The influence of characteristics of the cognitive apprenticeship model on the development of expertise among graduate students in educational media internships
Linda Mary Noble, New York University, United States
New York University . Awarded
The primary concern of this study was the cultivation of expertise among graduate interns preparing to enter the educational media profession. Related literature made a compelling case that the development of skills necessary for expert performance is essential to students' professional education (Carnevale, Gainer, & Meltzer, 1990; National Alliance for Business, 1987).
In Collins, Brown, & Newman's (1989) model of cognitive apprenticeship, the instructional methods of modeling, coaching, scaffolding, and fading, and articulation, in the context of an authentic community of practice, should support novices acquire cognitive skills necessary for the development of expertise through processes of observation and guided practice.
The purpose of this study was to describe the influence of selected characteristics of the cognitive apprenticeship model on the development of expertise for two graduate students in two different educational media internships. Qualitative research design guided the formulation of research questions, data collection, and analysis procedures. A description of the influence of the selected characteristics on the interns' performance of major tasks over time was based on observations, interviews and interns' report analyses. A within and across case analysis of the similarities and difference helped to illuminate the usefulness of the cognitive apprenticeship model in understanding the internship experiences, particularly the interns' levels of performance by the end of the internship.
The results of this study verified past research conclusions, specifically, there was a strong positive influence on learning targeted skills of practitioners in situations where there was a high degree and quality of modeling, coaching, scaffolding and fading, and articulation. Conversely, there was little or no improvement in the development of performance in the absence of these characteristics.
Other aspects of cognitive apprenticeship that influenced the interns' performances over time were the interns' prior knowledge and experience, situated learning and the interns' immersion in a “culture of expert practice.” Factors which are not addressed by cognitive apprenticeship, the interns' personal agency and the constraints of the workplace also influenced the development of expertise. Implications for internship site mentors, university internship coordinators, and interns are presented.
Noble, L.M. The influence of characteristics of the cognitive apprenticeship model on the development of expertise among graduate students in educational media internships. Ph.D. thesis, New York University.
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