Exploring metacognition and self-regulation in an enrichment reading program

Date of Completion

January 2003


Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Reading|Psychology, Psychometrics|Psychology, Cognitive




Direct instruction is often touted as an effective and efficient means of raising students' levels of reading fluency and comprehension. While direct instruction may be a useful remediation measure, the long-term effects of direct instruction on students' cognitive development is unclear (B. J., Zimmerman, personal communication, April 18, 2002). Some research suggests that the continued imposition of highly regimented and structured instructional programs beyond the time when an individual has attained a certain degree of competency in reading comprehension may have a negative impact on the continued development of metacognitively based self-regulated learning strategies and behaviors (Risemberg & Zimmerman, 1992; Wingenbach, 1982; Zimmerman & Pons, 1986). High-potential readers, who have marked differences in levels of metacognitive self-regulated learning (MC/SRL), may be adversely affected by highly structured instruction at an earlier age. This study examined the differential effects of reading instruction on the development and expression of metacognitive self-regulatory learning attributes on reading fluency and comprehension in elementary school student readers across two conditions—an Enrichment Triad Model reading intervention (SEM-R) (Renzulli, 1977, 1984); Renzulli & Reis, 1997); and a preexisting direct instruction reading program. ^ Completed as a part of a larger ongoing study (Reis, et al, in press), this quantitative investigation employed a classroom level, cluster-randomized design with a sample of approximately 240, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from two low-socioeconomic urban elementary schools. Structural Equation Modeling protocols were used to test the hypothesis that knowledge and regulation of cognition were causally associated with reading comprehension and gain scores in reading fluency. Grouped data analysis of this assertion was not found to be tenable for reading fluency, but affirmed for reading comprehension. Tests of invariance across treatment groups were unsuccessful at the structural level with each condition presenting unique and mutually exclusive model configurations. However, a pattern of negative path coefficients between regulation of cognition and reading comprehension did emerge and are discussed. Confirmatory factor analysis of a new instrument developed by the researcher for this study, the Thinking About Reading Index (TARI), shows promise as a metacognitive self-regulation assessment and evaluation tool in the area of reading. ^