Cognition-Centered Program Critique
For this assignment students will use scholarly research to evaluate a child-service program, interactive software application, or interactive web site designed with a focus on enhancing a specific cognitive ability. Each students will search for a program that is of interest to him/her and explore information about the program to learn about its approach and process. Students will then identify the specific cognitive abilities the program seeks to enhance and research scholarly literature regarding factors that influence that ability. In addition to the scholarly research, students will emulate as much of the program they can with a child to get a feel of the program and its approach or design a modification of the program using ideas from the research. Students will then use their scholarly research and test trial with a child to write up a paper discussing the cognitive ability, the program, and its effect. Lastly students will design a one-page editorial style critique of the program that would inform consumers, parents or professionals in the field.
Part 1: Proposal
Identify a program and the amount of information available about the program. While it may be easy to locate a program designed for enhancing cognitive development, not all programs have information about how they work and their procedures easily accessible or for free. Be sure to spend time to identify a program you can get sufficient information about to do this project. A program can be any specified process to enhance a child’s ability. The program can focus on children/adolescents, parents, teachers/schools, or child care providers. The program may be based on person to person interaction, interactive games/apps, interactive web content, or a self-guided regimen.
Examples of cognitive abilities that you may want to focus on:
Math, reading, writing, general academic performance, creativity, a specific type of memory, executive function, perspective taking, theory of mind, spatial reasoning, attention, receptive or expressive language, problem solving, transfer of learning, sequencing, music, or any other cognitive ability you find interesting.
Helpful sources to find a program:
Internet search engine,
King Library ChAD libguide https://libguides.sjsu.edu/content.php?pid=50348&sid=369786
What Works Clearinghouse https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/
Apple Appstore or Google Play store education apps
Proposal has been done and it is shown below. Use the same sources for this assignment and pay attention to the professor’s comments.
Proposal Critique Program
Kumon math and reading program
The program named after math teacher Toru Kumon is nowadays helping millions of
children in forty-eight countries. Its essence is involving children into self-learning and
encouraging them to overcome any challenges and obstacles so that they become self-confident
and successful people.
Any necessary information on the program is available on its official website
https://www.kumon.com. If to speak about math, the program covers a variety of topics from
counting and number sequencing to probability and statistics. But beside mathematical skills
themselves, it creates a background to formation of critical thinking skills without which
studying calculus at the high school level is hardly possible. This is reached by means of
worksheets not only containing tasks related to specific concepts, but also those contributing to
mental reasoning development and problem solving techniques improvement.
Kumon program does not come down to math, however: another subject is reading, from
pre-reading skills, letters, and sounds to interpretation and critical reading. The main focus on
each stage understands what the student read. Worksheets here, together with covering certain
concepts, provide tasks for formation of interpretational skills, expanding vocabulary, and
improvement of reading as well as writing and general comprehensive opportunities.
There exists a cognitive ability both mathematics and reading require, specifically
attention. It is hardly possible to analyze anything without focusing on it; and understanding a
text presupposes paying enough attention to its content. So, namely attention should be
thoroughly studied in the given project.
Other sources offering information on various issues related to Human program, in
particular its essence, benefits, costs, as well as worksheet samples, are as follows:
Kusuzawa, H. Program Completers Vary, but All Share in Achievement. 2009. Straight
Any issue and volume of Straight Talk
Professor’s comments in proposal:
although there is lots of information about the program, their procedures are harder to find. Be sure to look up Kumon method to learn their process.
4th paragraph: So do you believe the Kumon method improves attention?
reference section: Need scholarly articles for this paper that address the factors that influence attention, or what ever cognitive ability you choose.
*If these comments are ignored, the final grade will be affected.
Part 2: Learning about your the program you selected
Students should read through all the materials you can locate about your program to identify the main procedures used to enhance the cognitive ability. This may not be written out for programs like interactive games or websites and may require your own analysis of the procedures used to enhance the cognitive ability.
Part 3: Research the cognitive ability and factors that influence that ability
Students will conduct research of the cognitive ability identified in their proposal. The research will consist of locating a minimum of 6 scholarly sources that describe individual and contextual factors that influence that ability. Students will read and analyze those sources with the intent of applying their analysis to identifying the level of effectiveness or appropriateness of the program they are critiquing.
