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Chapter 1 Background Knowledge: A Neglected Piece of the Comprehension Puzzle Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2009). Background Knowledge: The Missing Piece of.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 Background Knowledge: A Neglected Piece of the Comprehension Puzzle Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2009). Background Knowledge: The Missing Piece of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1 Background Knowledge: A Neglected Piece of the Comprehension Puzzle Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2009). Background Knowledge: The Missing Piece of the Comprehension Puzzle. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

2 Discuss how background knowledge influences understanding Examine three conditions necessary to make background knowledge useable Consider three outcomes directly affected by background knowledge Today’s Purposes

3 Might it Rescue the Next Generation of Readers? Lack of background knowledge inhibits student progress to higher reading levels. Remedial programs for readers focus on comprehension strategies but not on building background knowledge.

4 “Improved vascular definition in radiographs of the arterial phase or of the venous phase can be procured by a process of subtraction whereby positive and negative images of the overlying skull are superimposed on one another.” How Does Background Knowledge Impact Your Comprehension?

5 So what strategies did you use? Did you predict? Infer? Summarize? You were able to: decode all the words understand imaging understand subtraction read it fluently What Comprehension Strategies Did You Use?

6 “Improved vascular definition in radiographs of the arterial phase or of the venous phase can be procured by a process of subtraction whereby positive and negative images of the overlying skull are superimposed on one another.” Best predictor of reading comprehension Influences interest and motivation Knowing lots of strategies cannot fully compensate for lack of background knowledge Background Knowledge is Essential

7 Table Talk Discuss a time when lack of background knowledge made it difficult to learn something new. How did your lack of background knowledge impede your learning? How did you build it?

8 Strongest middle school readers utilized their background knowledge of how web-based information was organized in order to search efficiently and accurately Knowledge of print-based background knowledge was not enough (Coiro & Dobler, 2007) Background Knowledge’s Impact on Digital Literacy

9 Just because the backpack is in there doesn’t mean he can find it! Background Knowledge is Like a Teenager’s Closet…

10 How People Learn Organized: Knowing where to find it Conditionalized: Knowing when it is needed Transferable: Knowing how to apply it to new situations (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000)

11 Schema is the hierarchical relationship of information to other information Without schema, information is a scattered mess Schema unifies this information Organized Through Schema

12 Understanding when background knowledge is relevant Directly related to motivation and interest Students can misapply background knowledge, too Misapplication: A student talks about the life cycle of the turtle during a lesson about a turtle in a folktale Conditionalized by Knowing WHEN to Use It

13 Learning is solidified when students are able to apply what they have learned to a novel problem Information is transferred in pieces, not in whole concepts, making formative assessments critical Establish subgoals for learners to facilitate transfer Transfer often occurs in the company of fellow learners Transferable to New Situations

14 Table Talk In what ways do you foster transfer (application of learning to novel situations) in your teaching? What conditions make it more successful? Under what circumstances does it break down?

15 Vocabulary serves as a proxy for what a learner knows Volume of word knowledge a child possesses at school entry predicts school achievement (Hart & Risley, 1995) Correlated to performance on standardized tests (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986) Background Knowledge and Vocabulary

16 Assessing Your Practice

17 The National Academy Press’ website on How People Learn (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000), including free podcasts and online book CAST Center’s resources on the importance of background knowledge html There’s arguably no better way to build your own background knowledge about virtually anything than Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page). Don’t overlook the Discussion, Source, and History pages for each entry. They shine an important spotlight on how knowledge is build, disputed, and refined.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Building Your Own Background Knowledge


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