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Comprehension of Counterintuitive Science Text: Effects of Prior Knowledge and Text Structure

Donna E. Alvermann and Sally A. Hague
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 82, No. 4 (Mar. - Apr., 1989), pp. 197-202
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27540341
Page Count: 6
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Comprehension of Counterintuitive Science Text: Effects of Prior Knowledge and Text Structure
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Abstract

This study examined the effects of activating prior knowledge and refutation text structure on students' comprehension of counterintuitive science material. Developmental studies students, who also were incompetent readers, either read a passage that referred directly to their known misconceptions about a science topic and then refuted those misconceptions, or they read a passage that only described the topic. Text structure was crossed with three levels of prior knowledge activation (augmented activation, activation only, and no activation). We found statistically significant differences that favored augmented activation over activation only and no activation over activation only. Additionally, the students favored refutation text over nonrefutation text. Implications are drawn for future research and developmental studies instruction.

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