Learning from explicit versus implicit texts

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Two experiments assessed whether academically less successful 5th graders can be helped to improve their abilities to learn from relatively complex passages that require learners to generate their own elaborations. In Exp I, 20 less successful Ss (as determined by the Reading and Language subtests of the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills) received either an explicit passage on the 1st trial (the explicit passage provided elaborations that made the information less arbitrary) or an implicit passage (no elaborations were provided in the text); both groups then received a 2nd, implicit passage to learn. The less successful Ss who received explicit passages on the 1st trial remembered as much about the passages as did 20 successful Ss. Nevertheless, exposure to an explicit passage on the 1st trial did not help the less successful Ss improve their ability to learn from the implicit passage received on the 2nd trial. Both groups of less successful Ss (those who received either an explicit passage or an implicit passage first) performed more poorly on the 2nd trial than their academically successful peers. Results of Exp II, which involved more focused training, indicate that 10 less successful 5th graders could indeed learn from implicit passages that required spontaneous, self-generated elaborations. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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