ERIC Number: ED215307
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
A Context for Instructional Research on Reading Comprehension.
Pearson, P. David
Cognitive research of the 1970s has shown that both content factors (topical world knowledge and knowledge about textual organization) and process factors (attention, encoding, inference, retrieval, and executive monitoring) influence comprehension. Classroom research during the same decade has shown that the greater the proportion of time students spend on a task, the better their performance on the task; content covered tends to be positively related to achievement; that error rate seems to add a significant amount of power in predicting achievement above and beyond engagement and content covered; and that group instruction (particularly small group instruction) is consistently associated with positive gains in achievement. The research surveying current practices for teaching reading comprehension, however, is limited to two studies by D. Durkin that showed virtually no direct instruction in comprehension. Other recent studies have evaluated the effects of direct explicit attempts to help students develop heuristic strategies (if not rules) for dealing with a range of comprehension tasks typically required in schools. These data suggest comprehension skills can be taught. Future research should focus on explicit attempts to help students develop independent strategies for coping with the kinds of comprehension problems they are asked to solve in school. Current knowledge of basic comprehension processes and instruction, while not complete, is sufficient to allow its application to issues of reading comprehension instruction. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.