“Information-processing Model” describes how information flows through various internal structures and being perceived, transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, retrieved and used by the learner. The information processing model consist of three categories of memories; the sensory memory, short-term memory (working memory) and long-term memory. Information-processing Model encourage students to learn efficiently and systematically by having a good understanding of the how information is processed, stored and retrieved through the information model (Joshua Pollock & Phillip A. Allen, 2016).
Information Processing model in 21st century teaching and learning
Students able to retrieve information from their long-term memory easily when the information critically developed by the teacher and “deeply processed” by the student. The implementation of good teaching strategies such as hands-on activities, inquiry-based and problem-based learning in teaching process enable effective information processing by students. A good teaching process encourage students’ natural interests, previous knowledge, and “higher order” and in-depth thinking when consolidating new information (Verne, 2014).
i. Problem Based Learning (PBL)
Alias Masek and Sulaiman Yamin (2011) in his study highlighted that the PBL theoretically support students’ critical thinking development, through the process of problem solving within group brainstorming sessions. The concept of “learning by doing” in the PBL approach, enable students learn thinking strategies by solving a problem. The facilitator then stimulates students’ critical thinking in looking for a best solution.
PBL is being referred as a pedagogical approach that uses cases or problems as departure points to achieve the intended learning objectives. PBL consists of three major stages; initial stage, PBL stage and final stage. In the initial stage, groups will be formed and each group will be presented with a PBL problem and the students are required to analyse and understand the problem.
During the PBL stage, the students perform independent self-directed study to find possible solutions that relevant to the problem to be resolved. Later in the group, students perform group brainstorming by sharing the knowledge gained among the team members. An effective teamwork and communication lead to an acceptable conclusion and resolution that is agreed upon by all members in the group. The students’ progress in the group learning is facilitated and monitored by a teacher.
In the final stage, students prepares for a project presentation and present their proposal of solution. The students’ group presentation will be evaluated and assessed by the facilitator. The facilitator may then provide useful feedbacks and suggestions pertaining to the observation and formative assessment being conducted.
Critical thinking is being classified as higher order cognitive skills that can be systematically taught in PBL. Critical and creative thinking are interlinked, in producing an effective thinking and problem solving. PBL which follow constructivist learning theory principles enable knowledge acquisition in developing students’ critical thinking ability. The complex cognitive skills can be attained by students with the knowledge and working memory.
In problem solving, critical thinking encourage students’ reasoning skills. In this context, students perform analytical process in order to provide a logical, rational, and reasonable problem solution. The analytical process of reasoning must agree with specific principles of thinking such as Analysis, Inference, Interpretation, Self-regulation, Explanation and Evaluation.
During the group brainstorming these sessions, students tend to think critically by considering all possible solutions for the given problem. The teacher who facilitating the students is responsible to probing questions which probing students’ meta-cognitive thinking process, in making appropriate decision. The cognitive process stimulates the development of the students’ reasoning ability. Besides, the process of discussion, debating, sharing, feedback in the problem solving or in the formative assessment process, creates an environment that enable students develop their critical thinking skills.
In another study, the author highlighted that PBL provides opportunities for students to learn all the four 21st century skills. During the PBL session students develop the critical thinking skill by analysing complex problems, investigating questions, evaluating various viewpoints, facts, or relevant information and drawing solutions based on evidence and reasoning. Collaboration skill is being developed when students tend to work together in a group to solve problems, answer questions, give feedback to peers, assess team member’s work and share ideas among each other’s to accomplish the given problem or case.
Besides, the communication skill is being developed when students share their thoughts and findings effectively through oral and writing. Finally, the creativity and innovation skill is reflected when students generate their own ideas and refine solutions to the given problems based on synthesis, analysis and then presented their learning pertaining to the problem in new ways such as posters, blogs, or videos (Jason Ravitz, Nate Hixson, Mary English ; John Mergendoller, 2012).
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