Strategic Processing within and across Domains of Learning

Authored by: Denis Dumas

Handbook of Strategies and Strategic Processing

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  January  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138389939
eBook ISBN: 9780429423635
Adobe ISBN:


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Strategies are goal-directed procedures that are planfully or effortfully used to aid in the regulation, execution, or evaluation of a particular problem or task. Put another way, strategies are the processes that students actually do to improve their performance in school. However, the academic and school context is not monolithic, but is instead composed of a number of domains of learning (e.g., history, biology, music). Given the identification of these particular domains, some strategies can be useful across a number of domains (i.e., domain-general strategies) while other strategies are only useful within a single domain (domain-specific strategies). In this chapter, the particular conceptualization of strategic processing, the definition of a domain, and the empirical operationalization of generality are all interrogated in order to examine the distinction between domain-general and domain-specific strategies. Possible complications for this distinction, including the differential automaticity of procedural knowledge across domains, the unlikelihood of strategy transfer across domains, and the way expertise development interacts with domain-generality, are discussed. Throughout the chapter, open questions in strategy research are pointed out, and future directions for improving the field’s understanding of strategic processing are posited.

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