Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2006

Full Length Research Paper

Schema-based text comprehension

Ferhat Ensar
  • Ferhat Ensar
  • Yıldız Technical University, Faculty of Education, Campus of DavutpaÅŸa, Esenler Ä°stanbul, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 15 September 2015
  •  Accepted: 21 September 2015
  •  Published: 23 September 2015


Schema is one of the most common terms used for classifying and constructing knowledge. Therefore, a schema is a pre-planned set of concepts. It usually contains social information and is used to represent chain of events, perceptions, situations, relationships and even objects. For example, Kant initially defines the idea of schema as some natural structures that enable us to comprehend nature. According to the perspective of Kant who is a strong nativist, the provided opportunities of human mind help us to comprehend temporal relations and their components. In the 1930s, a content of schema idea similar to Kant’s was represented again in a more planned and intentional way by Bartlett from Cambridge University in his study “Remembering: A Study in Experimental and Social Psychology (1932/reprint,1950)” Therefore, it is vital for readers to compute information using textual or discourse-related means and integrate their background information in the boundries of textual content and context. Although it is related to the past, Bartlett’s approach “[s]chema is an active organization of past experience and reactions. Environmental stimulus contribute to these organized schema” is successful to protect its effects even in today thanks to abstraction of linguistic ideas (cognitive psychology and language), language processing and examination of memory in its natural context. Considering that children who attend elementary school constantly live in close contact with “verbal or written discourse products”, the only certainty for all these efforts to comprehend is that it is necessary to continue to produce data for all grade levels until a more integrated approach, supported by more comprehensive and reliable data, is developed. Considering that the research on text interpretation processes have not yet provided an applicable, stand alone alternative, it is evident that such an alternative must benefit from a versatile and interdisciplinary network of information. Furthermore, it is known in the literature on the subject that countless discussions have been and will be held around the scope in question. For instance, despite all the scientific discussions, no assumptions on the nature and processes of text interpretation independent of statements of other fields can be developed.

Key words: Schema, world knowledge, text/discourse structure, information processing.