QUESTIONING STRATEGY INSTRUCTION PARTICIPATION AND READING COMPREHENSION OF LEARNING DISABLED STUDENTS (CRITICAL THINKING, DISCUSSION GROUPS, BLOOM'S TAXONOMY).
AuthorDIXON, MARGARET ELECTA.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractLearning disabled students have been described as "inactive" learners. They have difficulty organizing their learning environment and seem to lack the awareness of a need to develop methods or strategies to help themselves in accomplishing tasks. Research suggests that learning disabled students are able to learn strategies. In examining the academic area where most of these students have the greatest difficulty, it was found that reading comprehension is the predominate area of need for remediation. The major purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of using a questioning strategy with learning disabled students to increase discussion participation and to increase reading comprehension. The study had a dual research focus: a teacher training component and a student component. Twenty randomly selected resource teachers were chosen to participate. One-half of these teachers were involved in a five weekend workshop course on questioning strategies where teachers learned how to ask higher cognitive level questions. The other half of the teachers received no training during the study. The 60 students were all learning disabled fifth and sixth graders having difficulty with reading, but reading at least on a third grade level. The data collection instrument TICOR, a mini-computer, was used to collect observational data reflecting student-teacher interaction (discussion) following the reading of a narrative story. The techniques taught to the students focused on the oral discussion. Written comprehension tests were administered before and after the workshops as well as one month later. It was found that there were significant differences between the two groups; the teachers in the workshops asked significantly higher cognitive level questions. As this group asked higher level questions, the students would respond with higher level answers. It was also found that there was no difference between the two groups in their performance on the written comprehension tests. Because of the emphasis on the oral discussion skills, this finding seems to demonstrate that learning disabled students have difficulty using strategies acquired through incidential learning and also have difficulty transferring oral skills to written tasks.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education