The concept of understanding is related to the verb understand, which refers to understanding, justifying or containing something. Understanding, therefore, is the ability or cunning to reach an understanding of things.
For example: “Students have serious problems understanding texts”, “I am learning German, but I still have trouble understanding some concepts”, “Without understanding the rules, you will never be able to play this sport”.
Understanding is, on the other hand, tolerance or patience in a given situation. In this way, understanding people manage to justify or understand the actions or emotions of others as natural: “I understand that you are afraid, but you have to talk to her”, “If you want to talk to me, you know that you will have my understanding”.
Reading comprehension is known as the development of meanings through the acquisition of the most important ideas in a text and the possibility of establishing links between these and other previously acquired ideas.
It is possible to understand a text literally (focusing on those data explicitly exposed), critical (with informed judgments about the values of the text) or inferential (reading and understanding between the lines), among others.
The factors that influence reading comprehension are: the reader, the reading itself, the knowledge that the person has in advance and the forms used to carry out said action.
It should be noted that one of the reasons that is related to school dropout is the inability of students to understand what they read and possibly this is the responsibility of the educational system, where they are taught to read but not to understand what is read.
The reason many children are not interested in reading is because they cannot understand, and that frustrates and bores them. If at school they received more enjoyable readings or those that had more to do with their daily lives, surely there would be many more young people who would approach reading and become passionate about it.
Within education, the teaching of reading and writing is very important, because it is thanks to them that all other knowledge can be acquired. When setting the objectives of reading comprehension in education, it should be sought that students learn to use certain strategies that could help them to discern between different texts and achieve efficient learning.
It should be noted that hermeneutics (from the Greek hermeneutiké) is the discipline that is dedicated to the study of the interpretation of texts, determining the precise meaning of the terms that have been used to transmit ideas.
Understanding in communication
The listening requires the exchange between information sources and the use made of it. In other words, knowledge of the language and the world can help us understand the communication process and know what information we receive is relevant and what is not.
About the way in which the mind uses its knowledge to discern what is presented to it from the outside through communication, there are many theories. However, from everything that has been expressed in this regard, we can highlight two quite important points: the bottom-up model (the mind has only one way to process information: identifying the sounds, making a superficial analysis on them and then a semantic and structural to understand its real meaning within the communicational context in which it is found) known as bottom-up, and the top-down model (The mind uses the elements of its environment to carry out a particular analysis in each communication process. That is, the individual faces the statement globally and then decomposes the units to understand its true meaning) also called top-down.
In any case, there are other elements that intervene in oral comprehension, such as spoken language, which is encoded in different sounds, occurs at a certain moment and cannot be repeated, and is absolutely different from written language.
According to DigoPaul, to understand messages, the brain performs a certain number of functions. First it distinguishes from the message what can be useful from the rest, being able to separate between noise and words, for example. Then it decodes the acoustic aspects and manages to get the meaning of the message clean. Only then can one speak of understanding, knowing the meaning of words is not enough to understand what is being talked about.
When it comes to reading, comprehension is quite a complex and ambiguous process.
Finally, we can point out that, in logic, comprehension is the totality of the notes that form a concept. In this way, the concept “man” is understood by the notes “animal” and “rational”. For ethics, it is the fundamental virtue of understanding and accepting the facts from reasoning. Finally, in psychology the concept of understanding is linked to the ability of the person to analyze their history and understand every aspect of it.