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ERIC Number: ED222852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
How Adequate are the Assumptions Underlying Literature Comprehension in the Middle Grades?
Farrar, Mary Thomas
Although the argument that comprehension is a cognitive process is extremely convincing, the fact that comprehension can be assessed only through some sort of interaction makes this view inadequate as a base for reading/literature curricula. Questions, context, and teacher-student interaction can all influence a student's comprehension. It is also assumed that comprehension can be assessed objectively, but research has shown that examiners' different frames of reference can have considerable effect on question wording and on student scores. A third assumption underlying reading/literature curricula is that readers use some sort of schematic representation of text to guide the encoding and retrieval process and that an ideal story structure exists that corresponds with readers' schemata or expectations. Research indicates, however, that story structure is reflected in internal representation and that the complexity of internal representation increases developmentally, possibly subject to individual learning styles. Despite the limitations of these assumptions, reading/literature curricula in the schools have been based on the premise that meaning is literal, convergent, and objective rather than subjective or private. Because of the accountability demands of schooling, it is in the interest of school systems to adopt these assumptions and gloss over their inadequacies, a possibly unresolvable dilemma. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A