ERIC Number: EJ809095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 86
Learning to Read Scientific Text: Do Elementary School Commercial Reading Programs Help?
Norris, Stephen P.; Phillips, Linda M.; Smith, Martha L.; Guilbert, Sandra M.; Stange, Donita M.; Baker, Jeff J.; Weber, Andrea C.
Science Education, v92 n5 p765-798 Sep 2008
This paper describes a comprehensive set of studies designed to assess the potential for commercial reading programs to teach reading in science. Specific questions focus on the proportion of selections in the programs that contain science and the amount of science that is in those selections, on the genres in which the science is portrayed, on the areas and topics of science covered, on the accuracy of the scientific content, on the text features used to communicate the science, and on the instructional strategies and assessment techniques recommended. The findings show that commercial reading programs have changed substantially from the days when they were dominated by literary texts and contained hardly any science. Now, there is a variety of genres and scientific content in about one fifth of the selections. The content is also generally accurate. So, there is considerable potential offered by these programs for teaching children to read science. Unfortunately, the findings also show that the recommended instructional strategies and assessment techniques do little to capitalize upon this potential. In particular, the findings demonstrate that, although most of the science is cast in the expository genre, most of the recommended instruction and assessment is more appropriate to the literary genres. (Contains 13 tables.)
Descriptors: Educational Strategies, Reading Programs, Program Effectiveness, Literary Genres, Reading Instruction, Content Area Reading, Science Instruction, Elementary School Science, Foreign Countries, Language Arts, Scientific Literacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada