Children’s Use of Memory Strategies Under Instruction

Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive Development book series (SSCOG)


This chapter is concerned with training procedures for the acquisition and generalization of learning and memory strategies during the early and middle childhood years. The first section of the chapter presents a general developmental framework in which all strategy development can be viewed. Its emphasis is on the change from limited, context-specific, and often inconsistent strategy use to broader, more consistent, context-free strategy use. It is proposed that strategy generalization proceeds from specific contexts that encourage strategy use to a broader range of contexts in which the individual is more active in initiating appropriate strategy use. Several common memory strategies that develop during childhood are examined within this general developmental framework. Its application to and usefulness in new domains are also examined. After the general developmental framework is presented, the question how best to promote the acquisition and generalization of appropriate learning and memory strategies is addressed. The roles of task procedure and materials, practice and familiarity with learning and memory tasks, and verbalizable knowledge of strategies and task demands in strategy development and training are examined. It is suggested that all could be effective in promoting strategy use, with the possibility that some approaches would work better at certain ages (i.e., an age-instruction interaction). Changes in strategy effectiveness with age are also discussed with respect to the evaluation of training procedures.


Free Recall Perceptual Learning Semantic Processing Organizational Strategy Verbal Instruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cox, D., & Waters, H. S. Sex differences in the use of organizational strategies: A developmental analysis. Unpublished manuscript, 1983. (a)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cox, D., & Waters, H. S. Memory and organization in late adulthood: Qualitative or quantitative decline? Unpublished manuscript, 1983. (b)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Waters, H. S., & Foley, M. The origins and influence of verbalizable knowledge of strategy use in memory development Unpublished manuscript, 1983.Google Scholar


