The Role of Field Dependent/Independent Styles in Learning and Teaching
- Olivia N. SarachoOlivia N. SarachoUniversity of Maryland at College Park
Cognitive style identifies the ways individuals react to different situations. They include stable attitudes, preferences, or habitual strategies that distinguish the individual styles of perceiving, remembering, thinking, and solving problems. Individuals dynamically process and modify incoming information, organizing recent knowledge and assimilating it within the memory structure. This method adds to the individual’s intellectual development and extends the range of cognitive abilities that have been increasing throughout life. Zhang and Sternberg (2005) proposed a Threefold Model of Intellectual Styles in which they defined “intellectual styles” as individuals’ selected methods of processing information and dealing with tasks. They also stated that “intellectual style” is an all-encompassing term for different style constructs, including cognitive style, learning style, thinking style, and teaching style.
The nature of styles and strategies provide information about children’s cognitive styles. This information can be used to improve (1) learning activities provided to children, (2) the teaching of children, and (3) children’s learning in school. One dimension of cognitive style is field dependence versus independence (FDI), which describes the individual’s way of perceiving, remembering, and thinking as they apprehend, store, transform, and process information. It distinguishes between field dependent (FD) and field independent (FI) students in a classroom situation, their learning behaviors, social situations and
how FDI influences in the early childhood classroom, including. The cognitive styles’ characteristics define the individual’s way of understanding, thinking, remembering, judging, and solving problems. An individual’s cognitive style determines the cognitive strategies that are applied in a variety of situations and need to be considered when teaching students. Some teaching strategies and materials may increase or decrease achievement and learning based on the students’ cognitive styles. Thus, FDI cognitive styles have implications for teaching and learning