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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Cumulative Content-Area Instruction in Grades 3-4-5: An Assessment of Immediate, Transfer, and Long-Term Impact on Reading Achievement

Nancy R. Romance, Florida Atlantic University
Michael R. Vitale, East Carolina University

Abstract: This poster presentation overviews the initial years' findings of a three-year study designed to investigate the cumulative effects of embedding a knowledge-based, multi-part Reading Comprehension Strategy within different instructional settings for reading comprehension instruction in grades 3-5. Considering reading comprehension as a process of identifying and assimilating meaning by interacting with text, the study integrates consensus research findings from cognitive science (e.g., expertise development) and reading/educational psychology to determine how student content-area reading comprehension proficiency can be accelerated at the upper elementary level. Specifically, the study embedded a three-part knowledge-focused Reading Comprehension Strategy (i.e., text comprehension, propositional concept/story mapping, and summarization writing sub-strategies) within two parallel classroom learning settings: (a) a science-oriented model (Science IDEAS) within which reading and writing are integrated and (b) a traditional reading/language arts curriculum (Scott-Foresman Reading) that emphasizes narrative reading. Presented within a 2 x 2 hierarchical linear models/covariance analysis framework are the effects of using the Reading Comprehension Strategy within the two instructional settings on the following measures: (a) ITBS Reading Comprehension/ Science, (b) comprehension of experimental high vs. low cohesion narrative- and science-oriented passages, (c) student-reported use of reading comprehension strategies Before, During, and After reading, (d) a multi-day cumulative content-area reading comprehension transfer task in US History, and (e) student attitude and self-confidence in reading. Complementing the presentation of the findings will be a brief overview of methodological issues in conducting ecologically-valid research to investigate reading comprehension and reading comprehension strategies within a framework of in-depth meaningful conceptual learning.