Monday, October 3, 2011

Advance Organizer

Question: What is it? And Why?

Answer/Quote: “Ever since his first study on the advance organizer, Ausubel (196)) has maintained that the learning strategy is useful.”

Quote: “The advance organizer is a set of materials that is related to new material but written on a higher level of abstraction, inclusiveness, and generality than the new textual information. The function of the organizer, which is presented to students before they read unfamiliar material, is to link what the learner already knows to what the learner needs to know before s/he can successfully learn a task. One must not confuse advance organizers with summaries or overviews that are presented at the same level of abstraction, generality, and inclusiveness as new material. Overviews or summaries simply emphasize important points and achieve their effect by repetition (Ausubel, 1962)….”

Comment: Hard to find an example of an advance organizer, even on the Internet. The example in this article is a combination of defining the subject of philosophy  related to the material to be read on a specific philosophical concept and background information on René Descartes, whose ideas are discussed in the reading material. Therefore, I conclude that an advance organizer is a general discussion of the topic together with other background information related to the topic. I’m going to have to try some examples of advance organizers.

Advance organizers can take different forms, including graphics, narratives (in the form of a story), expository (explanation), skimming (title, first paragraph, first sentence of each intermediate paragraph and last paragraph).  RayS.

 Title: “Does Instruction on Metacognitive Strategies Help High School Students Use Advance Organizers?” KL Groller, JP Kender and DS Honeyman. Journal of Reading (March 1991), 470-475.

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