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Graduate Action Research Project

Emory & Henry College
Christopher Aston Hatcher
Spring 2014
Introduction / Rationale
Introduction / Rationale
 Comprehension and
mastery of history requires
the memorization of
important dates and
information about an event.
 History teachers should
not ignore the responsibility
to require the correct date
and supplementary
information about an event.
 Making instruction more
memorable so that students
retain information better is
 This can be achieved by
including a memorable piece
of information about the
event, something perhaps offcolor or out of the ordinary,
that would stand out from
ordinary instruction.

Research Topic

If given additional background information in
relation to World War II, can students better
recall the dates and/or pertinent numbers of
specific events in the war?
Research Design

Three 10th grade classes in one school, with a minimum
of 50 total students
o Experimental Groups: Classes A and B
o Control Group: Class C
Classes A and B will be given the additional background
information regarding the Battle of Midway during their
World War II unit. Class C will not be given additional
background information. This background information is
information the students would not receive during the
typical instruction of the course. A pre-test will be
administered on the first day of the unit to each class with
three questions about the Battle of Midway. The same
three questions will be administered to each class in a
post-test at the end of the unit and a comparison will be

Literature Review
According to Watson P.HD. &
Gable P.HD. (2010), working
memory (WM) is a useful measure
of a student’s capability to acquire
new information. Most students
are able to successfully respond to
classroom instruction that require
them to rely on their WM to
acquire new knowledge or skills.
WM is critical to the acquisition of
increasingly more complex
knowledge and skills.
Not surprisingly, WM is often
linked to successful learning and
student academic achievement.
WM is frequently described as a
‘mental scrapbook’ that allows a
person to store and manipulate
A student’s ability to master the
content of daily instruction largely
depends on his or her ability to
successfully process information
in the WM. This requires students
to move information from shortterm to long-term memory, where
it is stored indefinitely.
According to Kihlstrom (2011),
memory is best when we process
an item deeply, connecting it with
our rich fund of pre-existing
knowledge. We learn best when
we learn progressively, building
new knowledge on old knowledge.