ERIC Number: ED207359
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Children's Knowledge and Text Comprehension.
Pace, Ann Jaffe
Background knowledge and experience individuals bring to an activity influence the degree of meaning derived from it. This paper focuses on children's knowledge and text comprehension as it explores the nature of the relationship between them. Studies with children between the ages of five and twelve were undertaken to examine the effect of children's script-like knowledge of their comprehension of texts. The issues addressed are: (1) the use young children can make of their existing knowledge for comprehending narratives, (2) the relationship between the familiarity of the topic of a passage and children's comprehension of it, and (3) children's sensitivity to story information when it is inconsistent with their own knowledge. Results indicate that young children seem to have script-like or ordered, generalized knowledge of commonplace situations which can be utilized in text comprehension. Kindergarteners realized poorer comprehension than older children of events the former knew less well. Passages about uncommon events were the most difficult to comprehend, even though all required information was provided and students could request to hear portions of the narrative again. Special efforts may be needed to get younger children to attend to text-specific information when such information conflicts with their knowledge. (JK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (5th, Boston, MA, October 1980).