The effects of first-letter mnemonics, (acrostics) on the learning of lower-secondary school children
In a series of eight related experiments, the efficacy of first-letter mnemonics (acrostics) was tested against uninstructed and rote learning conditions in time-matched learning situations. Normal, factual curricular material was used to assess and compare performances of around 250 children drawn from two age-groups, (mode) 11.5 and 13.5. Gender differences were also compared. Additionally, a limited survey of teachers in seven state secondary schools was also undertaken to establish the range and extent to which mnemonics are used informally in regular teaching situations. Results are discussed in terms of the significant efficacy of first-letter mnemonics over the alternative learning methods studied, relative to classroom learning, performance and application.