ERIC Number: ED189549
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Schemata, Context, and Comprehension.
Smith, Sharon L.; And Others
The study of schema theory as part of the inquiry into the nature of language comprehension has drawn attention to the reader's central role in the construction of text-guided meaning. Contemporary schema theory represnts a major step in the effort to move away from a reductionist view of reading comprehension. Specifically, it focuses on wbat readers do to acquire meaning by mobilizing existing knowledge in an effort to make some sense of the text. Research involving schema has shown that there is a significant tendency for readers to impose a single interpretation upon an ambiguous passage and, if appropriate, to relate the passage to their own fields of study. A partial replication of a study by R. C. Anderson, R. C. Reynolds, D. L. Schallert, and E. T. Goetz (1977) which showed a significant tendency for readers to impose a single interpretation upon an ambiguous passage and to relate the passage to their own fields of study was conducted that yielded rather different results. In classes that had mixed enrollments having no relationship to the subjects' majors, students were much less likely to give predicted interpretations to the ambiguously written passages. Many students attended to the text ambiguity itself. Implications of the study are that reading may be viewed as a transaction rather than an interaction and that language should be viewed as contextually bound, not only in a linguistic sense, but in a mental and environmental sense as well. (MKM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Schema Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (29th, San Antonio, TX, November 29-December 1, 1979).