Metacognition in Educational Theory and Practice

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

Very little research of self-regulated comprehension has focused on the role that comprehension monitoring plays when comprehension has not failed but differences in meaning making keep readers apart in their interpretations of text. Believing that one has comprehended a text when in fact one's understanding is not supported by the actual text, or not knowing that one's understanding differs from that of the author or other readers are fundamental problems that can occur during normal reading. Encouraging readers to monitor and control their comprehension at the nexus between meaning making and interpretation can help readers overcome these problems by focusing them on the ambiguities of word meaning, the role of inference, and differences in interpretation.

Research that attempts to examine the role of self-regulated comprehension during normal reading is more difficult to conduct than research that has relied on texts with planted errors or ambiguities. It is easier to test for comprehension failures than comprehension successes. However, the difficulties of the task should not dissuade researchers from undertaking it. Current research on how readers monitor and control their making of meaning during normal reading has provided insightful views into the ways meaning is constructed; however, much more needs to be done. As a meaning-making process, reading has particular significance to our cultural, historical, social, and psychological understanding of ourselves. It is important, therefore, to know how readers of all ages and abilities engage in it. It is equally important to know how readers of all ages and abilities can consciously and deliberately regulate meaning making to further increase its usefulness.


REFERENCES

Ackerman B. P. ( 1988). Reason inferences in the story of comprehension of children and adults. Child Development, 59, 1426- 1442.

Adams M. J., & Collins A. ( 1979). A schema-theoretic view of reading. In R. O. Freedle (Ed.), Discourse processing: Multidisciplinary perspectives (pp. 486-502). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

August D. L., Flavell J. H., & Clift R. ( 1984). Comparison of comprehension monitoring of skilled and less skilled readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 39-53.

Baker L. ( 1984). Children's effective use of multiple standards for evaluating their comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 588-597.

Baker L. ( 1985). How do we know when we don't understand? Standards for evaluating text comprehension. In D. L. Forrest-Pressley, G. E. MacKinnon, & T. G. Waller (Eds.), Metacognition, cognition, and human performance (pp. 155-205). New York: Academic.

Baker L. ( 1989). Metacognition, comprehension monitoring, and the adult reader. Educational Psychology Review, 1, 3-38.

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