The Impact of Text Genre on Science Interest in an Authentic Science Learning Environment

June 23, 2014


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Amanda M. Durik

Northern Illinois University

Dena Ann Pastor

James Madison University

A gap exists between research on learning and research on interest. Cognitive researchers rarely consider motivational processes, and interest researchers rarely consider cognitive process. However, it is essential to consider both since achievement and interest are in fact intertwined. In this paper we (1) discuss a theoretical model that intertwines cognitive
and interest development, (2) describe how that model informed the development of educational materials, and (3) report on the results of the motivational components of a randomized research study examining the impact of text genre on interest. We hypothesized that students with low levels of interest would receive greater benefit from narrative text
formats, whereas students with high levels of science interest would benefit more from expository text formats. The results of this research showed the opposite effect. Students with high levels of interest perceived the narrative texts as more interesting and useful for learning.

Suggested Citation

McGee, S., Durik, A.M., & Pastor, D.A. (2014, June). The Impact of Text Genre on Science Interest in an Authentic Science Learning Environment. Paper presented at the International Conference on the Learning Sciences, Boulder, CO.

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