Developing transfer and metacognition in educationally disadvantaged students: Effects of the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) program.
AuthorDarmer, Mary Ann
Committee ChairPogrow, Stanley
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis research posits that it is possible to develop transferable metacognitive skills in educationally disadvantaged students with consistent and intensive instruction in higher order thinking skills. The 53 subjects in this study were fourth and fifth grade Native American (41%) and non-Native American (59%) students whose reading comprehension scores fell between the 15th and 40th percentile. Students in the experimental group were placed in the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Program for one year. A comparison group of 49 students with equivalent reading scores received traditional Chapter 1 services. Metacognitive growth was measured using six instruments: cognitive abilities measures, reading comprehension scores, academic grade point averages, writing skills, novel problem solving tasks, and a metacognitive questionnaire. The instruments contained a total of 15 measures with multiple comparisons. Both Native American and Hispanic HOTS students made significant growth on 22 out of 22 comparisons. Twelve comparisons were made between HOTS students and control groups. HOTS students significantly and substantially outscored the control groups in all 12 comparisons. This research found that the HOTS Program is an exemplary instructional approach to helping educationally disadvantaged students in grades 4-7 as compared to traditional Chapter 1 methods. HOTS produces substantial growth on a wide variety of outcomes. The gains appear to result from far transfer of the metacognitive skills developed by the HOTS students. All HOTS students made substantial academic gains in the regular classroom across the content areas despite the fact that HOTS is a pullout program with little linkage to classroom content. Thirty-four percent of the HOTS students made the honor roll. At the same time the GPA of the control students who received supplementary drill and content instruction, and who spent more time in the classroom, declined. This suggests the primary determinant of the effects of a program has nothing to do with whether a program is pullout, but is strictly a function of the instructional design of the program.
Degree ProgramEducational Administration and Higher Education