Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study was conducted to determine the effect of instruction in a metacognitive self-monitoring strategy on functional reading ability of 15- and 16-year-old learning disabled students. Metacognitive strategy training has been shown to be effective with older or better readers when used with content or narrative materials This study was unique in that the metacognitive self-monitoring instruction was provided utilizing functional or everyday reading materials. The study, which consisted of a pretest, eight periods of instruction, a posttest and a delayed test was conducted with 31 high school students indentified as having specific learning disabilities. The students were randomly assigned to either the experimental (instructional) group or the control group. The subjects in the experimental group were taught how to use a strategy called "What I Know" to help them become better readers. All of the materials used during the instructional period were functional, and an effort was made to select materials that would be of interest to high school learning disabled students. Metacognitive awareness, self-regulation and application of skills were all stressed in the structured periods of instruction. Data was analyzed using a mixed analysis of variance. Although no significant main effect was found for the between subject factor of group, or the within group factor of time, there was a significant interaction for Group x Time. This time-of-test interaction indicates that instruction improved posttest scores of the experimental group relative to the scores of the control group. In addition, positive changes in the approaches of the experimental group were noted when they addressed the tasks related to the everyday reading material. Implications for teaching and future research were discussed.