ERIC Number: ED348648
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Finding New Meanings: The Development of Text Reinterpretation Skill.
Bonitatibus, Gary; Beal, Carole R.
Four studies investigated when children became able to detect that the words of a story could support multiple interpretations. Each subject saw two eight-sentence stories of each of four types (no-cause, unbiased, biased-proximal, and biased-distal), designed to support multiple interpretations. After reading or hearing each story, the children were asked a series of questions. The studies examined recognition of alternative interpretations and children's developing appreciation of ambiguity and false belief in story texts and their developing appreciation of others' perspectives. Subjects in the first study were approximately 60 second-, third-, and fourth-grade students, while 48 second- and fourth-grade students were subjects in the other 3 studies. Results indicated that: (1) younger children tended to have difficulty reinterpreting a text after an initial interpretation; (2) although they realize the text is ambiguous, they are less likely than older children to explicitly identify alternative interpretations after making an initial interpretation; (3) they are also less likely to appreciate the causes of another's differing interpretation; and (4) children in both grades frequently had problems understanding that another might hold a false belief or inaccurate interpretation about the story events. Findings suggest that young writers may overlook the possibility that a reader may have a different interpretation, or a false interpretation, even though they possess the ability to recognize multiple interpretations. Therefore, children may need explicit instruction in recognizing alternative interpretations in their writing. (A sample story and four figures of data are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Narrative Text; Text Factors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).