Metacognition and attitudes towards reading as correlates of reading comprehension performance among standard six pupils in Dagoretti Division, Nairobi County, Kenya.
Mwaniki, Elizabeth Wanjiku
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This study sought to establish whether there was a significant relationship among pupils‟ metacognition, attitudes towards reading and their reading comprehension performance in an English passage. Differences in metacognition and attitudes towards reading due to both gender and age were also tested. Flavell‟s Model of Cognitive Monitoring and Mathewson's Model of Attitude Influence upon Reading and Learning to Read guided the study. The study adopted a correlational research design. It was carried out in Dagoretti Division in Nairobi County with a sample of 320 standard six pupils drawn from 8 public primary schools. Purposive sampling was used to select Dagoretti Division. Simple random sampling was used to obtain 4 public primary schools from each of the two Educational Zones in Dagoretti. Stratified sampling procedures were then used to ensure equal gender representation. An English reading comprehension test was used to measure the pupils‟ reading comprehension performance. A questionnaire was employed to obtain pupils‟ personal data, metacognition and attitudes towards reading. The pilot study was carried out on 40 pupils from one school in Dagoretti which was not used in the final study to check and enhance the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe and analyse the collected data. Specifically, Pearson‟s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient, ANOVA, Chi-square, t-test for independent samples, Multiple Regression Analysis and Tukeys HSD tests were utilized. The results revealed that there was a positive and significant relationship between metacognition and reading comprehension performance (r (310) = 0.41, p < 0.05) as well as between attitudes towards reading and reading comprehension performance (r (310) = 0.22, p < 0.05). Metacognitive knowledge had a higher predictive value for reading comprehension performance than metacognitive strategy use. There were no significant gender differences in metacognition ( t = - 1.25, df = 308, p > 0.05) and attitudes towards reading (t = -0.92, df = 308, p > 0.05) respectively. Significant differences in metacognition and attitude towards reading due to age were found (F= 9.50, df = 2, p < 0.05) in favour of the younger participants (10-11 year age category). Positive attitudes towards reading combined with metacognitive knowledge had significant predictive values (β = 0.25, p < 0.05) for reading comprehension. In the exploratory analysis, significant differences were found among schools in terms of their metacognition, attitudes towards reading and reading comprehension performance. In conclusion, a positive and significant relationship was found among metacognition, attitudes towards reading and reading comprehension performance. A major recommendation is that teacher trainees need to be taught metacognition so that they can later teach it to their pupils as they teach them how to read. Teachers, parents and all stakeholders in education should also help in creating conducive environments that foster positive attitudes towards reading in pupils so that they (pupils) can have more intention to read and more metacognition. This will not only improve their reading comprehension performance but also their overall academic performance.