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Modeling and Understanding Texts in Learning Contexts 1455
The paper focuses on the role of mediation in adolescent learning and, in particular, on the development of the ability to understand scientific/popular scientific texts in adolescents. The hypothesis was that compre- hension of a science text requires a highly developed conceptual thinking in the field of knowledge to which the text refers and therefore cannot be formed simply through 'teaching one to read'. The paper describes how modeling in the learning context was organized using an experimental school course in biology ("Evolution" section for 9th class) and gives a logical/object-oriented and logical/psychological analysis of the introduction of a concept of natural selection. The outcomes of the final diagnostics of four groups of 9th class students of Moscow schools (the total of 131 students) using a technique created by the authors revealed significant dif- ferences in reading comprehension between the students of experimental classes (that is, the ones participat- ing in the developmental research) and the students of control classes who were taught the theory of evolution in a traditional way.
Keywords: reading literacy, reading comprehension, sign mediation, modeling in learning contexts, theory of evolution, natural selection.