Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The effectiveness of an instructional programme, consisting of strategy training supplemented by metamemory instruction in promoting generalisation of the keywod mnemonic strategy, was assessed. Three experiments were conducted to investigate three specific issues. In Experiment 1, the effectiveness of the metamemory instructional programme in promoting generalisation was compared to that of other instructional routines. Eleven-year-old students learned a list of cities paired with their products. Children in the four experimental conditions were instructed in the use of the keyword strategy to learn city-product pairs. In addition, children in three of the experimental conditions received one of the following types of supplementary instruction: Metamemory instruction, experience with the strategy on a variety of memory tasks, or metamemory instruction plus experience training. Following learning on the city-product task, all the subjects were asked to learn a list of Latin nouns and their English translations. Children who received a metamemory component in instruction demonstrated the most successful generalisation of the keyword strategy. In Experiment 2, the effectiveness of the metamemory instructional programme in promoting maximal generalisation was assessed. Eleven-year-old subjects learned the city-product and Latin-English lists used in Experiment 1. The performance of children who received either (1) keyword strategy instruction with city-product pairs, or (2) strategy instruction plus metamemory training was compared to the performance of children instructed in keyword strategy use with both city-product and Latin-English pairs. Children who received metamemory instruction achieved maximal generalisation, demonstrating comparable recall performance and reporting using the strategy as frequently as children directly instructed in the use of the technique on the generalisation task. In Experiment 3, the issues addressed in Experiments 1 and 2 with younger children were readdressed for 19-year-old students-both in a single experiment. For these older subjects, keyword strategy training with city-product pairs was sufficient to promote maximal generalisation of the technique to the Latin-English task. Implications for instructional research are discussed.



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