Flesch Chapter 5: Reading Comprehension

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    The 1950's and 1960's

    The Early Days of Reading comprehension research
  • Substrata Factor Theory

    Holmes recognized that reading is a combination of a multiplicity of skills and processes. As readers become more advanced, we all use these skills to comprehend information.
  • "What Reaserach Says to the Teacher of Reading"

    Written by Robinson in 1954, this book began to revolutionize how people percieved reading.
  • Introducing...higher-level thinking

    Robinson's book included advice for teachers asking questions, when comprehesion begins, reading maturity, and why teachers should meet individual students' needs. Emphasized that students need to think, and that literal questioning was too easy. Even an emphasis on informal assessments.
  • Behaviorism's impact on reading comprehension

    In the 1960's, the focus of reading was on visual, graphic symbols translated into oral code. Comprehension was comprehension of speech produced by the reader.
  • Reading as a transdiscipinary field

    During the 1960's, reading became the interest of several different fields of study. Linguists like Fries (1963) and Chomsky (1965) emphasized the connection between language, reading, writing, and speaking.
  • Psycholinguistics

    Goodman's "A Linguistic Study of Cues and Miscues in Reading" (1965), he argued that errors in oral reading were insights into a child's reading. He coined the term "miscue."
  • Research not put into practice

    Despite the revolutionary reading theories proposed in the 1960's, practice did not change. Despite Goodman's theories work in teh language arts and Marie Clay's Emergent Learning Theory, reading and writing were taught seperately, and phonics was the staple in teaching reading practice.
  • Reappearance of schema theory

    For the first time since the early 20th century psycholinguists began to publish their work.
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    Reading comprehension in the 1970's

    During the 1970's several prominent researchers emerged. These included Smith, Kinishc, Rumelhart, Rosenblatt, Durkin and Vygotsky.
  • Thinking while we read, a novel idea

    In 1971, Smith, a psycholinguist, wrote "Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning to Read." He argued that we learn to read and that it is merely coincidence that it is visual--we, in fact, do not need to see to create understanding. Also, we make predictions while we read and that literacy experiences are focused on making meaning.
  • 1978 Seminal Texts

    Several seminal publications appeared in 1978 including Pearson and Johnson's "Teaching Comprehension," Vygotsky's "Mind in Society" which was translated into English, introduced the theory of zone of proximal development. Also, Durkin published his article finding that teachers spent far more time testing students on reading comprehension than they did teaching it.
  • 1978 Seminal Texts Cont...

    Rosenblatt published "The Transactional Theory of Literary Work," which stressed the subjective nature of reading and the fluid nature of the reader and text--readers actually transact with texts.
  • Classroom implications of the 70's

    Practice in the 1970s revolved around basal reading programs and teachers as classroom managers. However, the foundation was set for a new way of thinking about how we read and how to teach students to use shema, text structure, etc to improve reading comprehension.
  • The 1980s...

    Theories from the previous 30 years went into practice in the 1980's and it was characterized by rich, meaningful developments in reading. Schema, teaching comprehension strategies, scaffolding, and whole language movement emerged.
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    Reading comprehension in the 1980's

  • Reading as part of a social experience

    Vygotsky's scaffolded teaching and learning emphaisized that students learn best by being exposed to new material little bits at a time. Social context (like dialect) helps students gain understanding in reading as well.
  • Bundling comprehension strategies

    Roehler and Duffy as well as Palincsar and Brown advocated for the bundling of reading comprehension strategies like self-questioning, summarizing, rereading, etc. helps students deepen their understanding.
  • Whole Language Theory

    Whole language theory stressed the importance of authentic literature and the writing process as a part of learning to read for comprehension.
  • Thinking about thinking...

    QAR, reciprocal teaching and metacognition take hold, placing importance on students thinking about their own learning.
  • The 90's...

    The 1990s saw the decline of whole language and the emergence of the importance of reading teachers and the emergent theory. However, there was also a noticable lack of interest concerning reading comprehension.
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    Reading comprehesion in the 1990's

  • Contructing meaning in the 90's void

    Dole, Duffy, Roehler and Pearson provided comprehension strategies focused on the construction of meaning; prediction, generating questions, determining importance, drawing inferences and self-monitoring.
  • Continuous growth and change...

    Almasi describes discussions as forums for constructing meaning and sharing resopnses. Students' consturcts are continually transformed by their experiences and interactions with others.
  • 90's reading comprehension in the classroom

    Comprehension did not recieve the attention it did in the 1980's, however there were developments in areas such as engagement theory, vocabulary and discussion--all directly related to comprehension.
  • Teaching for teachers

    Moving into the 21st century, research continued to show that teachers did not know how the teach reading using comprehension strategies. Pearson argued that research was not finding its way into the classroom and that professional development must be implemented.
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    Reading comprehension in the 21st century

  • Critical Literacy

    Movement beyond the text to understanding the relationship that exists between the author and the reader--and recognizing that the reader has the right to criticize, quesiton and analyze the author's message.