Saturday, November 10, 2007

Educational Technique #4 Backwards Chaining

Backwards Chaining


A lot of educational activities are in fact a chain or sequence of behaviors. Taking off your coat, typing a word, writing you name, all consist of a series of small finite behaviors. For young students, some of these chains can be quite hard. Finishing a puzzle or learning one's phone number comes to mind.

In backwards chaining we first learn to do the very last step, then the second to last, then the third to last, etc.

If I were to use this technique to teach a child to write her name, then I myself would write all the letters in the childs name except the last one. "Susie" would then have to write the final "e" on her name. As she progressed she would learn to add the final "ie" to "Sus", etc.

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