Matthew's Effect & Schema Theory

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Teaching reading to students is a complex and often paradoxical venture. As an adult it is difficult to remember one’s own personal struggle with learning to read and even more difficult to relate to the struggling beginning reader. Teaching in a special education classroom adds additional challenges, when the typical structure cannot be clearly defined and the rolls of both the teacher and student have an ever changing nature. These factors make teaching reading a challenging activity for even the best paring of teacher and student. Now consider applying both how the Matthew’s Effect influences one reading success and the role that one’s own schema can either work for or against a struggling readers chances of success. The "Matthew Effect" refers to a pattern of increasing advantage or disadvantage following an initial advantage or disadvantage. Stanovich, who coined the term, and developed the theory as it relates to developing reading comprehension, explains the theory as the notion that over time, better readers get even better, and poorer readers become relatively poorer. For example, children who come from poor economic neighborhood are often not given the opportunity to become exposed to the necessary amount of material at the primary school education level then would their same academic peers in a more affluent neighborhood where their parents were able to afford both the time and the finical means to have allow for adequate and even extra reading enrichment opportunities. This is especially critical for children with special needs. Many of the children whose families are located in low economic area often struggle in school for many years without a proper diagnosis and access to the educational assistance that would allow them to excel academically. This allows for the children to develop a negative attitude regarding reading and adapt avoidance skill toward the task of reading. For students with negative attitudes towards and a lack of practice...
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