The schema strategies in reading comprehension tasks of fourth-grade students with reading difficulties

Rebeka Chaia Gutkind, Fordham University


This mixed method study investigated the schema strategy uses of fourth-grade boys with reading challenges; specifically, their ability to understand text based on two components within schema theory: tuning and restructuring. Based on the reading comprehension scores from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (Form 2010), four comparison groups were determined: (a) fourthgrade boys with reading comprehension challenges, (b) fourth-grade boys with average reading comprehension levels, (c) fourth-grade boys with above-average reading comprehension levels, and (d) third-grade boys matched in reading level with the below-average fourth-grade boys. Thirty-two third-grade and eighty-one fourth-grade boys participated in this study. The researcher administered the Basic Reading Cluster test of the WRMT–R (NU); (Word Identification and Word Attack subtests) and three think aloud passages to all participants. The statistics used to analyze the verbal protocols included: descriptive statistics, frequencies, chi square, correlation coefficient, and Kendall tau-b. Results indicated eight various strategies that were grouped into three types of comprehenders: good comprehender, inefficient comprehender, and mixed ability. The findings of this study indicated that the fourth graders with reading challenges displayed overall inefficient types of strategies when attempting to comprehend printed text, which was categorized as inefficient comprehender. The other comparison groups indicated a variety of types of comprehenders. The predominant inefficient type strategy utilized across all four groups indicated a difficulty in making cross-sentence connections for coherent text representation. In addition, weakness in tuning and restructuring was apparent across all comparison groups, regardless of their reading comprehension levels.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Special education|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Gutkind, Rebeka Chaia, "The schema strategies in reading comprehension tasks of fourth-grade students with reading difficulties" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3495566.