ERIC Number: ED210840
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Prior Knowledge as a Handicapping Condition. Technical Report # 11.
Maria, Katherine; MacGinitie, Walter
As part of the activities at the Research Institute in Education of Learning Disabled Children, work was carried out with a group of about 30 children (grades 4 through 6) disabled in the comprehension of written language. Most of these children, when reading, went beyond using prior knowledge to provide schemata and interpretations; they distorted text information to make it conform to prior knowledge. They could comprehend text but can not learn from text. Several of the children used this same strategy even when a written text is read to them, suggesting that one basis for this unproductive strategy may lie in characteristics differences between spoken and written language. The children did learn well from class discussions. Many of the component tasks in typical verbal intelligence tests appeared to measure ability to use prior knowledge (e.g., vocabularly, similarities, information). Thus, the strategy these children applied unsuccessfully to written language comprehension can be applied successfully to typical intelligence tests. Early decoding problems and early success with the strategy in beginning reading tasks were among possible influences leading to its development. Plausible approaches to treatment included those that emphasize attention to cohesive markers (words that signal relationships between sentences and even paragraphs, and thus hold the text together). (Author/SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Research Inst. for the Study of Learning Disabilities.