ERIC Number: ED385395
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Children's Use of Prior Knowledge and Experience in Making Sense of Informational Text.
Cote, Nathalie; And Others
A study examined how elementary school children spontaneously construct meaning when reading informational text. In particular, the study explored: what kinds of knowledge they draw on and how they use it to help them understand what they read; and how does what they do influence what they recall. Twenty-nine 6th graders from two elementary schools in Nashville, Tennessee, were taught to think aloud as they tried to understand novel information. Subjects' thinking processes were observed as the children read non-narrative informational texts on science and nutrition on a computer screen. These texts were 21-27 sentences in length. Analysis of data showed that children did not take a passive approach to reading. Instead, they drew on prior knowledge and experience to construct a coherent representation of the text information, although a coherent representation did not necessarily mean an accurate one. Children also used other activities to make sense of new information. Some of these activities were: monitoring, integrating across texts, and paraphrasing or rephrasing content. Further research into the nature of students' representations and the relationship of these representations to recall reports is needed. (The experimental texts are appended.) (JW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995). For related paper, see ED 381 752.