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The testing of an instructional strategy for improving reading comprehension of expository text in science and content area reading

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Title:
The testing of an instructional strategy for improving reading comprehension of expository text in science and content area reading
Creator:
Brown, William Michael, 1951- ( Dissertant )
Koran, John J. ( Thesis advisor )
Koran, Mary Lou ( Reviewer )
Powell, William R. ( Reviewer )
Todd, Eugene ( Reviewer )
Miller, M. David ( Reviewer )
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Gainesville, Fla.
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University of Florida
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Copyright Date:
1995
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English
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x, 159 leaves : ; 29 cm.

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Earth rotation ( jstor )
Ellipses ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Molecules ( jstor )
Reading comprehension ( jstor )
Reciprocal teaching ( jstor )
Soils ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Sun ( jstor )
Sunlight ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Instruction and Criticism
Instruction and Criticism Thesis, (Ph.D.)
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of high and low question generation as part of an instructional reading comprehension strategy called Reciprocal Teaching. A post test-only control group design was employed with aptitude factor tests administered prior to the study. In this design, the dependent variables were delayed written free recall and question generation for science and social studies expository texts; covariates were field dependence/field independence, induction, and verbal comprehension. gender and race/ethnicity also served as independent variables. One hundred eleven middle school students from five 7th grade classes were randomly assigned to four treatment groups in a 2x2 design. All groups differed in the level of questions to be generated from the passages: (a) low level questions; (b) mixed high and low level questions; (c) high level questions and (d) control. Subjects in all groups were trained for five consecutive days to use the four metacognitive activities of Reciprocal Teaching (predicting, questioning, summarizing and clarifying) while reading expository text. Scripts were developed for all groups to ensure uniformity of instruction. After training, subjects participated in two equivalent post test sessions. Analysis of covariance was performed with significant full model main effects for high level questions on total score for the question generation science text measure (F=3.80, p<.05). There were no significant main effects on the delayed free recall measures nor on the social studies question generation measure. Further analysis indicated that significant individual difference were found: (a) for gender (F=5.56, p<.05) on delayed free recall of science expository text; (b) for field dependence/independence (F=7.39, p<.05) on delayed free recall of science text; and (C) for field dependence/independence (F=7.11, p<.05) on delayed free recall of social studies text. In addition, interaction effects were found between high and low level questions generated and gender for delayed free recall of social studies text (F=7.75, p<.05), and between high and low level questions generated for question generation of the science text (F=7.75, p <.05). These finding suggest that the level of questions generally does not affect the quality of comprehension of expository text with Reciprocal Teaching. Implications of this study and questions for future research are provided.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1995.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 71-84).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by William Michael Brown.

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THE TESTING OF AN INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY FOR IMPROVING
READING COMPREHENSION OF EXPOSITORY TEXT IN SCIENCE AND
CONTENT AREA READING















By

WILLIAM MICHAEL BROWN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1995


























Copyright 1995

by

William M. Brown














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This dissertation is written with the sincere desire to improve

classroom teaching and make a genuine contribution to the education

profession. Although many academic endeavors may be an individual

undertaking, the work of this dissertation is not. During the course of my

doctoral studies, many generous persons have supported me and contributed

to the challenge that this vigorous academic training entails.

I am very privileged, and especially grateful, to have had the

opportunity over the past five years to work with Dr. John J. Koran, Jr.,

chairman of my doctoral committee. His insight and expertise as a science

educator have been an inspiration to me throughout the course of my

studies. I thank him for the generous support that he has unselfishly given

me. His innate perception and wisdom, and experience as a teacher and a

scholar, permitted me to develop my individual talents so that I now feel I

own the knowledge acquired during my graduate studies and doctoral

research.

I thank the other members of my doctoral committee for their support.

I am grateful to Dr. Mary Lou Koran for her patience with me, for having a

high standard of academic excellence and expecting the same from her

students, and most of all, for respecting me as an individual. I am endebted to

Dr. William R. Powell who counseled me unselfishly in a field of study and

research that I had little prior knowledge of but enthusiastically embraced.

iii










I thank Dr. Eugene Todd, a committee member "diplomat," who awakened

the writing of this dissertation with probing questions. I am especially grateful

to Dr. M. David Miller, who brought down to earth the processes of research

design that I always seemed to want to confuse by making more of them than

what they are.

My graduate studies would never have been completed without the

caring, encouragement, and patience of my friends with whom I began

doctoral studies--Jim Ellis, M. Frank Pajares, Kim Camaron and Peggy

Johnson. Their friendship and help during demanding graduate classes

provided tremendous moral support for me. I am particularly endebted to

Frank Pajares, who sacrificed much of his time in setting up my data analyses

and helped with their preliminary interpretation.

I especially want to thank the staff, students and faculty at Fort Clarke

Middle School, especially the Principal, Dr. Chet Sanders, and faculty

members, Mike Hubbard, Richard Conley, Shay Bureau, Eloise Waters, and

Barbara Hontz. Their support and cooperation made my work in completing

this degree easier than it might otherwise have been.

I extend special thanks to Harrison and Irene Stortz for the sometimes

arduous task of intermittent caretaking of their grandchildren while I

relentlessly pursued my doctoral studies. Their unconditional and unselfish

example deepened my understanding, and strengthened my commitment to

the importance of the family.

Gratitude is expressed to the faculty and staff of Piedmont College,

especially to Dr. A. Jane McFerrin and the members of the Division of

Education, for their moral support during the completion of this dissertation.

iv








I am also grateful to Dr. Norman Bryan, Jr., who unselfishly helped me with

my anxiety attacks during the final month before my defense.

This dissertation is dedicated to my wife Mary Jane and our two

children, Emily Marie and Abigail Anne, with whom I shared the most

challenging, difficult, and growth-filled years of my life. I thank God for

having them in my life to have kept me reasonably sane, and pray that

together we will share in the rewards that this experience will reap.
There are probably others to whom an expression of gratitude is due. I

apologize for any oversight.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

A CK N O W LED GEM EN TS...................................................... ................................... iii

A BST R A C T .............................................................................................................. ix

CHAPTERS

I IN TRO D U CTIO N ......................................................................................... 1

Problem Statem ent......................................................................................... 1
Rationale for the Study........................................... ........................... 2
Purpose of the Study.................................................. ............................. 3
Significance of the Study.......................................... .......................... 3
Questions of the Study........................................................................... 4
Research H ypotheses................................................................................ 5
Definition of Selected Terms...................................................................... 6

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.............................................................. 8

Reciprocal Teaching............................................................................... 8
Metacognitive Strategies For Reading Comprehension........................ 11
Tetrahedral Model of Text Processing....................................................... 14
Inquiry in Science Education.............................................................. 17
Peer Education.................................................... .................................... 20
Schem a Theory................................................................. ........................ 22

III METHODOLOGY.............................. ...... ..................... ..... 27

H ypotheses ................................................................................................ 27
Participants and Setting........................................ ...................... 28
Instrum entation....................................................................................... 29
D esign ......................................... ................................................... 29
Covariates........... ........................................... 31
Assessment Passages............................... ................. 34
Delayed Written Free Recall..................................... ........... 34








Question Generation...................... ...................................... 36
Dependent Variables........................ .................................... 38
Instructional Procedures....................................................................... 38
T reatm en t................................................................................................... 40
R eliab ility .................................................................................................... 43
Procedural Reliability....................... .................................... 43
Interrater Agreement....................... .................................... 43
D ata A nalysis............................................................................................. 44
Su m m ary .................................................................................................... 44

IV RESU LTS....................................... .................... ....................................... 46
D descriptive A nalyses............................................................................... 47
R eliab ility .................................................................................................... 50
Statistical A nalyses................................................................................... 50


V SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS............. 60
Discussion of Hypotheses...................................................................... 60
Delayed Free Recall..................................... ........... ................ 62
Q question G eneration................................................................................ 66
Im plications................................................................................................ 68

BIBLIO G R A PH Y ..................................................................................................... 71

APPENDICES

A C O N D U C TIO N ............................................................................................. 85

B EARTH ROTATION AND PREHISTORIC SHELTER TEXTS................ 95

C H IERA R C H IES............................................................... .................... .............. 98

D QUESTION GENERATION RECORD FORM.......................................... 102

E SCRIPT RECIPROCAL TEACHING LOW LEVEL QUESTIONS......... 104

F SCRIPT RECIPROCAL TEACHING LOW/HIGH QUESTIONS......... 113

G SCRIPT RECIPROCAL TEACHING HIGH LEVEL QUESTIONS......... 122

H SCRIPT RECIPROCAL TEACHING COMPARISON GROUP.............. 131

I INFORMED CONSENT FOR STUDENT PARTICIPATION................ 139








J RECIPROCAL TEACHING LESSON PLAN............................................. 142

K TRAINING PASSAGES.................................................................................. 152


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH....................................................................................... 158


viii













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE TESTING OF AN INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY FOR IMPROVING
READING COMPREHENSION OF EXPOSITORY TEXT
IN SCIENCE AND CONTENT AREA READING


By

William M. Brown

August, 1995



Chairman: John J. Koran, Jr.
Major Department: Instruction and Curriculum

The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of high and low

question generation as part of an instructional reading comprehension

strategy called Reciprocal Teaching. A posttest-only control group design was

employed with aptitude factor tests administered prior to the study. In this

design, the dependent variables were delayed written free recall and question

generation for science and social studies expository texts; covariates were field

dependence/field independence, induction and verbal comprehension.

Gender and race/ethnicity also served as independent variables.

One hundred eleven middle school students from five 7th grade

classes were randomly assigned to four treatment groups in a 2x2 design. All










groups differed in the level of questions to be generated from the passages: (a)
low level questions; (b) mixed high and low level questions; (c) high level

questions; and (d) control.

Subjects in all groups were trained for five consecutive days to use the

four metacognitive activities of Reciprocal Teaching (predicting, questioning,

summarizing and clarifying) while reading expository text. Scripts were

developed for all groups to ensure uniformity of instruction. After training,

subjects participated in two equivalent posttest sessions.

Analysis of covariance was performed with significant full model main

effects for high level questions on total score for the question generation

science text measure (F= 3.80, p<.05). There were no significant main effects

on the delayed free recall measures nor on the social studies question

generation measure. Further analysis indicated that significant individual

differences were found: (a) for gender (F= 5.56, p<.05) on delayed free recall of

science expository text; (b) for field dependence/independence (F= 7.39, p<.05)

on delayed free recall of science text; and (c) for field dependence/

independence (F=7.11, p<.05) on delayed free recall of social studies text. In

addition, interaction effects were found between high and low level questions

generated and gender for delayed free recall of social studies text (F=7.75,

p<.05), and between high and low level questions generated for question

generation of the science text (F=7.75, p<.05).
These findings suggest that the level of questions generally does not

affect the quality of comprehension of expository text with Reciprocal

Teaching. Implications of this study and questions for future research are

provided.














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Problem Statement

Science education is dependent on the use of the textbook (Santa &

Alvermann, 1991). Most science textbooks are densely loaded with complex

concepts, and the demands on memory are often high (Yager, 1983). There are

limits to improving independent learning by designing better instructional

text (Guthrie, 1982). It seems more feasible to focus on the learner and teach

better learning strategies to be used in a variety of domains and learning

situations.

It is crucial that the student become an active participant in the

learning process. If the active and directive role is assumed by the teacher,

who maintains control of the pace, sequence, and content of the lesson via a

textbook and/or through direct instruction, then students may view learning

as an outcome of the teachers' actions but not of their own (Bereiter &

Scardamalia, 1989). Students who have been given opportunities to develop

and be in control of their learning environment will be self-motivated to use

their cognitive powers to go beyond the information given (Hunkins, 1989).

They will also remember more and be able to apply their knowledge in a

greater variety of circumstances (Rothkopf, 1973).

The cognitive level of questions promotes an interaction between the

students' existing schemata and the textual information to be learned. Lower










level cognitive questions will promote a lower level of cognitive processing

of text. Teachers and textbooks should ask higher cognitive-level questions in

order for students to apply what they learn. Textbook questions function as

cues that influence student learning by guiding students in their selection,

encoding, and processing of text information (Wilson & Koran, 1976).

