PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES TEN AND THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLDS USE TO COMPREHEND MYSTERY STORIES (PROPOSITIONAL INDUCTIVE, DEDUCTIVE)

MYRNA EPAND LEVINE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to identify and examine the problem solving strategies of 10 and 13 year olds as represented by interpretation of the text; namely, the mystery story. Prior knowledge was ascertained through a clinical interview. Two mystery stories were read, an inductive mystery necessitating a clue search, followed by a logical solution reasoned through by the reader, and a deductive mystery providing the solution but requiring the appropriate follow-up rationalization of the solution based on the reader's reasoning.^ This study took place in an inner-city parochial school in a large urban city. There were 10 participants, five 10 year olds and five 13 year olds who were selected for participation in the study if they achieved one or more years above grade level on the comprehension subtest of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, had high verbal facility, and enjoyed reading mystery stories.^ A prior knowledge interview was conducted initially as a screening device. A strategic knowledge interview was engaged in to determine the strategies used in solution of the mystery. Two mystery stories were read; an inductive mystery necessitating a reasoned clue search followed by a logical solution by the reader, and a deductive mystery requiring appropriate follow-up rationalization of the solution given in the text. For each mystery, the participants were encouraged to "tell about" the story, once immediately after reading the mystery and again after the strategic knowledge interview.^ Each participant expressed prior knowledge of mystery stories, although it was determined that the 13 year old participants may have had increased experience with various forms of literature. The participants determined cause/effect and constructed subgoals but generally did not plan, evaluate partial solutions, infer, or provide alternative strategies for solution. The final summary was shorter than the initial summary, but not significantly better, since the focus was generally on details with limited generalization, integration, data evaluation, or gist statements provided. Although the summaries and strategic knowledge increased somewhat with age, the greater differences were between the inductive and deductive mysteries rather than between age groups. ^

Subject Area

Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

LEVINE, MYRNA EPAND, "PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES TEN AND THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLDS USE TO COMPREHEND MYSTERY STORIES (PROPOSITIONAL INDUCTIVE, DEDUCTIVE)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624489.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624489

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