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Title: Self-explaining Science Texts: Strategies, Knowledge and Reading Skill
Authors: Best, Rachel
Ozuru, Yasuhiro
McNamara, Danielle S.
Issue Date: Jun-2004
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Citation: Best, R., Ozuru, Y., & McNamara, D. S. (2004). Self-explaining Science Texts: Strategies, Knowledge and Reading Skill. In Kafai, Y. B., Sandoval, W. A., Enyedy, N., Nixon, A. S., & Herrera, F. (Eds.), International Conference of the Learning Sciences 2004: Embracing Diversity in the Learning Sciences (pp. 89-96). Santa Monica, CA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Abstract: Self-explanation refers to explaining text to oneself while reading. We examined the quality of middle-school students' self-explanations of a science text which were collected while they were engaged with iSTART, an interactive computer program that teaches reading strategies. Our analysis included an examination of how the quality of paraphrases (i.e., restating the sentence) and elaborations (i.e., drawing on prior knowledge) were mediated by individual difference measures (reading comprehension skill and prior science knowledge) and sentence difficulty (based on information density). Reading comprehension skill was an important determinant in the production of paraphrases and elaborations. In addition, reading skill affected the quality of self-explanations produced; that is, skilled readers produced better quality elaborations (e.g., elaborations that helped build a global understanding of the text). Prior knowledge was also important, with high-knowledge students providing more `distant' paraphrases. Finally, the production of elaborations and paraphrases was influenced by sentence difficulty. Fewer accurate elaborations were produced for the more difficult sentences. Implications for individual differences and sentence difficulty in the production of self-explanations are discussed.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2004

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