Teachers, however, often ask low level cognitive questions to check recall of

knowledge (Wilen, 1991). This limits student responses to one or two words,

or to selecting one of three or four given choices. When this method

predominates in the classroom, the instructional emphasis is on getting

correct answers and not on reasoning skills. This method of questioning,

whether generated from a textbook or by a teacher, reinforces knowledge that

does not transfer beyond the curriculum into the real world. The student

simply learns to give the expected answer but does not learn to create longer

or more complex answers. Such instructional approaches fail to develop

higher order thinking skills (Fitzpatrick, 1994; Pizzini, Shepardson, & Abell,

1989).
Rationale for the Study

This study stems from a rationale that the fostering of metacognitive

strategies designed to aid in understanding textbook content, in conjunction

with the elaboration of text content through the generation of higher level

questions, may promote learning and higher-order processing of information
in students. This study is also based on the premise that the ultimate goal of

instruction in an educational setting is to gradually transfer the responsibility

for learning from the teacher to the students, thus supporting a student-

centered learning environment.












Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine if reading comprehension of

expository text is affected by the level of question (low, high) used during an

instructional strategy known as Reciprocal Teaching (Palincsar & A. L. Brown,

1984). The design of the Reciprocal Teaching strategy is based on cognitive

schema and metacognitive theories. This study will provide insight into

whether students given instruction in Reciprocal Teaching acquire a better

understanding of expository text through the generation and elaboration of

high level questions and if this response is dependent on student aptitude.

Significance of the Study

The significance of this study lies in the growing evidence that (a)

students can become more independent and responsible learners and (b)

content area educators can foster this independence by cultivating reading

comprehension skills with their students, enabling them to better process

information contained within expository text.

Reciprocal Teaching involves self-monitoring of comprehension

during the task of reading expository text. It also is designed to foster socially-

shared intellectual work. Four cognitive activities characteristic of Reciprocal

Teaching, predicting, questioning, summarizing, and clarifying, are used to

improve reading comprehension of expository text. This study is designed to

test whether the potential benefits of Reciprocal Teaching to comprehend

expository text may be enhanced through the generation of high level

questions by students. Consequently, this study may help produce and

establish a modification of the instructional method designed by Palincsar












and Brown which could be used in content area subjects to help produce

higher level learning in our schools.

This research will contribute to the knowledge of reading

comprehension strategies in the middle school and support their inclusion in

academic curricula where reliance on expository text is prevalent.

Questions of the Study

The data in this study will be collected in one school. Consequently,

external validity is limited. However, the following research questions are

grounded within the literature on reading comprehension, metacognition,

peer education, inquiry learning, problem solving, and schema theory. As a

result, construct validity should be high.

Guided by a comprehensive review of this literature, the design of this

research proposal will attempt to examine four questions couched in the

following caveat, "considering there are limits to improving learning by

designing better instructional text":

1. After adjusting for varying abilities and teaching students Reciprocal

Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions, will there be

a difference between groups in reading comprehension of science expository

text as measured by delayed written free recall?

2. After adjusting for varying abilities and teaching students Reciprocal

Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions, will there be

a difference between groups in generating low and high level questions from

science expository text?








5

3. After adjusting for varying abilities and teaching students Reciprocal

Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions, will there be

a difference between groups in reading comprehension of social studies

expository text as measured by delayed written free recall?

4. After adjusting for varying abilities and teaching students Reciprocal

Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions, will there be

a difference between groups in generating low and high level questions from

social studies expository text?

Research Hypotheses

This study is designed to determine if differences in the type of

question structure (low level questions and/or high level questions) used

with Reciprocal Teaching activities imposed on reading a text will organize

textual information significantly for a reader and affect the amount of

information learned and remembered.

The following hypotheses will be tested. They are presented here in

null operational form.

1. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on delayed written free recall of science expository text (Earth's

Rotation), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction, field

dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and conduction

question generation scores.

2. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on question generation of science expository text (Earth's

Rotation), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction, field










dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and conduction

question generation scores.

3. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on delayed written free recall of social studies expository text

(Prehistoric Shelter), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction,

field dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and

conduction question generation scores.

4. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on question generation of social studies expository text

(Prehistoric Shelter), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction,

field dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and

conduction question generation scores.

Definition of Selected Terms

For the purpose of this study, the following terms are defined in the

following manner:

Aptitude may refer to any characteristic of an individual which

facilitates, interferes with, or functions selectively with respect to

learning (Cronbach & Snow, 1977; Koran & Koran, 1984).

A Question is any sentence having either an interrogative form or

function. Questions are instructional ques or stimuli that inquire by

interrogatory, or present a proposition to be answered (Webster's, 1988;

Wilen, 1991).

Strategy refers to processes that facilitate both knowledge acquisition

and utilization; processes that, when matched to the requirements of












tasks, facilitate performance (Pressley, Goodchild, Fleet, Zajchowski &

Evans 1989).

Predict refers to the basis of current data and experience, stating in

advance what will probably happen or be true next (Beyer, 1991).

Clarify may refer to restating information for a more complete

understanding about an object or event (A. L. Brown & Palincsar, 1984).

Summary refers to a brief statement that represents a synopsis of

information accessible to a subject, reflecting the gist, central ideas or

essence of a discourse (Johnson, 1983; Hidi & V. Anderson, 1986).

Comprehension refers to understanding the literal message contained

in a communication (Bloom, 1956), or recreating the meaning that an

author intended a reader to obtain (Perkes, 1988).













CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


Reciprocal Teaching

The comprehension instruction strategy tested in this research,

Reciprocal Teaching, is based on current cognitive theories of learning and

the research that supports them. Three criteria were used to identify the

instructional strategy for investigation in this study: (a) consistency within a

cognitively based theory of the reading process, (b) differentiation between

skilled readers and novices, (c) instructional amenability.

Reciprocal Teaching challenges students intellectually during

instruction. It is designed to activate and organize students' content schema

or existing knowledge. Comprehension instruction derived from Reciprocal

Teaching emphasizes activating readers' existing knowledge and fostering

metacognitive strategies that skilled readers regularly use. Procedures

involved with Reciprocal Teaching use metacognitive knowledge and cues

gleaned from a teacher and/or other students in an instructional context

which is designed to link new information with prior knowledge in order to

construct a new understanding about a topic.

Reciprocal Teaching is defined here as two to four students working

together on the same reading task, with each member taking turns assuming

the role of the teacher in leading a dialogue concerning a segment of the text

(Palincsar, 1986). Four key cognitive activities are used in the Reciprocal












Teaching method: (a) predicting the gist of the text to be read; (b) questioning

the main points of the paragraphs within the text; (c) summarizing to capture

the essence of individual paragraphs as well as the total text; and (d) clarifying

main points in order to resolve difficulties of understanding (Hancock &

Leaver, 1994).

Reciprocal Teaching fosters the use of schema to interact with text and

facilitates the monitoring of comprehension. According to Palincsar (1986),

predicting provides learners with an understanding of new material by

relating incoming information to currently held content schemata. Nichols

(1983) has found that prediction is a good way for content area teachers to

integrate reading methodology into their subject matter and is a simple but

highly effective method of encouraging students to learn content material.

Questioning prompts a student to identify content within the text and then

frame that information in the form of a question. Summarizing focuses the

reader's attention to integrate information across sentences, paragraphs, and

pages of text. Finally, clarifying identifies a failure and the source of the

failure in comprehension, in order to take appropriate steps (rereading,

reading ahead, asking for assistance) to restore meaning.

The application of Reciprocal Teaching to reading instruction can be

traced to Manzo's (1969) "Request" reading procedures. Request (reciprocal

questioning) emphasized developing student self-questioning abilities

through activities that encouraged students to establish a purpose for reading,

to read silently, and, after reading, to engage in an exchange of questions and
answers with teachers.










Reciprocal Teaching is also based on the Vygotskian concept of

proleptic teaching and expert scaffolding (Palincsar, 1986). Instructional

scaffolding allows a learner to perform a complete, complex process without

processing capacity overload. Instructional scaffolding by teachers may use

cues, prompting, analogies, metaphors, questioning, elaborations, and/or

remodeling. It provides students with the necessary information to

restructure their understanding of text. In Reciprocal Teaching instructional

scaffolding plays a vital role where a teacher initially directs a group of

students in carrying out complex reasoning and then slowly transfers

responsibility to the students. Learners are helped to build a progressively

more complex scaffolding of tutorial hints and eventually are led to

internalize the characteristics of expert performance. It is expected that

teaching students to emulate expert readers' use of comprehension strategies

through socially mediated instruction and practice results in the

internalization of these processes and their later application in reading (R.

Brown & Coy-Ogan, 1993).
Reciprocal Teaching facilitates the gradual withdrawal of teacher

assistance as the learner demonstrates increased competence with the task.

Direct explanation, modeling, guided practice, and student application are the

techniques used in these activities to make successive approximations to the

task at hand and to stimulate the gradual release of responsibility for task

completion from the teacher to the student. This diminished assistance has

been referred to by Pearson and Gallagher (1983) as the "gradual release of
responsibility." Through the scaffolding process of modeling, guided
instruction, and group interaction, readers eventually learn to monitor and










direct their reading. Thus, a learner is moved toward a higher level of

understanding when the need to generate, infer, or elaborate hypotheses

about missing information arises.

The comprehension strategy developed for this study includes all four

activities introduced in the Palincsar and Brown studies (predicting,

questioning, clarifying, summarizing). However, there is a modification of

the questioning activity where specific low level and high level questions are

solicited from different treatment groups. Low level questions begin with the

words Who-What-Where-When. High level questions answer the questions

Why-How (Wilson, 1979). Palincsar and Brown's Reciprocal Teaching will

provide a context in which the effectiveness of a strategy is tested that teaches

an individual to infer and define a high level question associated with a

textual schema-based discourse structure.

Metacognitive Strategies for Reading Comprehension

Reading strategies imply metacognitive awareness (Dole, Duffy,

Roehler, & Pearson, 1991). Several authors (A. L. Brown, 1980; A. L. Brown &

Smiley, 1977; Meyers & Paris, 1978) have also suggested that reading

comprehension involve metacognition as well as cognition. Metacognition,

according to Flavell (1976), refers to "one's knowledge concerning one's own

cognitive processes and products or anything related to them" (p. 232).

Metacognition also includes "the active monitoring and consequent

regulation and orchestration of these processes in relation to the cognitive

objects or data on which they bear, usually in the service of some concrete

goal or objective" (Flavell, 1976, p. 232). Metacognition may be an element

common to all problem-solving tasks (Paris, 1978). According to A. L. Brown








12

(1980), the ability to monitor one's own cognitive processes is a sign of

efficient learning in many tasks. In short, metacognitive processes refer to the

control or executive processes that direct our cognitive processes and lead to

efficient use of cognitive strategies.

It is important to distinguish between comprehension strategies

leading to deep (intentional) or surface (incidental) processing during

learning (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1989; Palincsar & Klenk (1992). In an

incidental learning situation a person is exposed to stimulus material and

given no explicit instructions to guide learning. Tasks that do not produce

deep processing inhibit comprehension and cognitive monitoring. Copying

ideas verbatim is such a task. These incidental learning activities do not

deviate from the surface structure of text. They do not paraphrase nor

combine ideas for deep processing. Explicit instructions enable a person to

monitor comprehension because they have intentionally oriented their

thinking process.

Reading instruction must build students' reasoning abilities (Block,

1993). From a cognitive view of the reading process, comprehension

instruction emphasizes teaching students conscious control over a set of

strategies for use in understanding any text they read (Pressley, Johnson,

Symons, McGoldrick, & Kurita, 1989). Reading strategies are conscious,

instantiated, and flexible plans that readers apply and adapt to a variety of

texts and tasks (Dole et al. 1991). Consequently, reading strategies may be

thought of as intentional, flexible plans controlled by a reader which

emphasize reasoning and critical thinking abilities in order to derive

sequences of progressively appropriate meanings from text.