Part 4: Trial study with a child or Developing a significant modification
Here students have a choice of ways to enhance their paper write up. Option 1 is to try out some of the procedures that make up the program with a child and see how elements of the program work. Students who chose this option should document the experience and interact with the child to determine how well the program works (e.g., read to the child every night, or have the child play the interactive game). Option 2 is to use the information learned through research about factors that influence the cognitive ability and design a significant modification to the program to enhance its effectiveness. Students who choose this option will write up procedures that work with the existing program and explain their effectiveness in the paper write-up.
Part 5: Paper write-up
To complete this assignment, students will write up a 10 page paper that does the following:
1. Introduces the program and cognitive ability of focus (1 pg)
2. Provide a description of the elements and procedures of the program that are designed to enhance the cognitive ability (1 pg)
3. Provide an analysis of the empirical research that describe important factors that influence the cognitive ability (6 pgs). The analysis should detail important features of the studies reviewed, draw one’s own conclusions of the research based on the quality of the evidence, and draw connections among the research as well as the design of the program.
4. Connections with actual practice. In this section, the student will describe and apply their experience working with a child using elements of the program. Students should describe what specific elements they tried, how the child responded, and a non-biased sense of how well it worked using evidence (actual observations) to support conclusions. If students do not work with a child, instead they can develop significant modifications of the program, describe those modifications, the reasoning for why they would be effective, and how the modifications will blend in with the rest of the program in a cohesive way. (1-2 pages)
5. Conclusion. Students will summarized the main points of their paper and provide firm conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the program.
Part 6: 1-Page Editorial
The last requirement for this assignment is for students to create a short, 1 page (single spaced, columned) editorial style information sheet about the program and the students recommendation of the program. This information sheet should be geared toward consumers, parents, or practitioners to help inform them on the program’s benefits or lack thereof.
Criteria Exemplary Proficient Developing Unacceptable Points
Introduction Introduces topic and captures the reader’s interest by specifying the significance and mentioning controversies. Provides sufficient information to understand the topic. Provides an outline of the body of the paper. Ideas flow in a thoughtful way. Introduces topic with attempts to capture interest. Some to minimal background information provided about topic. Provides an outline of the body of the paper.
Introduces topic but does not capture the significance of the topic. Minimal background information on topic. Structure of the body of the paper is not clear.
Very brief introduction that does not help to set a foundation for rest of paper.
Description of Program Program’s focus is on improving a cognitive ability. The process that the program uses is clearly laid out. Examples are incorporated in description. Program’s focus is on improving a cognitive ability. Process is described but does not clearly stand out. Provides significant description of program. Program is slightly related to cognitive ability. Program is described but process is not clearly stated. Provides unnecessary information.
Program does not directly relate to any cognitive ability. Unclear what the program is or looks like. Unclear what the process or elements of the program are. Very brief description.
Research Support Research articles are all closely related to describing the cognitive ability. Provides clear description of important information from sources. Connects ideas among sources and ties them back to evaluate the program. Demonstrates some analysis and evaluation of the sources.
Research articles are all closely related to describing the cognitive ability. Describes some aspects of the sources. Makes some connections among articles. Connects information from sources to evaluate the program. Little evaluation of the sources included. Some sources are related to cognitive ability, but not a well rounded selection of sources to support the paper. Describes some aspects of the sources. Little connections made among sources and lacks meaningful connection back to program. Not much evaluation of sources. Not enough sources used. Very little information provided about sources. Information not connected back to evaluate the program.
Modification or Case Trial Significant modification is proposed based on support from the research. Modification is well described and fits in with the existing program’s process. — or — Provides sufficient description of the element that was tested on a child as well as examples of child’s performance. Connects child’s performance or interactions to literature or program description. Draws comparisons of their experience to what is described in the program.
A modification is proposed based on support from research, though not a significant change. Modification is described sufficiently to understand the additional process. — or — Provides some description of the element that was tested on a child. Some examples described. Some connection of child’s performance to literature or program description. Little comparison made.
A minor change proposed with little support. Modification description is not very clear or detailed. — or — Description of trial was vague and brief. Some connections made between child’s performance and literature or program descriptions.
Little to nothing proposed. Ideas are not supported by sources. — or — vague description of trial with child. Description does not meaningfully connect with the program.
Main points about the research on the cognitive ability and program are summarized. Clear recommendation and explanation for recommendation presented. Some points are summarized about the cognitive ability and the program. A recommendation about the program is presented with little explanation. Conclusion is brief with vague summary. Recommendation lacks explanation.
Brief vague conclusion. Recommendation does not follow information presented and lacks explanation.
Deductions None Writing style: Issues with grammar, typos, formatting, or long paragraphs
APA style: Issues with Heading format and/or citations, references
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