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

April 11, 2015

Authors

Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Amanda M. Durik

Northern Illinois University

Jess Zimmerman

University of Puerto Rico

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 cognitive components of a randomized research study examining the impact of text genre on learning and interest. In our prior analyses, we examined the effects of text characteristics (i.e., narrative or expository genre) on situational interest. We found that students with higher levels of prior individual interest preferred the narrative versions of text whereas students with lower levels of prior individual interest preferred the expository versions of text. In this paper, we examine the impact of text characteristics on student learning. The results of this research showed that contrary to prior research, there was no significant difference in comprehension based on text characteristics. These results provide evidence that is possible to differentiate instruction based students’ prior interest without sacrificing learning outcomes.

Suggested Citation

McGee, S., Durik, A. M., and Zimmerman, J. K. (2015, April 11-14). The Impact of Text Genre on Science Learning in an Authentic Science Learning Environment [Paper presentation]. 2015 National Association of Research in Science Teaching Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. https://www.jointhepartnership.net/publications/the-impact-of-text-genre-on-science-learning-in-an-authentic-science-learning-environment/

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