Teachers must intervene and educate students to independently use

the information written in the form of expository text, especially within

science textbooks. Recently, Carver (1987) suggested that "time-on-task" or
"pupil engaged time" is an important variable in reading achievement, and

gains in reading comprehension strategies research could just as well have

been achieved otherwise. However, just as important as spending time on

reading is how that time is spent (Simons, 1984). Lofald (1992, p. 70) quotes

Tierney (1982) as saying:

many students are rarely challenged or engaged by what they read, and
even less often do they challenge the text or their own understanding of
what they have read . (this) problem of acquiring inert knowledge and
the passive relationship many readers have with text seems at the very
core of the many difficulties associated with academic reading and
learning the most serious problem is not so much readers' inherent
inability to read, but rather their interaction with the text ... in effect,
they are passive agents with subdued attitudes of reverence to text.
(Tierney, 1982)

V. Anderson and Roit (1993), in a quantitative and qualitative study of the

effects of reading strategy instruction on both teachers and students, also agree

that this type of instruction can alleviate some passivity and resistance often

found in adolescent readers. Furthermore, Benito, Foley, Lewis, and Prescott

(1993) argue that the use of specific comprehension strategies will benefit

students' comprehension of expository texts and that giving up the time for

such instruction "will not necessarily have an adverse effect on the general
reading progress of the students" (p. 28).

Executive control functions (planning, monitoring, checking, and

revising) described by A. L. Brown, Bransford, Ferrara, and Campione (1983)

are used in Reciprocal Teaching and are designed to induce intentional










orientation of learning. A. L. Brown (1979) has shown that inducing

metacognitive strategies for deep meaningful processing during reading

produces better recall than incidental processing does.

Asking questions is one way to begin moving toward an active,

student-generated learning environment (Otto, 1991). Training students to

generate their own questions encourages active intentional processing (Gall &

Rhody, 1987). Learning for the purpose of recalling information and applying

that knowledge in the context of problem solving is characterized as

intentional learning (Palincsar & Klenk, 1992). The generation of high level

questions should enhance Reciprocal Teaching as an intentional process and

not just an incidental passive-receptive routine governed by text content and

structure (Menke & Pressley, 1994). Consequently, high level questions

integrated into the activities of Reciprocal Teaching will advantageously assist

in the assembling and synthesis of content within text and foster new

demands on the learner through higher order thinking.

Tetrahedral Model of Text Processing

The structure of written text "refers to the system of arrangement of

ideas in text and the nature of the relationships connecting the ideas." (T. H.

Anderson & Armbruster, 1984, p. 195). Text can be placed into different

categories: narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive (Brooks &

Warren, 1971; Decker, 1974; Nicholas & Nicholl, 1978). Often, specific text may

have properties that are associated with more than one category.

The primary purpose of expository text is to provide information or

expose ideas (Decker, 1974). Black (1985) note that "expository texts are the

ones that convey new information and explain new topics to people" (p. 249).










Reading comprehension involves a complex set of interactions

between a reader and a text. Comprehension of text occurs when a reader is

able to bring to mind a schema that gives a coherent explanation of the objects

and events mentioned in a discourse (R. C.Anderson, 1984). Comprehension

is an essential component of mature reading (A. L. Brown, 1980; Rothkopf &

Billington, 1975).

The prevalent theoretical perspective on reading is that the reader is an

active participant who directs dialogue with the text. Reading comprehension

is the result of an active process in which readers make hypotheses about the

text as they read, and then mentally test their hypotheses. As the hypotheses

are confirmed or refuted, understanding occurs and they continue to read

smoothly. If the text fails to make sense and a hypothesis cannot be

confirmed or refuted, good readers take action to promote understanding

(Singer & Rudell, 1976).

A. L. Brown, Campione, and Day (1981) suggest a tetrahedral model of

text processing adapted from Jenkins (1979) that is both sensitive to

individual differences (Koran & Koran, 1986) and consistent with the

assumption that reading processes are interactive. The interactive tetrahedral

model assumes that all the process variables within the model can act on text

simultaneously; they can also mutually and reciprocally interact with each

other as well as with cues in text. The tetrahedral model conceptualizes

reading comprehension as a constructive process which focuses on how the

reader synthesizes meaning from print; what the reader brings to the reading
situation in terms of experience, knowledge, and skills; how information is

presented in the text; and the effect context has on reading performance. This










theory of reading is "constructivist" because it hypothesizes that

comprehension is not simply a process of identifying the meaning embedded

in text, but rather a process in which meaning is constructed as the reader

actively processes information by integrating new knowledge with prior

knowledge.

According to the tetrahedral model of text processing, four major

groups of variables determine the course and efficiency of reading. The first

group, the "characteristics of the learner," refers to learning prerequisites in

terms of general and domain-specific knowledge, and the available learning

strategies and knowledge concerning one's self with respect to the

characteristics of the text to be processed. The second group of variables

includes "text characteristics" which encompass a particular domain-specific

content area as well as text structure variables. These variables include

coherence, structuredness, explicitness vs. implicitness of style, the text's

difficulty, and its abstractness vs. concreteness. The third group, "learning

goals," contains the overt and covert aims of learning, for example, verbatim

vs. recall of the main content of text. The last group, the actualized "learning

strategies," covers the activities of the reader in the processing of the text. It

ranges from strategy usage, rule application, or use of more elementary

learning techniques to deliberate monitoring and control. The tetrahedral

model specifies complex interactions between the four variables that not only

are held to be valid for any complete model of reading, but also direct the

skilled learner's understanding of the reading task.

The instructional strategy of this study, Reciprocal Teaching, supports

interactive reading processes and is sensitive to the tetrahedral model of text










processing. With respect to the tetrahedral model, Reciprocal Teaching

requires the prior knowledge of an individual (learner characteristics) to

interact with the intended message of a text (text characteristics) through

fostering the ability to monitor and control the acquisition of knowledge

(learning strategies). However, for the design of this study, it is believed that

high level questioning is a necessary integral component (learning goal) of

the interactive processes within the tetrahedral model of text processing

required for Reciprocal Teaching to support inquiry learning in science.

Inquiry in Science Education

Science is an inquiry oriented subject. Inquiry-based learning has also

been referred to as discovery learning (Bruner, 1961). Learning by discovery

teaches an association, a concept, or a rule which involves "discovery" of the

association, concept, or rule (Glaser, 1966). Inquiry is well-suited to teach

problem solving. According to Gagne (1966) problem solving requires

discovery or inquiry-based learning.

Collins and Stevens (1982) analyzed common elements of teaching

goals and strategies of "the very best teachers." All of the teachers used some

version of inquiry or the discovery method of teaching. These teachers taught

basic principles of problem solving, not just facts.

Inquiry learning parallels the scientific method. It involves a process of

induction that begins with an observation and terminates in the support or

refutation of a theory (McNay, 1988). Inquiry involves students in the

learning experience, challenging them to participate in information

processing in contrast to information receiving. Schneider and Renner (1980),

in comparing the inquiry instructional method with traditional formal










instruction, found that inquiry is best for teaching science content because it

builds mental structures. According to Bruner (1961) the benefits of discovery

learning include greater intellectual potency, intrinsic motivation, memory

processing, and the learning of the heuristics of discovery. Other advantages

of the discovery approach, described by Collins and Stevens (1982), are that it

models scientific thinking, has high participant involvement and

motivation, cultivates individualized learning, and fosters a deep

understanding of concepts and principles.

Inquiry methods, however, can waste time unless skillful teachers

carefully prepare and supervise activities (Walberg, 1991). Discovery learning

is characterized by the lack of a structured instructional sequence. The

individual during the course of "discovering" imposes his/her own

structure. Consequently, this kind of sequence allows the student to pursue

blind alleys, making some incorrect responses in the process of learning.

Because of this "haphazard" search for truth by the student, there may be a

comparatively low information transfer rate when using the discovery

method as opposed to an expository method of instruction unless the process

is skillfully monitored by the instructor (Collins & Stevens, 1982).

Scientific methods for investigation involve a dual systematic

inductive-deductive approach to problem solving and the construction of

theories. The inductive-deductive approach to problem solving combines a
reciprocal relationship in which investigation precedes both inductively from

observations to hypotheses, and deductively from forming hypotheses

through the checking of their compatibility and validity with accepted

knowledge. Inquiry-based science teaching and learning by discovery










generally involves inductive methods through which examples of a more

specific case are given which allows the learner to induce a general

proposition.

The instructional strategy of this study views high level learning as an

inductive process, supported by deductive information gathering. Inductive

inquiry engages students in dealing with specific situations or events,

collecting and reordering data so as to form a new concept or generalization.

Using inductive reasoning to generate new knowledge occurs when students

engage in activities that induce concepts that are grounded in experiential

data to solve problems from a variety of real-world situations (Spector &

Gibson, 1991). Assessment of attainment of the general proposition is

accomplished by getting the learner to verbalize it, apply it to other examples,

or by generating additional examples (Glaser, 1966).

Teachers can foster inquiry-based science by generating from students

high level questions. A high level question raised by a student should be a

challenge and enable students to select, analyze, and use information and

generalizations learned from text for higher order thought processes.

As the textbook is the primary data resource used by science educators,

monitoring the acquisition of knowledge during reading through Reciprocal

Teaching and inferring how this knowledge may be used during the

generation of high level questions should facilitate students' information

processing capacity in reading expository text, as well as support the

acquisition of a data base for higher level cognitive processes.
Content acquisition in science education will be enhanced if high level

questions are embedded within the questioning activity of Reciprocal










Teaching. The other three activities of Reciprocal Teaching, predicting,

clarifying, and summarizing, should provide a substantial information base

for processing expository text. High level questioning, however, will assist an

individual to generate an innovative question and infer its application to

novel situations.

High level questions generated by students during Reciprocal Teaching

will provide a better schematic organizational structure for learning than low

level questions. High level questions will provide readers with additional

schemata to help them understand and organize information. Inducing

students to infer higher level questions will assist students to integrate prior

knowledge and the information contained in text, and to better support

theoretical problem solving for inquiry-based science instruction. By inferring

a high level question within the context of the activities of Reciprocal

Teaching, the result will be a more powerful strategy for reading

comprehension in an inquiry-based science class.

Peer Education

Peer education is a prominent theme in the current school

improvement literature. There is an array of instructional agendas regarding

the acquisition of knowledge and the role peer education may play in

classrooms. Damon and Phelps (1989) distinguished three approaches to peer

education. They are peer tutoring, cooperative learning, and peer

collaboration.

In peer tutoring generally one child has greater information, is older,

or is stronger in the particular subject matter being learned. Good and Brophy

(1984) have suggested that peers trained as tutors may be more effective than










adults in teaching content. They speculate that the reason for this is that a

peer tutor may be more familiar with the tutee's potential frustration with

the material, and may use more meaningful and age-appropriate vocabulary

and examples.

Cooperative learning "is an umbrella term that loosely covers a

diversity of team-based learning approaches" (Damon & Phelps, 1989, p. 11).

Cooperative learning groups are generally heterogenous with respect to

ability, and with the group dividing up the responsibility or roles for

mastering a task.

Peer collaboration is where "a pair of relative novices work together to

solve challenging learning tasks that neither could do on their own prior to

the collaborative engagement" (Damon & Phelps, 1989, p. 13). In peer

collaboration children begin roughly at the same levels of competence.

Unlike cooperative learning, however, during peer collaboration, children

work at all times on the same problem rather than individually on separate

components of a problem. Peer collaboration creates a situation rich in

mutual discovery, reciprocal feedback, and in the frequent sharing of ideas

(Damon & Phelps, 1989). It is also high in equality where both parties in the

peer engagement take direction from one another, and high in mutuality

where the discourse in the engagement is extensive and intimate.

Task characteristics are an important dimension to consider when

establishing the context for peer education. According to Palincsar, Stevens,

and Gavelek (1989) there is very little literature written on problem tasks with

regard to small group learning, and what there is suggests that problems are

typically of the closed type (workbook and worksheet activities) where the












opportunity for collaboration is limited. They contend, however, that the

more open the problem the greater the opportunity for collaboration.

