The effects of reading apprenticeship on junior college students' metacognitive awareness and comprehension of academic texts

Patti Rasberry Smith

Abstract

This descriptive quantitative research study explored if a focus on Reading Apprenticeship strategies and routines in a college level composition class would affect students' metacognitive awareness and comprehension of academic text. Participants included 141 students from one junior college in a southeastern state. The 141 participants were enrolled by choice in six sections of composition taught by three instructors who had all received extensive training in implementing the Reading Apprenticeship framework in their classes. The participants were administered the Revised-Curriculum Embedded Reading Assessment (CERA) twice (pre and post intervention) during the fall semester of the 2008-2009 school year. Participants read and annotated an instructor selected piece of text which was characteristic of the kind of text assigned in a junior college level composition class. The students then responded to six open-ended prompts about the reading and how they made sense of the reading. The instructors used the CERA rubric to score metacognitive awareness and comprehension of academic text at 1 (Beginning), 2 (Noticing), 3 (Developing) or 4 (Internalizing) levels based on the student's responses. After analyzing the data collected, the results of this study indicated that implementing Reading Apprenticeship strategies in a first year composition course does significantly impact CERA metacognitive awareness and comprehension scores. No students received a score of four for the pre-metacognitive awareness assignment or pre-comprehension assignments, but eleven students received a score of four on the post-metacognitive awareness assignment and thirteen students received a score of four on the post-comprehension assignment. The results indicated that of the 141 subjects who participated in the this study, 71 experienced improved metacognitive awareness scores and 102 experienced improved comprehension scores after the Reading Apprenticeship strategies were employed during the semester. Fifty-four students scored the same on the pre and post metacognitive awareness assignments, and thirty three students scored the same on the pre and post comprehension assignments. Sixteen students experienced a decrease in their metacognitive awareness scores while six students experienced a decrease in their comprehension scores.