also called prior knowledge is all the understanding of events and experiences the reader possesses. Humans are thought to possess two learning systems: 1) rote that stores disconnected facts and 2) associative that stores facts, terms, etc. that are all associated with each other in a huge, complex network. For example, when we hear the word carnation, our associative memory helps us not only think of a carnation, but of all the other types of flowers we know as well as all facts, terms, feelings, emotions and places or events we have been that have included flowers. So, background knowledge is all that we know about the world. It helps us to understand what we read by our thoughts connecting to or associating with all that we have experienced in our life.
the knowledge and understandings of the world that students have acquired through their everyday experiences -- riding in cars or buses, playing and talking with other children and adults, that help them to make sense of the texts they read.