ERIC Number: ED188105
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Influences of Prerequisite Knowledge on Inferencing in Literature.
Stander, Aaron C.
New information about reading comprehension (specifically schema theory) was applied to the teaching of literature in a study involving 33 high school students enrolled in two American literature classes. In particular, the study examined the ways in which knowledge of background information about a work could influence students' comprehension of that work. Both the 18 subjects in the experimental group and the 15 subjects in the control group were given the same short story to read and background material about the author and the work. The difference between the two groups was that the background material given to the experimental group contained several sentences related to the theme of the story that were not given to the control group. After listening to the teacher read the background information and after reading the story, the subjects were asked to write an essay in which they explained what was happening to the main character in the story. The results showed that the students in the experimental group, who had the organizing structure provided in the background material, were able to organize the content of the story and develop a workable interpretation. In addition, students in the experimental group wrote about the theme of the story, while those in the control group wrote about the author's style or on other topics not related to the plot of the story. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Schema Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Regional Conference of the International Reading Association (4th, Detroit, MI, October 18-20, 1979).