On February 28, 2018, Dr. Ian Matheson successfully defended his dissertation Unpacking Reading Comprehension by Text Type: An Examination of Reading Strategy Use and Cognitive Functioning in Poor and Typically-Achieving Comprehenders at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education.
Dr. Derek Berg (Queen’s University) served as Ian’s Supervisor and the following were his committee members: Dr. Nancy Hutchinson (Queen’s University) and Dr. Don Klinger (Queen’s University). External to Faculty was Dr. Valerie Kuhlmeier (Queen’s University), Head/Delegate was Dr. Kristy Timmons (Queen’s University), External to University was Dr. Dawn Buzza (Wilfrid Laurier) and the Chair was Dr. Anthony Goerzen (Queen’s University).
In his study, Dr. Matheson examined how students build comprehension with different types of text. Poor comprehenders and typically achieving comprehenders, as determined by a standardized measure for general reading comprehension, were compared in their reading comprehension and reading strategy use across narrative, expository, and graphic text. Ian also examined the influence of cognitive functioning on reading comprehension, and to what extent cognitive functions can explain the difference in reading comprehension between poor and typically achieving comprehenders. This research was partially exploratory, where he aimed to validate existing research on cognitive functions, reading strategies, and reading comprehension of text, as well as to contribute new research that distinguishes between text types. Past research has shown that cognitive functions predict reading comprehension and that poor comprehenders have poorer cognitive functioning and use fewer reading strategies than their peers. However, no research to date has made distinctions between different types of text, specifically graphic text, and how cognitive functioning and reading strategy use relate to comprehension.