Reciprocal Teaching involves peer collaboration. Reciprocal Teaching

is designed to foster interactive student-student involvement in a reading

task and to encourage expert reading comprehension strategies. By embedding

high level questions within the context of the Reciprocal Teaching structure,

the challenges of generating new and original open-ended inquiry-based

questions by students will increase cooperative collaboration and creative

problem solving.

Schema Theory

According to schema theory knowledge is represented in memory in

general mental structures called schemas (or schemata). Schemata are data

structures symbolizing generic concepts of objects, events, and situations

which are stored in memory (Rumelhart & Ortony, 1977). R. C. Anderson

(1978) proposed that schema provides ideational scaffolding for assimilating

text information, facilitates selective allocation of attention, allows orderly

searches of memory, assists with editing and summarizing, and permits

inferential reconstruction of ideas.

Learners understand new material by relating incoming information to

currently held knowledge schemata. Two types of schema enable readers to

integrate new information into their memory: content schema, which are

what a reader already knows about a topic, and text schema, which are

frameworks for understanding and using different text organization (R. C.

Anderson, Pichert, & Shirey, 1983).








23

Drum (1985) has suggested that the knowledge base (content schema) of

students is very important in their processing of expository text. The nature

and extent of a reader's prior knowledge have been found to have a

significant effect on the meaning constructed from text (R. C. Anderson,

Spiro, & Montague, 1977; Ausabel, 1963; Bransford & Johnson, 1972).

According to R. C. Anderson and Pearson (1984), across all levels of age and

ability, readers use their existing knowledge as a filter to interpret and

construct meaning from text. This prior knowledge is used to determine the

importance of, draw inferences, elaborate, and to monitor the comprehension

of text.

Besides prior knowledge or content schema to understand expository

text, a coherent representation of the information, or discourse structure,

must be understood. Authors of expository text may present alternate forms

of discourse structure and organize the text so that it can be most easily

understood and remembered by a reader. One or a combination of several

discourse structures of expository text are commonly found (Decker, 1974;

Horowitz, 1985a, 1985b). Each of the structures has its special set of constraints

and conventions. Some examples and descriptions of expository discourse

structures found are as follows: (a) description, a listing of the characteristics

of a concept or event; (b) time/order, a listing of the steps in a process or

sequence of events; (c) cause-effect, a description of an event and its cause or

antecedent; (d) problem-solution, a discussion of a dilemma and its

resolution; (e) problem-solution-result, a discussion of a dilemma, its

resolution, and the effects of the resolution; (f) comparison-contrast, a

discussion of the similarities and differences of two related concepts or










events; and (g) definition-example, the presentation of a definition and

examples of a concept (Horowitz, 1985a, 1985b).

Some students seem to intuitively recognize and use expository text

discourse structures while reading, while others seem to be insensitive to

their presence (Englert & Hiebert, 1984; Taylor, 1980). de Beaugrande (1980)

asserts that, as long as information is presented in a highly structured and

predictable fashion, performance in text processing depends on the extent of

organization which the reader can impose on the text. Studies by McGee

(1982) and Meyer (1975) have found that those students who are aware of and

use text structure while reading seem to recall more of the important

information over a longer time period. Research has also shown that when

skilled readers are able to access the textual schema of expository text and

appear to know the conventional organizational discourse structure patterns

of text, they adopt a strategy of seeking and using the author's structure as an

organizational framework for understanding and remembering the text

information, and recall more from their reading (Meyer, Brandt, & Bluth,

1980; Taylor & Beach, 1984).

In addition to text containing more information than what is explicitly

expressed, it also contains information that is implied by text. Vonk and

Noordman (1990) refer to the implicit information that a writer supposes a

reader will compute from text as "inferencing." As no text is completely

literally explicit, Dole et al. (1991, p. 245) state that "inference is the heart of

the comprehension process."

Schemata serve an important function as powerful devices for making

inferences (Rumelhart & Ortony, 1977). R. C. Anderson (1977) states that












inferential elaboration is a major component of knowledge acquisition

frameworks based on schema theory.

Inferential reasoning skills are an integral part of our daily routines as

well as of the scientific method through which inquiry in science occurs. For

example, Mencher (1965) proposed a method of analysis related to the degree

of inferential reasoning skills involved with subject matter in science for

which a student may be prepared to use later on in life. According to this

analysis, any skilled worker (mechanic, carpenter, plumber, repairman, and

electrician) will use inferential reasoning skills generally employed by science

researchers using the scientific method.

Just and Carpenter (1987) make a distinction between "backward

inferences" or inferences that relate current information to previous

information in discourse context, and "forward inferences" or inferences that

anticipate possible subsequent information from current information in the

discourse context. Forward inferences are sometimes considered elaborative

inferences that "embellish" text representation (Vonk & Noordman, 1990)

and are considered as optional and not essential to comprehension. However,

they make text representation richer and more complete (Just & Carpenter,

1987).

Inferences in science are based on observation. During scientific

problem solving observed information is assembled in order to evaluate a

known or defined difficulty. Once data are assembled a forward inference is

developed from a set of related observations. Limitations of the inference

may be stated and modifications may be suggested. Finally, plans to test the










validity of an inference may be developed along with suggestions for further

observations.

Processing of text is similar to scientific problem solving. As text is

read the surface context is inferred and synthesized. The more highly

integrated the memory representations become, however, the more likely

information will be remembered. Using a schema theory orientation, high

level questioning embedded within the context of the Reciprocal Teaching

activities is designed to create and organize a higher order schema in the

mind of the reader. High level questions should guide learners in building a

different memory structure than factual questions. High level questions could

facilitate schema development by aiding in the creation of a mental structure

that carries out the productive component of the schema. It enables an

individual to generate a mental sketch or textual schema of topic material,

and then add details to this schema to infer, through the high level question,

the overall gist of the text in order to define basic relationships which, in

turn, enhance particular details within the text.

Students who generate low level questions construct schemata which

focus on associations between terms. Students who construct high level

questions focus on associations between terms but also focus on when an

associated rule should be carried out in order to process a novel problem

situation. Questions which require application, such as, high level questions,

challenge students to select, transfer and use information and generalizations

to complete a task through taking what they have already learned and

applying it to other situations (Morgan & Saxton, 1991).














CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY


It will be recalled that the purpose of this study was to determine if

reading comprehension of expository text is affected by the level of question

engaged within Reciprocal Teaching embedded within the reading

comprehension strategies of Reciprocal Teaching focusing on questions

emphasizing predicting, questioning, summarizing, and clarifying. Their

performance was later analyzed using a 2 (Reciprocal Teaching, high level

questioning) x 2 (Reciprocal Teaching, low level questioning) analysis of

covariance.

This chapter presents methods and procedures. It is divided into five

sections: (a) hypotheses, (b) participants and setting, (c) instrumentation, (d)

treatment procedures, (e) reliability, and (f) data analysis.

Hypotheses

To evaluate significance of differences among means on the dependent

variables the researcher tested four null hypotheses which are restated here.

1. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on delayed written free recall of science expository text (Earth's

Rotation), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction, field

dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and conduction

question generation scores.










2. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on question generation of science expository text (Earth's

Rotation), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction, field

dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and conduction

question generation scores.

3. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on delayed written free recall of social studies expository text

(Prehistoric Shelter), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction,

field dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and

conduction question generation scores.

4. There will be no difference between the treatment or comparison

groups scores on question generation of social studies expository text

(Prehistoric Shelter), after controlling for verbal comprehension, induction,

field dependence/independence, conduction delayed free recall, and

conduction question generation scores.

Participants and Setting

This study was conducted in an urban, public middle school in

Gainesville, Florida, in the Alachua County School District. The population

of the school was approximately 1300 students from grades 6 to 8. Participants

were recruited from five sections of the 7th grade language arts curriculum.

One hundred thirty-eight (138) students in classes taught by 5 teachers

participated in some aspect of this study. However, because of absenteeism

during the treatment and/or testing sessions, 27 were subsequently dropped.

The final sample consisted of 111 students in grade 7 (58 boys, 53 girls; 84 non-

Hispanic White, 24 African American, 2 Hispanic, 1 Asian American).














Instrumentation

Design

This study was designed to compare the differential effects of using

high and low level questioning embedded within an instructional reading

comprehension activity, Reciprocal Teaching, in the context of the

comprehension of expository text. It involved a random assignment posttest-

only comparison group statistical design with pretest aptitudes, graphically

represented as follows:


R X1,2,3,4,5,6,7 T1 Y1,2,3,4

R X1,2,3,4 5,6,7 T2 Y1,2,3,4

R X1,2,3,4 5,6,7 T1,2 Y1,2,3,4

R X1,2,3,4 5,6,7 Tc Y1,2,3,4

where

Ti Experimental Group with instruction in Reciprocal
Teaching and using only low level questions.

T2 Experimental Group with instruction in Reciprocal
Teaching and using only high level questions.

T1,2 Experimental Group with instruction in Reciprocal
Teaching and using low level and high level questions.

Tc Experimental Group with instruction of Reciprocal
Teaching but no specific questioning strategies.










Other Independent Variables

X1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Represent baseline measures of student aptitudes.

X1 Verbal comprehension (Verbal Comprehension
Test).
X2 Induction (Letter Sets Test).
X3 Field dependence/independence
(Group Embedded Figures Test)
X4 Delayed written free recall (Conduction text)
Xs Question generation (Conduction text)
X6 Gender (male, female)
X7 Race/Ethnicity (nonhispanic White, Black or Hispanic)


Dependent Variables


Delayed written free recall (Earth Rotation text)
Question generation (Earth Rotation text)
Delayed written free recall (Prehistoric Shelter text)
Question generation (Prehistoric Shelter text)


Four randomly assigned treatment groups were created. Two factors,

each with one level (low level questions vs. high level questions) were

crossed. Main effects between the independent variables, as well as interaction

effects, were tested. The two manipulated factors of this study and the

corresponding experimental groups are illustrated in Figure 1.

High Level Questions Generated

Yes No


Low Level
Questions
Generated


Yes


H/LQ (2)


HQ (3)


LQ (1)


C (4)


Figure 1. Illustration of factorial levels for low and high level questions

assigned to experimental and control groups.










Covariates

To determine if the effects of lower and higher order questions within

the context of Reciprocal Teaching are subject to individual differences, five

ability measures were taken prior to the beginning of the treatment.

Experimental- and comparison-group students were administered a Verbal

Comprehension Test (VCT), I-V-1, and a Letter Sets Test (LST), I-1, from the

Kit of Factor-Referenced Cognitive Tests (Educational Testing Service, ETS;

Ekstrom, French, Harman, & Derman, 1976), and the Group Embedded

Figures Test (GEFT; Oltman, Raskin, & Witkin, 1971) for field

dependence/independence. In addition, participants were asked to read a text

on Conduction and take the following day a delayed written free recall and

question generation test.

Verbal comprehension.

The Verbal Comprehension Test, I-V-1, was chosen because it takes

only eight minutes of class time and is easy for a classroom teacher to

administer. The test consists of 2 pages of 18 questions each. From one study

of 294 sixth graders the alpha coefficient index of reliability was .70 (Ekstrom

et al., 1976). The V-1 measure, as an alternate measure of crystallized general

abilities (Cattell, 1963), predicts performance in a variety of situations (Hunt,

1980).

Induction.

In addition to a verbal measure, the experimental task in this study

also required readers to inductively manipulate information within the

expository text pertaining to the particular level of questioning. Inductive

reasoning skill was measured by students' performance on the Letter Sets










Test, I-1. The LST, 1-1 measured reasoning ability, or induction, involved in

forming concepts and testing hypotheses. Induction is a important

component of science inquiry where searching long term memory for

relevant hypotheses is required to synthesize information. This test was also

chosen because it takes only fourteen minutes of class time to administer and

is easy for a classroom teacher to carry out. The test consists of 2 pages of 15

questions each. The alpha coefficient index of reliability is .77 for males and

.74 for females (Ekstrom et al., 1976).

