Metacognition in Educational Theory and Practice

By Douglas J. Hacker; John Dunlosky et al. | Go to book overview

7
Influence of Knowledge Activation and Context on Comprehension Monitoring of Science Texts

José Otero Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain

Comprehension monitoring has been conceptualized in several ways. One line of inquiry is based on what Winograd and Johnston ( 1982) called the "error detection paradigm" (p. 61). It was started in the late 1970s by Ellen Markman's ( 1977, 1979) research on children's awareness of inconsistencies. Subjects are provided with inconsistent information, typically textual contradictions or information that contradicts subjects' knowledge, and comprehension monitoring is assessed by subjects' ability to identify and react to these inconsistencies. Work on calibration of comprehension, which started in the 1980s, represents another kind of research on comprehension monitoring. It consists in measuring the relation between readers' predictions of understanding text and their actual performance as measured by questions on main points of the text ( Glenberg & Epstein, 1985, 1987). Related to this work is research on predictions of memory for text or metamemory and predictions of comprehension or metacomprehension ( Maki & Berry, 1984; Maki & Swett, 1987).

Two components have been distinguished in comprehension monitoring: evaluation and regulation of comprehension ( Baker, 1985; Otero, 1996; Zabrucky & Ratner, 1986, 1989, 1992). Evaluation refers to the identification of a comprehension problem; regulation refers to the remedial strategies used to solve these problems, for example inferencing or rereading portions of a text. The difference is illustrated in studies using the error detection paradigm.

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