MEmir RUZGAR1 Cem BABADOGAN2
1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction,
2Ankara University, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction, Turkey.
Purpose: International exam scores of Turkish students, specifically of Project for International Student Achievement, attest that the level of comprehension of Turkish students is not satisfactory. Learning styles can be of use to schools in designing reading programs and materials to help Turkish students to improve their reading achievement. Hence, the primary purpose of this study was to examine 5th graders’ reading comprehension scores across some variables, and assess which variables predict their reading comprehension scores. Research Methods: The participants of the study were 1307 fifth grade students from nine different middle schools of Ankara. Instruments of the study were the Reading Comprehension Test and the Grasha- Reichmann Learning Styles Inventory. We used descriptive statistics, the Kruskal-Wallis H Test, the Mann-Whitney U Test, and regression. Findings: Comprehension scores of students who have a bookshelf at home are higher than those who do not. Moreover, those who have more books at home and who have read more books are more successful in comprehension. In addition, daily reading time and number of weekly reading exercises also have an impact on comprehension scores. The results of regression analysis show that only one type of learning style (dependent) significantly predicts comprehension scores. This prediction is slight and negative. Implications for Research and Practice: We suggest that upcoming scholarship on similar topics focuses on conducting similar studies with a more diverse set of predictive variables and different grade levels than 5th grade. We recommend that parents have at least one bookshelf in the home environment since our results show that having a bookshelf significantly increases comprehension scores.
Keywords: Grasha-Reichmann Learning Styles Model, PISA 2009, Predictors of Comprehension.