Comprehension Strategies Explicated in Three Eighth Grade Social Studies Textbooks

Comprehension Strategies Explicated in Three Eighth Grade Social Studies Textbooks

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By fourth grade students are expected to have developed the ability to read assigned expository material as part of their content area instruction. However, one of the most frustrating issues middle and high school teacher's face is students' lack of prerequisite skills necessary to comprehend adequately the reading material they encounter. Fortunately, over the past twenty five years reading researchers developed explicit methods to support middle and high school students' reading and learning development. Applying explicit instruction, instructors teach students to use comprehension strategies flexibly while interacting with text. While the benefits of explicit instruction of comprehension strategies have been accepted for some time by members of the reading research community, this study determined whether seven strategies and direct explanation have been included in materials students and teachers commonly use. This study conducted a content analysis to determine whether three eighth grade social studies textbooks and their corresponding teacher editions explicated seven strategies found to enhance student comprehension and learning of expository material. These strategies included comprehension monitoring, activating background knowledge, summarization, text structure, question generation, instructional graphics, and inference. Analysis of teacher editions also determined whether the texts recommended elements of direct explanation (Duffy, 2003) to teachers as a means of enhancing students' ability to learn from text. Several key findings resulted from the analysis of the data attained. This study determined that the textbooks did explicate comprehension strategies. Analysis also identified elements of direct explanation, but this study did not find direct explanation as discussed in the literature (Duffy, 2002) to be integrated into the textbooks analyzed. The fact that the textbooks analyzed did not explicate direct explanation could have resulted from the presence of semantic confusion surrounding the term itself which limits the degree to which the efficacy of explicit instruction might become disseminated.... text to text, text to self, and/or text to world connections The role of background knowledge in forming meaning is explicated a€œThis question requires you to use your knowledge of social studies to identify the correct answera€ (ML TE p. s7).

Title:Comprehension Strategies Explicated in Three Eighth Grade Social Studies Textbooks
Author: Dana Reisboard Korin
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008

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