Edited By Airi Liimets, Marika Veisson, Pertti Kansanen and Edgar Krull
Traditional and Advanced Learning Strategies Explaining the Reading Proficiency of Boys and Girls in Schools with Different Instructional Language
Reading is considered an important life skill, and as such it is highly relevant to monitor how learners cope with it. Traditional methods of learning, such as memorizing or control strategies might have their uses, but more complicated reading tasks demand more advanced approaches. Advanced thinking and learning skills, known as metacognition, have been proved to increase reading proficiency. Schools can contribute to this through offering appropriate instruction in the classroom. Several international student reading and literacy assessments have continuously reported gender differences in reading performance in favor of girls. In some countries, schools with different instructional language are often in focus. Due to drastic differences in performance, the issues of gender and school language were taken into account in this analysis. The aim of the current paper was to discover how student awareness and choice of different learning strategies explains the variation in reading proficiency in PISA 2009. The two-level modeling method was used, with separate intercepts for the subgroups (boys and girls in schools with different instructional language) to examine the effect of each learning strategy for each subgroup. The proportional reduction in variance components was used to measure the explained variation. The advanced metacognitive learning strategies explained the variation in student reading test results more than other strategies (up to 23%), and that was true in all subgroups, both in Finland and Estonia. Traditional learning strategies, such as memorization, had no explanatory power.
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