training in the use of a memory strategy, children's performance on a maintenance trial was evaluated: Among average and low achievers, those whose teachers were relatively high in strategy suggestions showed better maintenance and more deliberate use of the trained strategy than did children whose teachers rarely made strategy suggestions. The role of school experience in the development of children's memory skills is discussed.


Originally published in Child Development, 63(3), 653-672.

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