Title

An Exploration of the Relationship Between Metacomprehension Strategy Awareness and Reading Comprehension Performance With Narrative and Science Texts

Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

Dana Thames

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Abstract

This mixed method study explored the relationship between metacomprehension strategy awareness and reading comprehension performance with narrative and science texts. Participants, 132 eighth-grade, predominately African American students, attending one middle school in a southeastern state, were administered a narrative and science version of the Metacomprehension Strategy Index (MSI ) and asked to identify helpful strategic behaviors from six clustered subcategories (predicting and verifying; previewing; purpose setting; self-questioning; drawing from background knowledge; and summarizing and applying fix-up strategies). Participants also read and answered comprehension questions about narrative and science passages. Findings revealed no statistically significant differences in overall metacomprehension awareness with narrative and science texts. Statistically significant (p <.05) differences were found for two of the six subcategories, indicating students preview and set purpose more often with science than narrative texts. Findings also indicated overall narrative and science metacomprehension awareness and comprehension performance scores were statistically significantly ( p <.01) related. Specifically, the category of summarizing and applying fix-up strategies was the strongest predictor of comprehension performance for both narrative and science texts. The qualitative phase of this study explored the relationship between metacomprehension awareness with narrative and science texts and the comprehension performance of six middle school students, three of whom scored high overall on the narrative and science text comprehension assessments in phase one of the study, and three of whom scored low. A qualitative analysis of multiple sources of data, including video-taped interviews and think-alouds, revealed the three high scoring participants engaged in competent school-based, metacognitive conversations infused with goal, self, and narrative talk and demonstrated multi-strategic engagements with narrative and science texts. In stark contrast, the three low scoring participants engaged in dissonant school-based talk infused with disclaimers, over-generalized, decontextualized, and literalized answers and demonstrated robotic, limited (primarily rereading and restating), and frustrated strategic acts when interacting with both narrative and science texts. The educational implications are discussed. This dissertation was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, Federal Office Grant Award No. 324E031501.