Date of Award

11-2008

Embargo Period

11-19-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours) BEd (Primary) (Hons)

Faculty

Education & Science

School

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Cedric Greive

Second Advisor

Dr. John Watts

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of the Reciprocal Teaching (RT) reading comprehension activity applied to prepared readings in the subject Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE). Reciprocal teaching involves the four strategies of ‘questioning’, ‘clarifying’, ‘summarising’ and ‘predicting’, employed in a process that uses students in the role of tutors and cycles this role among all students of the group. RT is a social teaching strategy designed to produce metacognitive readers who are able to interrogate text for its meaning. This study was completed in two phases: the first of which was a triangulated mixed method approach involving Year 4 students and the second phase was a case study of the use of a modified RT approach with a Year 2 class. The Year 4 class was internally divided into two equivalent groups; the control group was taught by the class teacher in her traditional manner, and the experimental group was subjected to the RT process by the researcher. The quantitative data were analysed using both descriptive and inferential methods and the qualitative data studied for emerging themes related to possible internalisation of the skills involved in the use of RT. A pre-test/post-test method revealed that the experimental group suffered no disadvantage after exposure to the reciprocal teaching process. Further, there was evidence of internalisation of the RT strategies among the students of the experimental group. Later, a simplified version of the RT process (limited to use of the ‘questioning’ strategy) was applied to a Year 2 class as a case study. Again, there was evidence of internalisation of the strategy involved indicating that RT strategies may be taught early in the primary program. The study indicates that the strategies of RT can be applied in subjects other than English and in so doing students may develop generalised skills that will lead to critical thinking.

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