ERIC Number: EJ1011995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
Searching for Explanations in Science Trade Books: What Can We Learn from Coh-Metrix?
Smolkin, Laura B.; McTigue, Erin M.; Yeh, Yi-fen Y.
International Journal of Science Education, v35 n8 p1367-1384 2013
Given the importance of explanation in science texts for children, this research explored Coh-Metrix as a tool for rapidly determining the presence of explanations in science trade books. Variables from Coh-Metrix specifically addressing cause ("causal content," "causal cohesion," and "positive causal connectives") were correlated with an existing, high-inference causal variable from previous research. Moderate correlations were found for "causal cohesion" and "positive causal connectives" (both "r"(18) ?=? 0.46, "p" less than 0.05); no correlation was found with "causal content." Somewhat stronger correlations were found with two, co-referential Coh-Metrix variables, "argument overlap" and "stem overlap." These findings suggest that Coh-Metrix may be used for an initial screening to determine if a science text has the necessary conditions to be explanatory. (Contains 2 tables.)
Descriptors: Science Education, Correlation, Textbook Research, Textbook Content, Content Analysis, Evaluation Methods, Scientific Literacy, Inferences, Coding, Predictor Variables
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A