Illuminating teaching and learning: Students’ metacognition and teacher responsiveness in one college developmental reading class



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



ABSTRACT College students enrolled in a developmental reading program often do not perceive themselves as remedial readers, have low self-esteem about their abilities, or have a limited understanding about reading and therefore are unable to engage themselves with effective reading strategies. The challenge for educators in developmental college reading is to engage and motivate students with educational methods that create an awareness and understanding of reading by using strategies and practices appropriate for students’ diverse educational needs also necessary for their reading achievement. At the same time students need to develop the metacognitive awareness of their own knowledge of and use of reading strategies necessary for becoming proficient and achieving readers. Two research questions framed the study: What do students reveal about their metacognition in the context of a community college developmental reading course? How does understanding the students’ reading metacognition inform the instructional practices in a community college developmental reading course? Data collection included field notes, memos, audio- recordings of class time, student documents, student interviews, and a researcher’s journal. Findings suggest that despite their placement in the course, many students do not believe they need help with college reading because of their previous reading experiences. Those students who did think they needed reading could (at least vaguely) express what reading skills and abilities they thought would hinder their reading success. The students’ thinking informs the instructional practices in a community college developmental reading course because student’s thoughts help teachers to identify the ways which students are mis-informed and the ways which they might become resistant to learning, as well as what their learning needs may be. With this information, instructors can begin to develop instructional goals, to select self-discovery activities, and to implement practice time with the strategies that students can use to achieve in the tasks of reading. Furthermore, when reflection follows self-discovery and/or strategy practice students are encouraged to exercise metacognition, thinking about thinking.



Developmental readers, Community college, Teaching, Learning, Thinking, Reading, Metacognition, Strategies