Grade 6 analyses support a conclusion that the reading development process in elementary grades has been completed, and that reading comprehension at this grade is primarily an indicator of students' proficiency in selecting efficient ways to gain meaning from text.
- Additional topics!
- Activating Prior Knowledge.
- Strategies to Help Students with Dyslexia Improve Reading Comprehension!
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Alexander, P. Stages and phases of domain learning: The dynamics of subject-matter knowledge, strategy knowledge, and motivation. In: C. McCombs eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. The interaction of domain-specific and strategic knowledge in academic performance, Review of Educational Research — CrossRef Google Scholar. The research base for APA's learner-centered psychological principles.
Content, domain, and word knowledge: Relationship to comprehension of narrative and expository text
Activating Prior Knowledge
Click to Log In. Students, however, do not have the disciplinary knowledge necessary to make these evaluations. Skillful reading of science is in part dependent upon students gaining that disciplinary knowledge. What are students required to do as they read science texts? Typically, they are required to master a knowledge base that represents the current understandings of the scientific community.
These understandings involve the identification of various elements and their function in carrying out common processes. For example, students are required to identify the parts and understand the workings of the human digestive system.
21 Ways to Build Background Knowledge—and Make Reading Skills Soar
They are also often required to solve problems or to make predictions about processes based upon their scientific understandings. For example, a student who understands the path of a projectile and how it is calculated might be asked to determine the time it would take a projectile to reach the ground if it were launched at a certain speed at a certain trajectory from a certain height. In other words, students must be able to understand the vocabulary and concepts of what they read and apply that understanding in new contexts. In trying to understand the processes of science, students may need to suspend their own ideas in favor of scientific evidence.
In the study of gravity, for example, students often have erroneous conceptions of how gravity works based upon their intuitive but scientifically disproven assumptions. Students may believe that a heavier object will fall faster than a lighter one, when, in reality, weight or mass do not influence the speed of a projectile as it falls to Earth.
Scientists know that weight has no influence because they have performed controlled experiments. Students must suspend their intuitive beliefs to learn the scientific information, and those who understand the assumptions of the scientific method will more likely engage in that learning than students who do not.
Science texts are often seen as difficult to understand. Students complain that concepts are not sufficiently elaborated, the material assumes a level of background information that exceeds theirs, the vocabulary is too dense, and the content is dull. Texts are even harder to understand when students begin their reading harboring misconceptions about the content that interfere with their understanding. Researchers have found that refutational text, or text that explicitly describes erroneous understandings and explains why they are erroneous, is more effective at helping students to learn counterintuitive ideas.
The procedures in science classes for demonstrating students' understandings are varied, including answering literal, inferential, and applied questions on multiple-choice tests; solving numerical problems; writing descriptive essays; writing field notes; making charts, graphs, and diagrams; and writing scientific reports. Students are required to have elaborative understandings of current conceptions of the working of the natural world, and they must have a number of strategies for learning at their disposal. The case of literature. Literature has its own disciplinary traditions. Knowledge of the way that literary experts refer to such elements as genre, characterization, theme, conflict, symbolism, and language use is important.
In addition, experts in literature often engage in various kinds of interpretation, for example, putting a feminist, Marxist, Freudian, or postmodern spin on the interpretation of a piece of literature. Experts in literature understand the different perspectives that are part and parcel of the field. They understand that literary criticism has evolved over time; that the relationship of the author, the text, and the reader and their importance in interpretation have fluctuated; and that arguments rage over what is important for students to read the canon versus multicultural literature, for example.
Students may not have this disciplinary knowledge but would benefit by it.
Students need to develop a common language with which they can discuss and write about their interpretations of text, and the tradition in literature classes is for the demonstration of disciplinary expertise to be in essay form. In addition, they are often expected to apply their knowledge of the elements of certain genres by engaging in writing literary texts themselves, such as in writing poetry or short stories.
And they are sometimes required to write reports about authors or certain literary traditions. In addition, reading texts in these disciplines requires vocabulary knowledge and strategic effort. But the disciplines are different. For example, science is well-structured, history less well-structured, and literature relatively unstructured in relation to what is agreed upon as being "known.
When discussing strategy use, educators find it useful to make a distinction between teacher-generated and student-generated strategies.
In both cases, however, content area specialists argue about whether general strategies can be used and applied across subject areas or whether strategies must be discipline specific. In reality, probably both ideas are true. An example of a teacher-directed strategy is list-group-label. In this pre-reading strategy, the teacher solicits and makes a list of all the information students already know about the content of what they are about to read.
Then, she directs the students to group the items in the list into meaningful groups and to label each meaningful group.
From this activity, the teacher finds out what the students already understand and can, thus, be more effective in bridging any gaps between information in the text and student knowledge. In addition, the activity can be used to generate a list of questions that might be answered by the text.
Related Knowledge and Strategy (Knowledge Reader)
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