Essay on Prior Knowledge

8331 Words Mar 4th, 2013 34 Pages
Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement by Robert J. Marzano
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. The Importance of Background Knowledge
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2003), every day from September to June some 53.5 million students in the United States walk into classes that teach English, mathematics, science, history, and geography and face the sometimes daunting task of learning new content. Indeed, one of the nation's long-term goals as stated in the The National Education Goals Report: Building a Nation of Learners (National Education Goals Panel, 1991) is for U.S. students to master “challenging subject matter” in core subject areas (p. 4). Since that goal was articulated, national and
…show more content…
In these studies the reported average correlation between a person's background knowledge of a given topic and the extent to which that person learns new information on that topic is .66 (see Technical Note 1 on p. 127 for a discussion of how the correlation was computed).
To interpret this average correlation, let's consider one student, Jana, who is at the 50th percentile in terms of both her background knowledge and her academic achievement. Envision Jana's achievement at the 50th percentile as shown in the middle of Figure 1.1. (For a more detailed explanation of this example, see Technical Note 2 on pp. 127–129.) If we increase her background knowledge by one standard deviation (that is, move her from the 50th to the 84th percentile), her academic achievement would be expected to increase from the 50th to the 75th percentile (see the bars on the right side of Figure 1.1). In contrast, if we decrease Jana's academic background knowledge by one standard deviation (that is, move her from the 50th to the 16th percentile), her academic achievement would be expected to drop to the 25th percentile (see the bars on the left side of Figure 1.1). These three scenarios

Related Documents