Enhancing comprehension of parables: Putting children through their p.a.c.e.s.

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

With multiculturalism and globalisation now a reality forAustralia and other Western countries, 'reading between the lines' is a critical skill that children need to develop as they grapple with stories and information from other socio-cultural settings. Because it contains a richness of [a] implicit information within the text, and [b] an implicit overall message, the parable is an excellent conventional literary device that can be used to facilitate this skill. This experimental study will focus on five conditions that are proposed to enhance learning: [p]ersonal meaning, [a]ction, [c]ollaboration, e]mpowerment, and [s]elf-affirmation. Four homogeneous primary groups (n ~ 20) will be compared for their comprehension of a generic parable. Group A will be the control. One condition of learning [s.] will be implemented for Group B, three conditions [s.a.c.] for Group C, and all five conditions [p.a.c.e.s.] for Group D. It is expected that there will be an increase in the comprehension of both the implicit content of the parable and its underlying message as a function of the increase in the number of conditions. Specifically, Group D will gain the highest comprehension scores, Group A will have the lowest scores and Groups B and C will have scores in between. Such results woul illustrate how educational research can inform better teaching practices˜a cause for optimism in light of recent media criticism of the profession and its training.