Field dependence/independence.

Group Embedded figures scores (GEFT) were obtained to determine

field dependence/independence. The GEFT is designed for group testing in a

single 20-minute period. Reliability estimate for the GEFT, calculated by the

Spearman-Brown prophecy formula, is .82 for both males and females

(Oltman et al., 1971). There is evidence that field dependent learners have a

greater need for external structuring and are better at learning materials with

social content (Witkin, Moore, Goodenough, & Cox, 1977).

Conduction expository text delayed written free recall and question
generation.

Delayed written free recall, and the ability to generate questions

following the reading of expository text were pretested as aptitudes without

the Reciprocal Teaching activities. A science-related expository text entitled,

Conduction, approximately 250 words in length, was used to assess delayed

written free recall and question generation as a pretest covariate measure.

According to the Dale-Chall Readability Formula the Conduction text

conformed to an 9th-10th grade reading level. The text passage had not yet

been introduced into the students' curriculum so that reading










comprehension was not confounded with prior instruction. The Conduction

text was previously piloted with students from the 7th grade in another

school, who ranged in reading ability from 5th to 9th grade levels. The

purpose of this was to test the comprehensibility of the script, and to verify

clarity of language and clearness of instruction.

For the Conduction expository text passage, pretest aptitude booklets in

folders were distributed to all participants (Appendix A). They were instructed

that they would be working individually on the present task, and were asked

to take out the cover page of the booklet, place the folder beneath their desk,

and fill in their identification number and the present date. Next, they were

instructed to put the cover page back into their folder and take out page 2 and

predict from the title, 'Conduction,' what they thought they would be reading

about. Upon completion of page 2, and returning it to their folder on the

floor, participants then silently read the expository text passage, Conduction,

from page 3. After returning page 3 to their folder, on page 4, participants

underlined any words they thought were important to know, and circled any

words they did not understand. After returning page 4 to their folder on the

floor, participants then reread the Conduction passage on page 5. Completing

this task, they returned page 5 to their folder on the floor. Participants then

completed pages 6 and 7 which asked them to rewrite the Conduction passage

in the spaces provided on page 7. The last task on page 8 asked participants, in

their own words, to write a summary of the article they just read without

rereading nor discussing the article with anyone.

The next day all participants were asked to recall and write down on

page 9 anything they could remember from the passage read the previous day.










After 10 minutes they were instructed to return the delayed written free recall

(page 9) to their folders on the floor and take out pages 10 and 11. From each
paragraph of the Conduction article written on page 10, participants were

asked to write 4 questions. They were instructed not to discuss their questions

with other participants.

Assessment Passages

Within a given classroom all students received the same textual

passages. Two expository text passages entitled 'Earth's Rotation' and

'Prehistoric Shelter', each approximately 200 250 words in length, were used

on different days as posttest measures to assess delayed written free recall and

question generation (Appendix B). The text passages had not yet been

introduced into the students' curriculum so that reading comprehension was

not confounded with prior instruction. According to the Dale-Chall

Readability Formula the Earth's Rotation text conformed to an 7th-8th grade

reading level, and the Prehistoric Shelter text was at a 5th-6th grade reading

level.

The assessment passages were previously piloted with students from

the 7th grade in another school, who ranged in reading ability from 5th to 9th

grade levels. The purpose of this was to test the comprehensibility of the

scripts, and to verify clarity of language and clearness of instruction.

Delayed Written Free Recall

On the day following the reading and treatment of each assessment

passage students were asked to recall and write down all they could remember

of the expository passages read the previous day. Students were asked to
"write down the textual passage read the day before as accurately as possible.










Recall the exact words and/or ideas if you can." Exactness of recall was

suggested, and guessing was encouraged if exact words or ideas could not be

remembered.

The delayed written free recall for the Conduction, Earth's Rotation

and Prehsitoric Shelter texts was scored by matching the subject's recall

against a hierarchical analysis of structure of the source text (Appendix C) as

developed by Meyer (1986). The Meyer system distinguishes between top

level, superordinate predicates, around which an entire text may be

organized, and lower predicates which elaborate on previous points. Meyer's

parsing of a text passage looks much like an outline of the passage, except that

all the ideas from the passage are included. In effect, the analysis maps the

organization of information in the text, with information located at the top

levels of this structure corresponding to the main idea or gist of the passage,

and information at low levels in the structure corresponding to details. Meyer

(1985) focuses on predicting what readers can later recall from text and

recommends using her approach when studying delayed recall, recall of older

adults, children, less proficient learners, and the underlying logic processed by

learners from expository text. Because of the believed applicability for the

purposes of this study of expository text, the work of Meyer is concentrated

on, recognizing full well that it is also possible to justify this decision by

asserting that the intentions of this research is to represent one example from
a multitude of text structure schemes.

A template hierarchy was compiled to further guide the scoring

process. Terms and sentence level idea units were weighted to reflect recall.

The hierarchical analysis was validated by interrater agreement. Four scorers,












trained in the scoring procedure, evaluated the hierarchies until they arrived

at or better than .90 reliability. Since exact recall of any unit was unusual, a

lenient criterion was used in which a unit was judged to be remembered if

there was qualitative evidence that the unit was represented in the student's

reproduction. Discrepancies in ratings were eliminated by agreement in

conference. Instances in which the raters could not come to mutual

agreement were decided by a third rater. A Pearson Product Moment

correlation coefficient was calculated to yield interrater reliability.

Question Generation

Low and high level questioning activities used in Reciprocal Teaching

assist the student in generating questions. It would therefore be appropriate to

evaluate which strategy helped students to ask more higher level questions

after instruction. If a student is better able to write higher level questions after

instruction, then the instruction may have been helpful in enabling a student

to achieve greater cognition.

After completing the delayed written free recall students were asked to

write eight questions related to what they read (Appendix D). Students were

asked to construct four questions for each paragraph from the assessment

passages read.

Student-generated test questions were analyzed, adapted from a

measure developed by Anderson (1972). Students were encouraged to look

back at the text to construct questions. Student questions were analyzed by










independent scorers. The following categories applied in scoring questions

generated by subjects:

1. Verbatim Recognition Questions: Literal word-by-word question

taken from the text: True/false, answer is found in entirety in one place in the

text.

2. Verbatim Recall Questions. Literal word-by-word question taken

from the text: Fill-in, who, what, where, when type of question. Answer is

found in entirety in one place in the text.

3. Transformed Paraphrase Questions. Questions formed by

substituting particular terms for superordinate terms.

4. Inferential Questions. Answer not necessarily found in text verbatim

or paraphrased. Facts taken from more than one sentence in the text to form

an answer.

The following scoring scheme was used to evaluate questions

generated: (1) No question/irrelavant question (0 points); (2) Verbatim

Recognition Questions: True/false (1 point); (3) Verbatim Recall Questions:

Fill-in, who, what, where, when (2 points); (4) Transformed Paraphrase

Questions. Synonmous terms substituted for terms in original text (3 points),

and; (5) Inferential Questions. Answer not necessarily found in text verbatim

or paraphrased (4 points);

Four scorers, trained in the scoring procedure, evaluated the question

sets until they arrived at or better than .90 reliability on the rating of the

question generation categories. A Pearson Product Moment correlation

coefficient was calculated to yield interrater reliability.










Dependent Variables

Earth Rotation and Prehistoric Shelter expository text delayed written free
recall and question generation.

Previously, delayed written free recall and question generation

following the reading of the expository text, Conduction, were pretested as

aptitudes without the Reciprocal Teaching activities. However, delayed

written free recall and question generation were also tested as dependent

measures for Earth Rotation and Prehistoric Shelter expository text after

using Reciprocal Teaching.

Participant's delayed written free recall and question generation of the

Earth Rotation and Prehistoric Shelter texts were analyzed by independent

scorers. Four scorers, trained in the text's hierarchy and question generation

scoring procedures, evaluated the written recall and question sets until they

arrived at or better than .90 reliability on the rating of the question generation

categories. A Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient was calculated

to yield interrater reliability.

Instructional Procedures

Treatment for the Earth's Rotation expository text passage occurred on

Monday, and delayed written free recall and question generation measures

were tested on Tuesdays. Treatment for the Prehistoric Shelter expository text

passage took place on Wednesdays and delayed written free recall and

question generation measures were tested on Thursdays.

For the Earth's Rotation and Prehistoric Shelter expository text

passages, four booklets were constructed for each treatment group that

differed in the level of questions to be generated from the passages. Copies of

treatment booklets are found in Appendices E, F, G, and H. Treatment










booklets in folders were distributed to the respective treatment groups.

Participants were asked to take out the cover page of the booklet, place the

folder beneath their desk, fill in their identification number, the date, and a

group name they had previously chosen for their group. They were instructed

that they would be working in their Reciprocal Teaching groups on the

present task. Next, they were instructed to put the cover page back into their

folder and take out the page 2 and predict from a title (for that particular

treatment and testing measure,that is, The Earth's Rotation or Prehistoric

Shelter) what they thought they would be reading about. Upon completion of

page 2, and returning it to their folder on the floor, participants took out page

3 and then silently read the actual text from the passage title they predicted on

page 2. On page 4 any words they thought were important to know were

underlined, and any words they did not understand were circled. After

returning page 4 to their folder on the floor, participants removed pages 5 and

6 and were instructed to discuss the text with their Reciprocal Teaching

partners and make up questions a teacher might ask on a test. Participants

then proceeded to generate 8 questions, 4 questions for each paragraph,

respective of their individual treatment grouping (low, low/high, high level,

any questions). The comparison groups followed the same format as the

pretest aptitude Conduction measure and procedure. After 10 minutes

participants were asked to return their work to their folders and begin

working on page 7, summarizing in their own words the article they just

read. They were not permitted to look back at the text but were encouraged to
discuss the summary with their Reciprocal Teaching partners. Once the

summary was complete, the last task on page 8 asked participants to answer










particular treatment-specific low, low/high or high level questions related to

the text. The comparison group was asked to rewrite the text. All participants

were told that "at some future time you will be tested on the accuracy of your

recall."

The next day all participants were asked to recall and write down on

page 9 anything they could remember from the passage read the previous day.

After 10 minutes they were instructed to return the delayed written free recall

to their folders on the floor and take out pages 10 and 11. From each

paragraph of the Conduction article on page 10, participants were asked to

write 4 questions. They were instructed not to discuss their questions with

other participants.

Treatment

Parents/guardians of all students who participated in this study were

contacted by written letter (informed consent form; Appendix I). The letter

described the proposed study and asked the parent/guardian to consent to the

child's participation. Parents were also informed that confidentiality would be

kept through a process of coded answer sheets, and data would only be

reported for the group rather than for individuals. All students were

randomly assigned a number when they agreed to participate in the study.

Every participant received training in Reciprocal Teaching.

Class sizes varied. All classes, with the exception of Class 4, were in the

mainstream language arts curriculum. Enrolled in Class 4 were students of

'varying exceptionalities', that is, children with learning disabilities (LD) in a

Chapter I reading class.












During training and assessment, students were randomly divided into

groups of two to four. Also, at the beginning of the school year students were

randomly assigned to classes according to the conventions of the school

system. The range of independent and aptitude measures, and posttest

dependent variables of this study, should also verify random assignment.

It is important to note that readers' existing background knowledge can

never be sufficient to deal with all situations, so the preparatory instruction

in Reciprocal Teaching for the groups was of critical importance. To assist

teacher understanding and implemention of the instructional strategy, and to

standardize instruction, a Teacher Lesson Plan was developed (Appendix J).

The Teacher Lesson Plan was developed to make classroom application of

Reciprocal Teaching as easy as possible. All strategy instruction included in

the Teacher Lesson Plan of this study was constructed by the researcher. The

Reciprocal Teaching Lesson Plan, however, may be modified so that
"essential features can be used in whole-class discussion" (A. L. Brown &

Palincsar, 1989, p. 425). Room was left for teacher decision-making wherever

possible, to alleviate potential feelings of dissatisfaction about being restricted

in teaching. Paraphrases of some directions are available in the script to

teachers. Instructional routines are developed according to anticipated

potential student responses, or lack thereof. As a check on content validity,
three doctoral students in education and three middle school science teachers

reviewed the lesson plans. All of these individuals expressed the opinion that

the lesson plans should facilitate reading comprehension, and that it should

be possible for teachers to implement the strategy after training.










