Comprehension involves memory, cognition, and metacognition. Memory is the storing and then recalling and retrieving of thoughts and feelings. Cognition and metacognition are recognized as being lower- and higher-level thinking.
Comprehension occurs when someone uses his or her memory and produces a certain level of thinking that allows them to understand or to have certain knowledge about something. It means the state of being comprehended or the capacity of the mind to perceive and understand. Any teacher can tell you that comprehension is one of the key components of education, because comprehension is its main goal.
Comprehension is demonstrated through things said, and/or actions and behaviors in three applications, which are the following:
1. Literal: Fact-based evidence of comprehension. It means what is actually stated.
For example, tests in which the students will be able to think and to put in practice their skills.
2. Applied: Comparison and contrast comprehension, resulting from making connections to one’s own experience, or read or heard material. Taking what was said and then what was meant by what was said and then applying the concepts or ideas beyond the situation.
3. Implied: Inferential comprehension, based on context or illustrative material being presented in oral, visual, tactile, or kinesthetic formats. It means what is implied or meant, rather than what is actually stated.
This active orientation results in learning, which involves conceptual change modifying one’s previous understanding of concepts so that they become increasingly complex and valid.