STRATEGIES FOR COMPREHENSION OF EXTENDED AND HOLISTIC METAPHOR/ANALOGIES IN SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS BY FOURTH-GRADE STUDENTS (INQUIRY, READABILITY, TRENDS)

CEIL LIPSCHITZ, Fordham University

Abstract

Previous research on science textbooks and development of science concepts indicate that fourth-grade students have difficulty with comprehension of metaphorical sentences for science information. This study, in order to reduce misconceptions and promote comprehension, has presented a set of strategies for analyzing and interpreting metaphor/analogies in written text. Sternberg's (1977, 1978) componential theory has been operationalized to test for comprehension of science information with fourth-grade students. The 15 null hypotheses compared cognitive strategies (verbal, exemplar, pictorial) with the structural form of metaphor/analogies (extended, holistic). The dependent variables were scores on the three reasoning tasks in stages (identification, inference, and synthesis). Three distinct groups made up the random sample: the unskilled of 30 fourth-grade students with a mean reading score of approximately 4.16, the average of 30 fourth-grade students with a mean reading score of approximately 5.52, and the proficient of 30 fourth-grade students with a mean reading score of approximately 7.42. Analysis of variance tested 15 null hypotheses for the relationship between scores on the CAT and scores on the MST for each group. As a result of Eta, six null hypotheses were partially retained. Correlations for both structural forms of the MST indicated a nonlinear or curvilinear relationship between cognitive strategies for science information and restructured metaphorical sentences in the science text. Mean reading scores on both structural forms of the MST were highest for the proficient and lowest for the unskilled reading ability group. Examination of the incorrect responses indicated fewer errors occurring during the extended structural task where the additional clause or cue was provided to facilitate the reasoning process of fourth-grade students for comprehension of the science information. Since reading and strategies vary from student to student, a curved line best fitted the trend of the data in this investigation. Two major educational implications indicated that: (1) Restructuring the metaphorical sentence and training in strategy skills should improve comprehension skills for science information; (2) Reevaluation of science materials should help identify the kinds of reasoning strategies and inquiry process skills needed for successfully completing metaphor/analogies and related science tasks.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

LIPSCHITZ, CEIL, "STRATEGIES FOR COMPREHENSION OF EXTENDED AND HOLISTIC METAPHOR/ANALOGIES IN SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS BY FOURTH-GRADE STUDENTS (INQUIRY, READABILITY, TRENDS)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8508119.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8508119

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