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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Connecting Cognitive Science and Educational Practice to Improve Reading Comprehension

Paul van den Broek, University of Minnesota
Kristen McMaster, University of Minnesota
David Rapp, University of Minnesota
Panayiota Kendeou, University of Minnesota
Christine Espin, University of Minnesota
Stan Deno, University of Minnesota

Abstract: The purpose of the research conducted in the first year of our IES-funded study was to identify the cognitive profiles of struggling, average, and good readers at elementary, middle, and high school levels based on their reading comprehension processes. We collected think-aloud protocols and eye-tracking data from students as they were reading narrative and expository texts. In addition, students were tested using cognitive and reading-related assessments. Our aim is to use the cognitive profiles to design and test interventions targeting the diverse needs of students who struggle with reading comprehension. In this poster, we present the cognitive profiles for 89 4th, 89 7th, and 90 9th grade students identified as struggling, average, or good readers using the reading comprehension measures. At each grade level, there were systematic differences between the cognitive processes in which struggling and average/good readers engaged. Moreover, analyses of the think-aloud data indicated that there were two subgroups of struggling readers in each grade. Struggling readers in one subgroup made reliably more (but often invalid) inferences during reading, whereas those in the other group engaged in sentence-based processing, making more text repetitions/paraphrases. Performance on eye-tracking and cognitive/language measures will be described in detail. These data are currently being used to construct innovative reading interventions.