Date of Award

5-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith

Abstract

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a particular text explicit comprehension strategy called, "stop and think." The strategy taught students to pause briefly while reading to note in their own words what has happened so far in the reading before they continue. This technique is intended to help students to self-monitor their own comprehension and to determine if they need to re-read. Students in a control group and an experimental group were used for the study. Both groups consisted often ninth-grade students with learning disabilities enrolled in a suburban high school.

Students in the experimental group were all participants in a corrective reading program which met for 40 minutes every day. Direct instruction on the use of the strategy and the students’ implementation of the strategy lasted approximately nine weeks. Activities involving the use of the stop and think strategy were incorporated two to three times per week. When the strategy was first introduced the students used narrative short stories to maintain motivation while becoming efficient at using it. Students practiced the strategy as a whole group and then individually. During the sixth week of instruction, students began using the strategy with content area readings. Students in the control group did not receive formal reading instruction.

To determine the effectiveness of the stop and think strategy, a pretest and a posttest of text-explicit reading comprehension was given to the experimental group and the control group. Two sections from a ninth-grade Global Studies book were used for the pretest and the posttest. For the pretest, students were randomly given one of two sections from the textbook. For the posttest they were give the section they had not done for the pretest. A t test was used to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in the text-explicit reading comprehension level of the experimental group and the control group.

The findings indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the posttest scores of the experimental group, who received the stop and think strategy instruction, and the control group, who did not receive the instruction, favoring the experimental group.

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