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Sunday, 07 May 2006

There are several conclusions (or just changes of point of view?) from the perspective of the cognitive sciences regarding the process of knowledge acquisition by reading.

Readers don't get but construct meanings

This is of special relevance to us doe to the nature of the research work we're performing.

Meaning is not just in the words on the page. The reader constructs meaning by making inferences and interpretations in his own mental context, his model of the world.

Reading researchers believe that information is stored in long-term memory in organized "knowledge structures." The essence of learning is linking new information to prior knowledge about the topic. This is a form of model integration.

How well a reader constructs meaning depends in part on metacognition, the reader's ability to think about and control the learning process (i.e., to plan, monitor comprehension, and revise the use of strategies and comprehension); and attribution, beliefs about the relationship among performance, effort, and responsibility.

Reading and writing are integrally related. That is, reading and writing have many characteristics in common. Also, readers increase their comprehension by writing, and reading about the topic improves writing performance.

Collaborative learning is a powerful approach for teaching and learning. The goal of collaborative learning is to establish a community of learners in which students are able to generate questions and discuss ideas freely with the teacher and each other. Students often engage in teaching roles to help other students learn and to take responsibility for learning. This approach involves new roles for teachers. We have tried to provide some support for this in our new courseware site.

To get more details on research about reading processes, visit Knuth & Jones web page What Does Research Say About Reading?.

This claim for reading can be backed by a nice quote from Bertrand Russell:

Nothing you write is ever as bad as you fear or as good as you hope.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 November 2007 )
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