Reading Comprehension Requires Knowledge-Rich Curricula

Student gives teacher a high-five | Image by Drazen Zigic/Shutterstockv
Student gives teacher a high-five | Image by Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

A report by the Fordham Institute reveals that students tend to demonstrate greater reading comprehension when they are knowledgeable about the topic, even if they are less advanced readers:

“The Fordham report, released Wednesday, includes a review of studies on reading comprehension in schools dating back to the 1970s. It was written by Daniel Buck, an editorial and policy associate at the education reform research and analysis organization.

“One paper, known as the ‘Baseball Study’ and printed in the Journal of Educational Psychology in 1988, found that a junior high schooler’s knowledge of baseball — not their reading ability — predicted their comprehension and recall of a story they read about a half-inning of a baseball game. Both struggling readers and good readers with high knowledge of the game performed equally, as did both sets of readers who had little knowledge of baseball.

“Fordham notes that since the Baseball Study came out, other studies have confirmed that topical knowledge has a ‘huge effect’ on a reader’s ability to comprehend a text.

“Students do benefit from some reading comprehension skill-based instruction, the report said. However, those skills are strengthened by access to carefully sequenced and paced, teacher-directed instruction across multiple subjects, including social studies, science and literature.”

To read the entire article on K-12 Dive, click HERE.

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