During the regularly scheduled class time of approximately 40 minutes,

the groups received instruction and functional training in the Reciprocal

Teaching activities. Instruction in Reciprocal Teaching concerns a review and
demonstration of Reciprocal Teaching activities. Functional training of

Reciprocal Teaching involves students actually reading and working on

selected articles (Appendix K) using the Reciprocal Teaching activities.

Throughout the interventions, students were told that the reading activities

of Reciprocal Teaching are general strategies to help them understand better

as they read, and that they should try to do something like this when they

read silently (Palinscar & A. L. Brown, 1984).

To control for teacher differences, the researcher taught all groups.

Initially, Reciprocal Teaching was modeled by the investigator, with student

participation, over a two day period until students were comfortable with

their use; then students were asked to take turns in the role of a teacher and

perform the four strategy tasks with the rest of the class. Finally, a student and

a partner/partners, randomly assigned, were asked to work with Reciprocal

Teaching on a reading section of expository text.

After training in Reciprocal Teaching, each of four instructional groups

within each class were randomly assigned to participate in one of four
treatments. One treatment group (Group 1) studied Reciprocal Teaching with

a low level questioning activity (Appendix E), one treatment group (Group 2)
studied Reciprocal Teaching with high level questioning (Appendix F), a

third group (Group 3) were instructed in Reciprocal Teaching but questioning
activities were 50/50 low level/high level questioning (Appendix G), and a










comparison group (Group 4) participated in Reciprocal Teaching but with no

other instructional intervention (Appendix H).

Students were told that low level questions begin with the words who,

what, where, and/or when, and that the answers to low level questions

appear word-for-word or paraphrased in the text, that is, you can look at the

text you are reading and the answer is all found in one place in the text.

Students were told that high level questions generally answer the questions

why? or how?, and that the answers to high level questions are not found

word-for-word in the text. The information to make high level questions is

taken from more than one sentence in the text and must be combined to form

an answer, that is, knowledge must be collected and synthesized to form an

answer.

Reliability

Several procedures were used during the study to establish the

reliability of measurement and instructional procedures. Procedural

reliability and interscorer agreement were implemented to obtain reliability

information.

Procedural Reliability

To insure procedural reliability, two independent observers randomly

observed all instructional sessions to ascertain whether participants were

working with only one Reciprocal Teaching section at a time, putting papers

in folders after completion, and guaranteeing that all students were working

on the same material and for the same amount of time, as well as focusing on

the task in hand.












Interrater Agreement

Evaluation of all students was assessed by delayed posttests (delayed

written free recall and question generation). Three scorers rated the subjects'

delayed recall and question generation, including an individual trained in the

recall hierarchy and question generation protocols (R1), three public school

teachers (R2, R3 and R4), and the researcher (R5). All of the scorers, with the

exception of the researcher, were unaware of the conditions of this study.

While R5 scored all samples on all measures, the other scorers rated all or

part of the writing samples and questions generated on only part of the

measures. The reliability coefficients were Pearson Correlation Coefficients

obtained using the SAS computer program.


Data Analysis

The four dependent variables (ERREC, ERQ, SHELREC, SHELQ) were

continuous measures. Group membership (LQ, HLQ, HQ, C) was categorical

and, along with gender and race/ethnicity, represented the independent

variables in the study. The three cognitive style measures, I-V-1, I-1 and GEFT

were also interval measures and were used as covariates to test for aptitude-

treatment interactions.

Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated to

measure the strength of association between the covarites, independent

variables and dependent measures. Appropriate tests of main and interactive

effects for each hypothesis were analyzed using Analysis of Covariance

(ANCOVA). If no significant interactions were found a reduced model was

run.










Summary

Participants in this study were middle school students in the Alachua

County School District, Florida. The design of the study was a random

posttest-only design with a comparison group. Four dependent variables

associated with several independent predictor variables (verbal

comprehension, induction, field dependence/independence, conduction

expository text delayed written free recall, conduction expository text question

generation, race and gender) were analyzed. Once testing for independent

measures was completed, a two day training period with the Reciprocal

Teaching activities took place. Following training, on four consecutive days,

the dependent measures, delayed written free recall and the ability to generate

questions following the reading of a text, were administered. All measures

were coded so that raters were unaware of group membership. Dependent

variables were analyzed by ANCOVA to determine significant differences

among the three treatment groups and the comparison group.














CHAPTER IV
RESULTS


The purpose of this study was to investigate if differences in the

knowledge level of questions (low, high, low/high, comparison) used with

the activities of Reciprocal Teaching while reading expository text will affect

the amount of information learned and remembered, and the type of

questions generated by a reader. Independent variables were low level

questioning, high level questioning, gender, class, and minority. Pretest scores

(verbal comprehension, induction, field dependence/independence,

conduction delayed free recall, and conduction question generation) were

independent variables serving as covariates to determine what type of

student did, or did not, benefit from each of the treatments. Comprehension

data include results from delayed written free recall and question generation.

The dependent variables were the posttest scores on delayed written recall

and question generation. Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was performed

on the independent variables, covariates and posttest scores. Both models,

with interactions and without interactions, were employed in the analyses.

The results presented in this chapter are organized according to the two

research questions that guided the investigation. Descriptive data are reported

first. Second, interrater reliabilities are reported. Third, the statistical analyses

of the data are provided.










Descriptive Analyses

Mean scores, standard deviation and range on variables of the study are

shown in Table 1. The mean scores for the dependent variables were 19.08 for

Earth Rotation delayed free recall, 17.40 for Earth Rotation question

generation, 24.70 for Prehistoric Shelter delayed free recall, and 19.00 for

Prehistoric Shelter question generation.


TABLE 1

Mean Scores, Standard Deviation and Range on Variables


Variable Number Mean Score Standard Deviation Range


VOCAB 111 13.06 5.10 0-26

INDUCT 111 14.80 6.12 0-27

GEFT 111 8.60 5.44 0-18

CONDREC 111 11.60 8.40 0-33

CONDQ 111 15.20 5.21 0-32

ERREC 106 19.08 10.26 0-46

ERQ 105 17.48 4.64 5-31

SHELREC 96 24.70 14.10 2-61

SHELQ 95 19.00 4.50 6-29


Note: Mean scores symbols are interpreted as follows:

VOCAB = verbal comprehension test
INDUCT = inductive reasoning test
GEFT = Group Embedded Figures Test
CONDREC = delayed recall conduction text
CONDQ = question generation conduction text
ERREC = delayed recall earth rotation text
ERQ = question generation earth rotation text
SHELREC = delayed recall prehistoric shelter text
SHELQ = question generation prehistoric shelter text











Mean scores and standard deviations for treatment and comparison

groups on independent, covariates and dependent variables are presented in

Table 2.

TABLE 2

Mean Scores, (Standard Deviations), and Number for Groups on All
Variables


Treatment Groups


Measure 1 2 3 4
Low Mixed High Control


VOCAB


INDUCT


GEFT


CONDREC


CONDQ


ERREC


ERQ


SHELREC


SHELQ


13.0
(4.2)

15.0
(6.2)

8.1
(5.3)

12.0
(10.0)

15.0
(6.0)

20.2
(11.9)

17.0
(4.1)

26.4
(16.8)

19.3
(6.4)

n=31


11.2
(6.3)


14.4
(6.8)

8.8
(6.0)

11.0
(9.0)

14.0
(5.0)

16.6
(10.0)

17.2
(5.0)

23.6
(13.3)

17.8
(3.8)

n=28


13.4
(4.1)

14.5
(5.6)

8.0
(6.0)

12.0
(7.0)

15.3
(6.0)

20.4
(8.7)

19.8
(4.9)

25.4
(11.4)

19.0
(3.7)

n=26


15.1
(5.0)


15.4
(6.1)

10.0
(5.0)

13.0
(8.0)

17.0
(4.5)

19.1
(9.9)

15.6
(3.6)

23.3
(14.6)

18.5
(3.3)

n=26









Mean scores and standard deviations for gender on dependent variables are

presented in Table 3.

TABLE 3


Mean Scores.


(Standard Deviations), and Number for Gender


Gender Group


Measure Male Female


ERREC


ERQ


SHELREC


(9.0)
17.2
(5.0)
20.1
(12.1)
18.5
(4.2)
n=53


SHELQ


22.8
(11.0)
18.0
(4.5)
30.0
(14.5)
19.0
(5.0)
n=46


Mean scores and standard deviations for Race/Ethnicity on dependent


variables are presented in Table 4.

TABLE 4


Mean Scores. (Standard


Deviations'), and Number for Race/Ethnicity


Race/Ethnicity


Measure Minority Non-Hispanic White


ERREC


ERQ


SHELREC

SHELQ


14.1
(8.4)
18.1
(6.2)
19.1
(13.0)
17.5
(5.2)

n=25


21.0
(10.3)
17.3
(4.0)
26.5
(14.0)
19.0
(4.2)

n=75








Reliability

Scorer Reliability

Four scorers rated the subjects' delayed recall summaries and quality of

questions generated, including an individual trained in the recall hierarchy

and question generation protocols (R1), two public school teachers (R2 and

R3), and the researcher (R4). All of the scorers, with the exception of the

researcher, were unaware of the conditions of this study. While R1 and R4

scored all samples on all measures, the other scorers rated all or part of the

writing samples on only part of the measures. Pearson Correlation

Coefficients for the scores, obtained using the SAS computer program, were

all within an acceptable range (above .70) and allow the conclusion to be made

that the measures were reliably scored. Table 5 presents the correlations

estimating the reliability of the scores for all raters on all measures.

TABLE 5

Pearson Correlation Coefficients of reliability between independent
scorers

R1 R2 R3 R4

R1 .99 .99 .99
R2 .99 .99
R3 .99
R4

Statistical Analyses

Correlations of independent variables and covariates to posttest.

Pearson Product-Moment Correlation coefficients were computed to

evaluate if there was a relationship between the independent variables and

covariates to posttest scores. Results of this analysis are shown in Table 6. The

stability of the measures obtained was evaluated using correlations between

the pretest and posttest scores on the measures for all of the subjects together.




















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Interactions of independent variables and treatment. Univariate ANCOVA

analyses were run on each dependent measure to evaluate whether there was

an interaction between the treatment groups and gender. A .05 level of

significance was used to evaluate these analyses.

The test of a significant effect for a treatment interaction was not found

on the Earth Rotation delayed free recall measure between high and low

question groups [F(1,104) = 1.99; p = .1620]. The test for a significant effect of

the independent grouping variables by treatment interaction was also not

found on the Earth Rotation delayed free recall measure between high

question groups and gender [F(1,104) = 2.49; p = .1180], between low question

groups and gender [F(1,104) = 0.75; p = .3891], and between high and low

question groups and gender [F(1,104) = 1.51; p = .2224].

The test for a significant effect of a treatment interaction was found on

the Earth Rotation question generation measure between high and low
question groups [F(1,103) = 5.57; p = .0205] (Table 7). Mean scores are presented
in Figure 2. The test for a significant effect of the independent grouping

variables by treatment interaction was not found on the Earth Rotation

question generation measure between high question groups and gender

[F(1,103) = 0.05; p = .8283], between low question groups and gender [F(1,103) =
0.43; p = .5141], and between high and low question groups and gender

[F(1,103) = 1.59; p = .2101].






