Elaboration and Organization Strategies Used by Prospective Class Teachers While Studying Social Studies Education Textbooks
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Problem Statement: Students spend a considerable amount of their time studying from textbooks, which play an important role in their learning activities. The strategies students use to learn work as guides, requiring them to mentally process, make sense of and internalize information offered to them during the instructional process. Of these, elaboration and organization strategies enable students to establish internal and external links among different pieces of information. Knowing the elaboration and organization strategies used by prospective class teachers when teaching from social studies education textbooks would benefit curriculum designers as well as all education stakeholders. Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to describe how prospective class teachers use elaboration and organization strategies as they study their social studies education textbook. Methods: Data was collected through analysing 235 social studies education textbooks used by prospective class teachers. As the data source was a textbook, document and content analysis techniques were employed. Findings and Results: The prospective class teachers in this study used the following elaboration strategies while studying the social studies education textbook: 90.3% took notes, 81.7% summarized information in their own words, 45.5% used grouping, and 3% formed questions. A moderate relationship existed between the categories of note-taking and summarizing. As for organization strategies, 43.8% created outlines, 33.2% made matrices, charts and tables, 21.2% used concept maps, and 9.8% used information mapping. No prospective class teacher seemed to be using hierarchical structures. Outlining and concept-mapping were found to be moderately related to making matrices, charts and tables. Conclusions and Recommendations: Prospective class teachers in this study most commonly used the elaboration strategy of note-taking and least commonly used question forming. As for organization strategies, outlining was the most common and information mapping, the least. No prospective class teacher used hierarchical structures. These results suggest that prospective class teachers make little use of elaboration and organization strategies when studying from their social studies education textbooks, and may need learning strategy training. The results also suggest that the elaboration and organization strategies that prospective class teachers rarely or never use should be modeled in social studies education textbooks.