On reading, Part 2: what the research REALLY reveals

Extremely important analysis of the historical and current research on teaching literacy, and also, importantly, what is lacking in the literacy learning scholarship.
Key takeaways:
1) Students are not able to “transfer” the literacy strategies learned into deeper, independent comprehension.
2) All teachers, in all subject areas and grade levels need to be aware that teaching literacy explicitly or through content knowledge is essential.
3) Reading results, as measured by standardized tests, have not improved despite the wealth of research on strategies that improve deeper comprehension.

Granted, and...

In a previous post I argued that the dreary and un-improving results on tests of reading comprehension mean we need to take a radical look at what we are and are not doing, especially in middle and high school. I argued in the first post that we know far too little about what real readers actually do when they face challenging text – a predictable problem of great importance in light of Common Core and college.

Here, in Part 2 of a series, I summarize the research on comprehension.

I spent three weeks reading almost everything of note written on the subject since 2000, plus seminal pieces from the 80’s. My chief reference was The Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension (2009) in which most of the top researchers in literacy summarize the state of the art of current and past research on comprehension.

Except for the bracketed comments by…

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