53




TABLE 7

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) Summary for the Reduced Model of
Earth Rotation Ouestion Generation


Variables Source df SS MS F P


ERO







HIGH

LOW

SEX

CLASS

MINORITY

INDUCT

VOCAB

GEFT

CONDREC

CONDO

HIGH*LOW
*p < .05


Between

Model 13 447.33 34.40 1.92 0.0379

Error 90 1613.17 18.00


Within

1 87.41 87.41 5.64 0.0197*

1 5.71 5.71 0.37 0.6353

1 0.80 0.80 0.05 0.8215

4 281.71 70.43 4.54 0.0022*

1 3.50 3.50 0.22 0.6375

1 29.10 29.10 1.88 0.1743

1 26.14 26.14 1.69 0.1974

1 0.30 0.30 0.02 0.8910

1 4.00 4.00 0.25 0.6155

1 13.50 13.50 0.87 0.3536

1 78.60 78.60 5.07 0.0205*

























Figure 2. Mean scores for 2-way interactions between high and low

question treatment groups on Earth Rotation question generation.


The test for a significant effect of the independent grouping variables by

treatment was found on the Prehistoric Shelter delayed recall between high

and low question groups and gender [F(1,77) = 7.75; p = .0052] (Table 8). Mean

scores are presented in Figure 3. Tests for assumptions of homogeneity of

slopes and linearity yielded no violations.

Significant effects were not found between high and low question

groups [F(1,77) = 3.58; p = .0622], between high question groups and gender

[F(1,77) = 0.65; p = .4218], and between low question groups and gender [F(1,77)

= 0.00; p = .9971]. The test for a significant effect was not found on the

Prehistoric Shelter question generation for main effects between high and low

question groups [F(1,93) = 0.73; p = .3966], between high question groups and

gender [F(1,93) = 0.16; p = .6864], between low question groups and gender

[F(1,93) = 0.16; p = .6944], and between high and low question groups and
gender [F(1,93) = 0.01 p = .9254] (Table 9).













TABLE 8

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) Summary for the Full Model of
Prehistoric Shelter Delayed Recall


Variables Source df SS MS F P


SHELREC







HIGH
LOW
SEX
CLASS
MINORITY
INDUCT
VOCAB
GEFT
CONDREC
CONDO
HIGH*LOW
HIGH*SEX
LOW*SEX
HIGH*LOW*SEX
*p <.05


Between

Model 17 11016.58 648.03 6.41 0.0001

Error 77 7780.67 101.04


Within

1 21.05 21.05 0.23 0.6324
1 7.10 7.10 0.08 0.7816
1 181.71 181.71 2.00 0.1623
4 856.31 214.10 2.34 0.0620
1 19.21 19.21 0.21 0.6478
1 70.00 70.00 0.80 0.3842
1 142.50 142.50 1.56 0.2153
1 649.50 649.50 7.11 0.0093*
1 1830.84 1830.84 20.05 0.0001*
1 143.30 143.30 1.57 0.2141
1 258.20 258.20 2.83 0.0967
1 29.13 29.13 0.32 0.5738
1 2.91 2.91 0.03 0.8588
1 707.62 707.62 7.75 0.0068*

































Note: Mean scores symbols are interpreted as follows:


M = male
F = female
1 = low level questions
2 = mixed (low/high) level questions
3 = high level questions
4 = comparison group


4F 4M
.9257


1F
.0255*
.0208*


1M
.7083
.5979
.0055*


3F
.0586
.0509
.7449
.0138*


3M
.9172
.9828
.0442*
.6298
.0978


2F
.7776
.6830
.0074*
.9238
.0243*
.7042


2M
.5398
.5702
.7533
.2631
.1623
.6241


2F .3336
2M
*p < .05

Figure 3. Mean scores for three-way interactions between low and high

treatment and gender groups on Prehistoric Shelter delayed recall.











TABLE 9

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) Summary for the Full Model of
Prehistoric Shelter Ouestion Generation


Dependent
Variable


Source


SHELO
Model 17 436.14
Error 76 1372.10


Within

HIGH 1 1.33
LOW 1 0.81
SEX 1 1.53
CLASS 4 160.11
MINORITY 1 16.72
INDUCT 1 0.50
VOCAB 1 41.54
GEFT 1 12.40
CONDREC 1 40.71
CONDO 1 61.51
HIGH*LOW 1 33.63
LOW*SEX 1 8.90
HIGH*SEX 1 15.30
HIGH*LOW*SEX 1 3.20
*p < .05


25.65 1.42
18.05


1.33
0.81
1.53
40.03
16.72
0.50
41.54
12.40
40.71
61.51
33.63
8.90
15.30
3.20


0.07
0.05
0.08
2.22
0.93
0.03
2.30
0.69
2.26
3.41
1.86
0.49
0.85
0.18


Interactions of covariates and


treatment.


The test for a significant effect of covariate variables by treatment was

only found on the Prehistoric Shelter delayed recall between high and low

question groups and induction [F(1,94) = 5015; p = .0264]. Mean scores are

presented in Table 10. Tests for assumptions of homogeneity of slopes and

linearity yielded no violations. The three-way interaction effects obtained

were found only between two groups (1 & 2): low level questions x high

induction with mixed questions x low induction, and; mixed questions, low

induction x mixed questions, high induction (p<.05). Significant interaction


0.1505


0.7868
0.8324
0.7714
0.0750
0.3390
0.8731
0.1335
0.4100
0.1373
0.0688
0.1764
0.4856
0.3603
0.6752








effects were not found between any other covariates and high and low

question groups for other dependent measures.


TABLE 10

Mean Scores for Three-way Interaction between High-Low Treatment
Groups and Induction on Prehistoric Shelter Delayed Recall

Group

Treatment Group Mean S.D. N

1. Low Question/Low Induction 22.2 16.80 15
Low Question/High Induction 33.0 15.50 10
2. Mixed Question/Low Induction 14.5 7.60 11
Mixed Question/High Induction 30.2 12.8 15
3. High Question/Low Induction 25.0 14.3 12
High Question/High Induction 26.1 6.4 9
4. Comparison Question/Low Induction 16.5 14.4 10
Comparison Question/High Induction 28.2 13.1 14

Analysis of each dependent measure.

Univariate ANCOVA analyses without interactions (reduced models)

were performed on dependent measures that were previously found to be

nonsignificant for independent variables and treatment interactions (full

models). The purpose of this was to evaluate whether there was a difference

among the treatment groups on outcome measures adjusted for pretest scores

without interaction effects. A .05 level of significance was used to evaluate

these analyses. The test for significant treatment effect between groups on

posttest scores adjusted for posttest scores was not significant on Prehistoric

Shelter question generation [F(13,93) = 1.52; p = .1289]. Significance, however,

was found on the pretest measures for Earth Rotation delayed recall [F(13,104)

= 8.28; p = .001] (Table 11).









TABLE 11

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) Summary for the Reduced Model of
Earth Rotation Delayed Recall




Variables Source df SS MS F p


ERREC







HIGH

LOW

SEX

CLASS

MINORITY

INDUCT

VOCAB

GEFT

CONDREC

CONDO

* p <.05


Between

Model 13 5948.35 457.60 8.28 0.0001

Error 91 5027.90 55.25


Within

1 0.19 0.19 0.00 0.9535

1 54.69 54.69 0.99 0.3224

1 307.44 307.44 5.56 0.0205*

4 853.40 213.40 3.86 0.0061*

1 63.50 63.50 1.15 0.2866

1 142.84 142.84 2.59 0.1113

1 44.50 44.50 0.81 0.3720

1 408.33 408.33 7.39 0.0079*

1 171.00 171.00 3.09 0.0821

1 1440 14.40 0.26 0.6109













CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the results of this research.

Statistical and descriptive discussions of the hypotheses are presented.

Educational implications are stated. Future research needs are reported.

Discussion of Hypotheses

This study was an effort to determine if students' comprehension of

expository text is affected by the level of question (low, high) used during an

instructional strategy known as Reciprocal Teaching, and to determine

whether student abilities did, or did not, interact with the treatments. As

previously stated, the questions to be investigated in this study were as

follows:

1. After adjusting for varying abilities, and instructing students to use

Reciprocal Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions,

will there be a difference between groups in reading comprehension of

science expository text as measured by delayed written free recall?

2. After adjusting for varying abilities, and instructing students to use

Reciprocal Teaching with low level questions and/or high questions, will

there be a difference between groups in generating low and high level

questions from science expository text?

3. After adjusting for varying abilities, and instructing students to use

Reciprocal Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions,












will there be a difference between groups in reading comprehension of social

studies expository text as measured by delayed written free recall?

3. After adjusting for varying abilities, and instructing students to use

Reciprocal Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions,

will there be a difference between groups in generating low and high level

questions from social studies expository text?

These questions rest, in part, on the following theoretical propositions

discussed in Chapter 2:

1. Expository text, which provides information or exposes ideas, is the

primary data resource used by science educators (Santa & Alvermann, 1991).

2. Reading comprehension is an interactive process between text and

the reader. (A. L. Brown, Campione, & Day, 1981; Rumelhart, 1977).

3. Most science textbooks are densely loaded with complex concepts,

and the demands on memory are often high (Yager, 1983).

4. Reading strategies, promoting intentional interactions between the

reader and text, will enhance comprehension (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1989;

Palincsar & Klenk, 1992).

5. Reciprocal Teaching is designed to induce an intentional

orientation of text for deep meaningful processing of information during

reading (Palincsar & Klenk, 1992).

6. Questions function as cues that influence student learning by
guiding students in their selection, encoding, and processing of text

information (Wilson & Koran, 1976).










7. The higher level of questions asked by a reader will promote higher

order processing of information from expository text (Gall & Rhody, 1987;

Pizzini, Shepardson, & Abell, 1989; Wang & Andre, 1991; Fitzpatrick, 1994).

8. Students given instruction in Reciprocal Teaching should acquire a

better understanding of expository text through the generation and

elaboration of high level questions.

The unifying factor across all of these theoretical dimensions is that a

reader should use the essential prerequisite cognitive skills (predicting,

questioning, summarizing and clarifying) found in Reciprocal Teaching to

facilitate reading comprehension of expository text. Outcome variations then

occur on the basis of individual differences in gender, race/ethnicity, verbal

ability, field dependence/independence and induction.

Analysis of the results of this study indicated significant differences

were found between (a) gender and field dependence/independence for

delayed free recall of expository text and (b) high level and low level question

generation for levels of questions generated. In addition, interaction effects

were found for delayed free recall of expository text and levels of questions

generated. These results and implications are discussed below.

Delayed Free Recall

It is evident from the findings of this study that the effects of the level

of questions on reading comprehension and delayed written free recall of

expository text clearly involve the characteristics of the individual subjects.

This pattern of relation is consistent with theoretical assumptions about

individual difference variables which consistently correlate with learning

(Koran & Koran, 1984; Cronbach & Snow, 1977). When the assignment of this










study required students to generate more integrated content knowledge from

recall, after reading and elaborating on information from text the day before

during Reciprocal Teaching activities, independent and aptitude measures

affected dependent scores. The differences in the delayed written recall

outcome measures between the low and high level question groups may be

the result of the effectiveness of the level of questioning and the nature of

subjects' characteristics. It also appears that field dependence/field

independence and gender were factors related to the delayed recall of the

science and social studies texts.

Field Dependence/Field Independence

Research in cognitive style has been studied in relation to the reading

process (Spiro & Tirre, 1980), however, the number of studies in which the

reading process has been examined in terms of field dependence/field

independence and reading performance is greatly limited (Drane, G. Halpin,

W. Halpin, vonEschenbach, & Worden, 1989). Finding a significant

relationship between field dependence/field independence and reading is

supported by research indicating that field independent readers were more

proficient readers (Rasinski, 1983; Stone, 1976).

There was a fairly strong statistically significant correlation between the

delayed recall dependent measures and the Group Embedded Figures Test

(GEFT). This suggests that expectations before this study of the potential effect
of field dependence/field independence to predict recall was correct. The

GEFT was able to signify which students were better able to assimilate

unfamiliar material into existing schema (Spiro & Tire, 1980), or able to create










new schemata to accommodate novel information and score well on the

dependent measures.

Successful performance on an embedded figures test requires an ability

to detect the revelence and applicability of preexisting knowledge schemata

and superimpose those structures on text in interaction with a text's inherent

structure (Spiro & Tirre, 1980). Frase (1968) reported that broader questions do

not direct the learner's attention and therefore may lead to poorer

performance. It is possible that those individuals scoring low on the GEFT

were not able to properly direct their attention to the integrated scope of the

high level question nor on the respective content of the text, thereby forming

only a minimal acceptable understanding.