  1. Appel, L. F., Cooper, R. G., McCarrell, N., Sims-Knight, J., Yussen, S. R., & Flavell, J. H. The development of the distinction between perceiving and memorizing. Child Development, 1912, 43, 1365–1381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borkowski, J. C. Signs of intelligence: Strategy generalization and metacognition. In S. R. Yussen (Ed.), The development of reflection. New York: Academic Press, in press.Google Scholar
  3. Bray, N. W., Justice, E. M., Ferguson, R. P., & Simon, D. L. Developmental changes in the effects of instructions in production-deficient children. Child Development, 1911, 48, 1019–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Campione, J. C, & Brown, A. L. Toward a theory of intelligence: Contributions from research with retarded children. Intelligence, 1978, 2, 279–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chi, M. T. H. Knowledge structures and memory development. In R. S. Siegler (Ed.), Children’s thinking: What develops? Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1978.Google Scholar
  6. Cofer, C. N., Bruce, D. R., & Reicher, G. M. Clustering in free recall as a function of certain methodological variations. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1966, 71, 858–866.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cole, M., Frankei, F., & Sharp, D. Development of free recall in children. Developmental Psychology, 1971, 4, 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Craik, F. I. M., & Lockhart, R. S. Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1972, 11, 671–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craik, F. I. M., & Tulving, E. Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1914, 104, 268–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Craik, F. I. M., & Watkins, M. J. The role of rehearsal in short-term memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1973, 12, 599–607.Google Scholar
  11. Cuvo, A. J. Developmental differences in rehearsal and free recall. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1915, 19, 265–278.Google Scholar
  12. Flavell, J. H. Developmental studies of mediated memory. In H. W. Reese & L. P. Lipsett (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 5). New York: Academic Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  13. Flavell, J. H. First discussant’s comments: What is memory development the development of? Human Development, 1971, 14, 212–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Furth, H. G., & Milgram, N. A. Labeling and grouping effects in the recall of pictures by children. Child Development, 1973, 44, 511–518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gibson, E. J. Principles of perceptual learning and development. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1969.Google Scholar
  16. Gibson, J. J., & Gibson, E. J. Perceptual learning: Differentiation or enrichment? Psychological Review, 1955, 62, 32–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goldberg, S., Perimutter, M., & Myers, N. Recall of related and unrelated lists by 2-year-olds. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1974, 18, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hagen, J. W., & Stanovich, K. G. Memory: Strategies of acquisition. In R. V. Kail, Jr., & J. W. Hagen (Eds.), Perspectives on the development of memory and cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  19. Hughes, S. E. D., & Walsh, J. F. Effects of syntactic mediation, age, and modes of representation on paired-associate learning. Child Development, 1971, 8, 1–31.Google Scholar
  20. Huttenlocher, J., & Burke, D. Why does memory span increase with age? Cognitive Psychology, 1916, 8, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hyde, T. S., & Jenkins, J. J. Differential effects of incidental tasks on the organization of a list of highly associated words. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1969, 82, 472–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hyde, T. S., & Jenkins, J. J. Recall of words as a function of semantic, graphic, and syntactic orienting tasks. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1973, 12, 471–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson, P. J., & White, R. M., Jr. Concept of dimensionality and reversal shift performance in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1967, 5, 223–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kail, R. V., Jr., & Hagen, J. W. (Eds.), Perspectives on the development of memory and cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  25. Keeney, T. J., Cannizzo, S. R., & Flavell, J. H. Spontaneous and induced verbal rehearsal in a recall task. Child Development, 1967, 38, 953–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kellas, G., McCauley, C., & McFarland, C. E. Developmental aspects of storage and retrieval. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1915, 19, 51–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kendler, H. D., & Kendler, T. S. Vertical and horizontal processes in problem-solving. Psychological Review, 1962, 69, 1–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kennedy, B. A., & Miller, D. J. Persistent use of verbal rehearsal as a function of information about its value. Child Development, 1976, 47, 566–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kobasigawa, A., & Middleton, D. B. Free recall of categorized items by children at three grade levels. Child Development, 1912, 43, 1067–1072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lange, G. The development of conceptual and rote recall skills among school age children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1973, 15, 394–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lange, G., & Jackson, P. Personal organization in children’s free recall. Child Development, 1914, 45, 1060–1067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laurence, M. W. Age differences in performance and subjective organization in the free-recall learning of pictorial material. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 1966, 30, 388–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Laurence, M. W. A developmental look at the usefulness of list categorization as an aid to free recall. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 1967, 21, 153–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Levin, J. R., & Pressley, M. Improving children’s prose comprehension: Selected strategies that seem to succeed. In C. Santa & B. Hayes (Eds.), Children’s prose comprehension: Research and practice. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 1981.Google Scholar
  35. Liberty, C., & Ornstein, P. A. Age differences in organization and recall: The effects of training in categorization. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1973, 15, 169–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Moely, B. E. Organizational factors in the development of memory. In R. V. Kail, Jr., & J. W. Hagen (Eds.), Perspectives on the development of memory and cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  37. Moely, B. E., Olson, F., Hawles, T. G., & Flavell, J. H. Production deficiency in young children’s clustered recall. Developmental Psychology, 1969, 1, 26–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moely, B. E., & Shapiro, S. I. Free recall and clustering at four age levels: Effects of learning to learn and presentation method. Developmental Psychology, 1971, 4, 490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moynahan, E. D. The development of knowledge concerning the effect of categorization upon free recall. Child Development, 1973, 44, 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Murphy, M. D., & Brown, A. L. Incidental learning in preschool children as a function of level of cognitive analysis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1975, 19, 509–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Naus, M. J., Ornstein, P. A., & Aivano, S. Developmental changes in memory: The effects of processing time and rehearsal instructions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1977, 23, 237–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Neimark, E., Slotnick, N. S., & Ulrich, T. Development of memorization strategies. Developmental Psychology, 1971, 5, 427–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nelson, K. J. The organization of free recall by young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1969, 8, 284–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ornstein, P. A. (Ed.). Memory development in children. New York: Wiley, 1978.Google Scholar
  45. Ornstein, P. A., & Naus, M. J. Rehearsal processes in children’s memory. In P. A. Ornstein (Ed.), Memory development in children. New York: Wiley, 1978.Google Scholar
  46. Ornstein, P. A., Naus, M. J., & Liberty, C. Rehearsal and organizational processes in children’s memory. Child Development, 1915, 46, 818–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ornstein, P., A., Naus, M. J., & Stone, B. P. Rehearsal training and developmental differences in memory. Developmental Psychology, 1911, 13, 15–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pellegrino, J. W., Posnansky, C., & Vesonder, G. T. Developmental changes in free recall: The interaction of task structure and age. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1911, 24, 86–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Peterson, P. L., & Swing, S. R. Problems in classroom implementation of cognitive strategy instruction. In J. R. Levin & M. Pressley (Eds.), Cognitive strategy research: Educational applications. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983.Google Scholar
  50. Pressley, M., & Levin, J. R. Developmental constraints associated with children’s use of the keyword method of foreign language vocabulary learning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1918, 26, 359–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rohwer, W. D., Jr. Elaboration and learning in childhood and adolescence. In H. W. Reese (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 8). New York: Academic Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  52. Rosner, S. R. The effects of rehearsal and chunking instructions on children’s multitrial free recall. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1971, 11, 93–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rossi, E. L., & Rossi, S. I. Concept utilization, serial order and recall in nurseryschool children. Child Development, 1965, 36, 771–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Salatas, H., & Flavell, J. H. Behavioral and metamnemonic indicators of strategic behavior under remember instructions in first grade. Child Development, 1976, 47, 81–89.Google Scholar
  55. Scribner, S., & Cole, M. Effects of constrained recall training on children’s performance in a verbal memory task. Child Development, 1972, 43, 845–857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shapiro, S. I., & Moely, B. E. Free recall, subjective organization and learning to learn at three age levels. Psychonomic Science, 1971, 23, 189–191.Google Scholar
  57. Tighe, T. J., & Tighe, L. S. Differentiation theory and concept-shift behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 1968, 70, 756–761. (a).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tighe, T. J., & Tighe, L. S. Perceptual learning in the discrimination processes of children: An analysis of five variables in perceptual pretraining. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1968, 77, 125–134. (b)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tulving, E., & Donaldson, W. (Eds.). Organization of memory. New York: Academic Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  60. Waters, H. S. Organizational strategies in memory for prose: A developmental analysis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1981, 32, 223–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Waters, H. S. Memory development during adolescence: Relationship between metamemory, strategy use, and performance. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1982, 33, 183–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Waters, H. S., & Lomenick, T. L. Levels of organization in descriptive passages: Production, comprehension, and recall. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, in press.Google Scholar
  63. Waters, H. S., & Waters, E. Semantic processing in children’s free recall: Evidence for the importance of attentional factors and encoding variability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 1976, 2, 370–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Waters, H. S., & Waters, E. Semantic processing in children’s free recall: The effects of context and meaningfulness on encoding variability. Child Development, 1919, 50, 735–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Worden, P. E. Effects of sorting on subsequent recall of unrelated items: A developmental study. Child Development, 1915, 46, 687–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Yussen, S. R., Gagne, E., Garguilo, R., & Kunen, S. The distinction between perceiving and memorizing in elementary-school children. Child Development, 1914, 45, 547–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1983

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations