NEW YORK — The United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded a three-year grant titled “Guided Cognition of Unsupervised Learning” to William B. Whitten II, Ph.D., and Mitchell Rabinowitz, Ph.D., professors in Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education.
The grant, funded at $623,390, is part of the institute’s Cognition and Student Learning Research Program. Whitten and Rabinowitz noted that as children mature, they are given more responsibility for individual learning, such as homework, where there is no supervision and little social interaction. As cognitive psychologists, they hypothesized that new ways of thinking about to-be-learned subject matter could be designed into unsupervised study tasks, thereby making study more effective.
“Our experiments, on which the grant proposal was based, suggest that students of widely different ability levels can learn more during unsupervised individual learning by engaging in specific cognitive events that are commonly observed in supervised group learning and that correspond to deeply researched cognitive processes,” said Rabinowitz, who noted that planned experiments will extend these findings to provide a detailed rationale for the design of unsupervised learning tasks.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 15,800 students in its five undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Tarrytown, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.