Gender and Reading Comprehension

In this study, a gender difference was found for each of the two delayed

recall dependent measures. Females scored significantly better than males on

both of the delayed written recall outcome measures. There was a three way

interaction effect (low/high/gender) for each of the four treatment groups

(Low, Mixed, High & Comparison groups) on the delayed recall Prehistoric

Shelter dependent measure. As well, there was a significant effect of females

over the males on the delayed recall Earth's Rotation dependent measure.

There was no significant difference between males and females for the low

and high level question generation groups with the Prehistoric Shelter and

Earth's Rotation text.

Drane et al. (1989) cites gender role expectations, social and educational

factors, as well as physiological factors as theories affecting achievement

between the sexes in reading. Bank, Biddle, and Good (1980) suggest physical










maturation, female teacher bias, discrimination, feminization of reading,

differential style, and sex-relevant teaching styles to account for the fact that

reading achievement varies across the sexes.

Whatever the case, there is no concrete theoretical explanation for the

gender effect in this study. Conceivably the primary rationale for the

differences is achievement-orientation in reading. Bank et al. (1980, pp. 119)

state that "on the average, American boys do not read as well as American

girls." It has been found that American girls 17 years of age and younger

generally score higher on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

(NAEP) reading tests than do boys of the same ages (Holbrook, 1988), and girls

also receive higher grades in reading than boys (Johnson & Greenbaum, 1980).

It is also suspected that the explanation may be more motivational

than cognitive. Learners may vary in the amount of cognitive effort they are

willing to exert depending upon how interested they are in subject matter. It

is possible that an attitude toward the tasks may have been a causal factor in

the outcomes. Students' constructive use of time, not the time per se, affects

learning and achievement (Tierney, 1982). In this study, the seventh grade

girls might have been more motivated to attend to and try harder on the

tasks, as well as completing their assignments. It also just well may be that

females found the content of the texts more interesting than the males.

Collins and Cheek (1993) contend that high interest materials have a greater

comprehension effect for boys than for girls, as well as on average and below

average readers when compared to above average readers. Thus the

instructional manipulations may have had different effects for males and

females because of interest and differential motivation.












Class Differences

In schools, the emphasis of teaching less proficient readers is on

pronunciation and decoding, while classroom learning activities with the

more proficient readers are spent on reading comprehension (A. L. Brown,

Palincsar, & Armbruster, 1984). Comparisons of novice and expert readers

have consistently shown that novice readers are deficient in the use of active

reading comprehension activities needed to monitor comprehension (Andre,

1990; Phillips, 1988; Johnston & Afflerbach, 1985; A. L. Brown, Campione, &

Day, 1981). Preoccupied with heterogeneity of student populations, however,

educational systems manipulate student-body compositions within schools

through inter-class ability grouping of various degrees. As a result, aside from

the mainstream groups of classes for the general curriculum are students of

generally less proficient reading abilities that participate in what is referred to

as "Chapter I" classes.

In this study there was a significant difference between the individual

classes that participated in the treatments. This effect is from the result of the

participating school's homogeneous ability-grouping for one of the five

classes used in this study. Students from this particular class were students

with reading disabilities in a remedial reading "Chapter I" class. Consequently

it appears that the composition of the students' ability level within this

particular class influenced significance in this case.

Question Generation
The second set of questions posed in this study was whether, after

adjusting for varying abilities, and instructing students to use Reciprocal










Teaching with low level questions and/or high level questions, will there be

a difference between groups in generating low and high level questions from

expository text?

Main effect findings support the conclusion that the level of questions

produced from science expository text can influence the outcome of the level

of questions generated by a reader. High level questions, as opposed to low

level questions, produced more high level questions for the science

expository text. Results of this study, however, do not provide supporting

evidence that the level of questions produced from a social studies expository

text influenced the outcome of the level of questions generated by a reader.

There may be several reasons for students' performance on both of the

question generation outcome measures. The findings regarding these

combined effects are discussed below.

Following Reciprocal Teaching training and treatment, students in the

high level question generation experimental group were able to create a

significantly larger percentage of high level questions on the science (Earth's

Rotation) outcome measure. This result was anticipated because students in

this experimental group were taught to generate and practiced this question

type with other texts in science. The use of the gradual release model or

scaffold instruction (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983) in this study allowed students

to gain control of the low and/or high level questioning strategies over time

so that they would be able, upon completion of the training, to finish the

required questioning tasks independently. This measure, therefore, was

sensitive to the treatment administered in this study.












There was no significant effect for the treatments on the Prehistoric

Shelter question generation outcome measure. It appears, however, that with

the less difficult and complex Prehistoric Shelter text students may have

regressed to creating lower level questions due to the inherent simplicity of

the text itself.

Implications

An important implication of the present study is that the level of

questions generated during Reciprocal Teaching does not necessarily affect

recall when readers are presented with expository text. The question arises as

to why recall for the high level questions was not facilitated to a greater

extent, for the students generating high level questions did not recall the texts

any better than the students who generated the low level questions. Both had

the same textual material. It may be that a high level question produces

cognitive activities which leads to the recall of several text concepts, hence

there is more in memory to interfere with the recall of the material. At the

same time, it is quite possible that the lack of reader group interactions was

due to ceiling effects because of the structural simplicity of the texts, their

short length, and other limiting characteristics. Reader differences may

emerge when texts are made more complex in content and/or structure. This

could be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as making the text longer

and/or readability more challenging. These types of variations would make

the goal structure more difficult to decipher. This, in turn, could have more

of an inhibiting effect on the comprehension and recall of the individual

generating low level questions if their schema is less well developed as








69

compared to students developing more integrated schema with high level

questions.

There is a long-standing educational belief about the importance of

asking higher order questions. The present results do not suggest that the

level of question generally affects the quality of comprehension of expository

text with Reciprocal Teaching. It may be the case that, under appropriate

conditions, high level questions embedded within Reciprocal Teaching will

better facilitate comprehension than low level questions. Therefore, the

present results do not rule out the possibility that the level of questions

generated during Reciprocal Teaching may significantly affect recall when

they are presented with other types of text or comprehension tasks which are

more difficult.

Although it is difficult to explain whether the above variations in text

structure will differentially affect the schema organization of students

generating low and high level questions during Reciprocal Teaching, there

remains a few questions for future research. One of these involves the

relationship between summarizing and questioning within Reciprocal

Teaching. Specifically, the question should be asked what is the differential

effect of Reciprocal Teaching for readers not required to summarize and those

asked to do so when the level of questioning is manipulated? An excellent

comprehension-monitoring activity can be when students summarize as

they read (Harris & Sipay, 1990). According to Hidi and V. Anderson (1986),

summarizing short, simple text segments tends to be a relatively easy task.

Summarizing during Reciprocal Teaching might have interfered with the

memory structure of the different treatment groups generating specific low










and high levels of questions, and have affected the outcome measures. A. L.

Brown, Palincsar, and Armbruster (1984) suggested that, even though all of

the activities engaged in Reciprocal Teaching individually resulted in reading

comprehension improvement, the summary component is the most

powerful.

If these recommendations prove to be the case, then the present results

are optimistic ones in the sense that they establish a baseline level from

which a more comprehensive understanding of questioning and reading

comprehension can be developed: an understanding which takes into

account variations in questioning tasks within Reciprocal Teaching and

understanding expository text, and the effects these variations have on the

cognitive schema readers use to process expository text.













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APPENDIX A

CONDUCTION











I.D. #

Date


Stop
Do Not Turn Pages
Until
You Are Told To Do So







ID #


Predict

You are going to read about
Conduction
Do you already know anything about conduction? Before you read about
conduction, write down anything you already know about this topic.


Stop
Do Not Turn Pages Until You Are Instructed
To Do So








ID #


Silently read the article below until you are told to
turn to the next page of this booklet.

Conduction
All things are made up of molecules. However, the human eye cannot see
molecules. Molecules are constantly moving. In solids and liquids molecules
are close together. Heat causes molecules in solids and liquids to move fast
and bump into each other. When this happens rapidly moving molecules
with high temperatures bump into slower moving cool molecules and pass
heat energy on. Therefore, heat usually moves from areas of high
temperatures to areas of low temperatures. This form of heat energy transfer
by direct contact between molecules is called conduction. For example, if a
metal spoon is placed in a hot cup of coffee whose water and coffee molecules
are moving around rapidly, the slower-moving molecules within the cooler
metal spoon absorb the heat from the water and coffee molecules by
conduction. If the hot spoon is touched by the hand, the heat given off by the
metal molecules is transferred to the cooler slower-moving molecules of the
skin also by conduction.
The longer it takes materials to heat up by conduction, the longer can they
hold heat. Water is an example of such a material. It takes a long time for the
Sun to heat water in a big lake or in the ocean. By the end of summer,
however, the water will have caught and stored enough heat from the Sun to
stay warmer than land for much of the winter. That is why land near a large
body of water never gets as cold in the winter as land far away from the water.
The stored heat in the water keeps the land around it warm. After a while,
however, heat from the water moves out into the colder land and air.


Stop

Do Not Turn Pages Until You Are Instructed
To Do So








ID #


Below, look at the same article you just read. Underline, only once,
any words you think are important to know. Circle, only once, any
words that you do not understand?

Conduction
All things are made up of molecules. However, the human eye cannot see
molecules. Molecules are constantly moving. In solids and liquids molecules
are close together. Heat causes molecules in solids and liquids to move fast
and bump into each other. When this happens rapidly moving molecules
with high temperatures bump into slower moving cool molecules and pass
heat energy on. Therefore, heat usually moves from areas of high
temperatures to areas of low temperatures. This form of heat energy transfer
by direct contact between molecules is called conduction. For example, if a
metal spoon is placed in a hot cup of coffee whose water and coffee molecules
are moving around rapidly, the slower-moving molecules within the cooler
metal spoon absorb the heat from the water and coffee molecules by
conduction. If the hot spoon is touched by the hand, the heat given off by the
metal molecules is transferred to the cooler slower-moving molecules of the
skin also by conduction.
The longer it takes materials to heat up by conduction, the longer can they
hold heat. Water is an example of such a material. It takes a long time for the
Sun to heat water in a big lake or in the ocean. By the end of summer,
however, the water will have caught and stored enough heat from the Sun to
stay warmer than land for much of the winter. That is why land near a large
body of water never gets as cold in the winter as land far away from the water.
The stored heat in the water keeps the land around it warm. After a while,
however, heat from the water moves out into the colder land and air.


Stop

Do Not Turn Pages Until You Are Instructed
To Do So








ID #


Silently read the article below again until you are
told to turn to the next page of this booklet.

Conduction
All things are made up of molecules. However, the human eye cannot see
molecules. Molecules are constantly moving. In solids and liquids molecules
are close together. Heat causes molecules in solids and liquids to move fast
and bump into each other. When this happens rapidly moving molecules
with high temperatures bump into slower moving cool molecules and pass
heat energy on. Therefore, heat usually moves from areas of high
temperatures to areas of low temperatures. This form of heat energy transfer
by direct contact between molecules is called conduction. For example, if a
metal spoon is placed in a hot cup of coffee whose water and coffee molecules
are moving around rapidly, the slower-moving molecules within the cooler
metal spoon absorb the heat from the water and coffee molecules by
conduction. If the hot spoon is touched by the hand, the heat given off by the
metal molecules is transferred to the cooler slower-moving molecules of the
skin also by conduction.
The longer it takes materials to heat up by conduction, the longer can they
hold heat. Water is an example of such a material. It takes a long time for the
Sun to heat water in a big lake or in the ocean. By the end of summer,
however, the water will have caught and stored enough heat from the Sun to
stay warmer than land for much of the winter. That is why land near a large
body of water never gets as cold in the winter as land far away from the water.
The stored heat in the water keeps the land around it warm. After a while,
however, heat from the water moves out into the colder land and air.


Stop

Do Not Turn Pages Until You Are Instructed
To Do So




Full Text
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