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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Metacomprehension and reading proficiency McEwan, Patricia

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether children, 6 and 7 years old, who received direct teaching and modelling of specific metacognitive strategies would show a greater increase in reading comprehension and metacognitive strategy awareness, as compared to a control group who did not receive any such treatment. A second purpose was to determine if the treatment would have a greater or lesser effect on the reading comprehension of children dependent on their initial level of metacomprehension awareness. A pretest - posttest control group design was used. Subjects were 27 children in their third year of school (formerly called Grade 2, 6 and 7-year-olds) from two different multi-age classes in the same school. Children were assigned to the two groups using the matched pairs technique based on the pretest of the Gates - MacGinitie Reading Test - Primary B Form 1. All subjects were tested individually on the Meta-comprehension Strategy Index on that same day. Both groups received instruction for 1 hour daily, Monday through Thursday for a 4 week period. The experimental group received 30 minutes of direct teaching of metacomprehension strategies, and then 30 minutes of a reading lesson with the reader Adventures With Mac. In place of the experimental procedure, the control group was read to by the control teacher, and then they were given time to read independently or with a partner. The following 30 minutes of the lesson was the same reading lesson with the reader Adventures With Mac that the experimental group received. Following the 4 week study period, both groups then took the posttest of the Gates - MacGinitie Reading Test Primary Form 2, and they were again tested individually on the Meta-comprehension Strategy Index. The children in the experimental group did not show a statistically significant difference in the mean gain scores on the Gates - MacGinitie Reading Test. The children in the experimental group did show statistically significant mean gain scores on the modified Metacomprehension Strategy Index compared to the children in the control group. Qualitative observations during and after the study indicated the need to develop tools to help teachers to understand, record and evaluate children's metacomprehension strategy awareness, so that they can plan and carry out a reading program to lead each child towards becoming a proficient reader.

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