It’s all about me! how the self-reference effect may facilitate learning in the classroom

Karri Gillespie-Smith, David J. Turk

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

There are widely held concerns that primary school children are failing to meet government targets in literacy (National Curriculum Assessments 2009). The current project was designed to address this literacy concern by applying self-referential (SR) encoding to children‟s learning of spelling words. SR encoding has been previously shown to enhance memory for novel words over a one-week period when employed as a classroom learning technique (Cunningham & Turk, 2011). The current investigation employed self-referential encoding to determine whether SR encoding could be employed to enhance the learning of spelling words. Thirty two children (mean age = 8.4 years) were recruited and asked to write out a set of 10 new spelling words 3 times and to use each word in a sentence beginning with “I” (SR) or “Harry” (Harry Potter - OR). At the end of the week the children were given a spelling test. We monitored the number of words written in each sentence and spelling accuracy for each encoding condition. Compared with the OR condition SR encoding led to a greater number of words written in each sentence (p <.05), and a significantly higher level of spelling accuracy (p<.01). The wider educational implications of such findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2012
EventEPS Meeting - University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201213 Jul 2012

Conference

ConferenceEPS Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityBristol
Period11/07/1213/07/12

Keywords

  • Self-reference
  • Learning
  • Literacy
  • SR encoding

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