Does teaching history and science improve reading comprehension?
Submitted by Kathy_Tracey on June 4, 2018 - 9:03pm
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I invite you to review the article from the Atlantic: Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better At Reading In 20 Years. From the article,
"One of those cognitive scientists spoke on the Tuesday panel: Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who writes about the science behind reading comprehension. Willingham explained that whether or not readers understand a text depends far more on how much background knowledge and vocabulary they have relating to the topic than on how much they’ve practiced comprehension skills. That’s because writers leave out a lot of information that they assume readers will know. If they put all the information in, their writing would be tedious.
But if readers can’t supply the missing information, they have a hard time making sense of the text. If students arrive at high school without knowing who won the Civil War, they’ll have a hard time understanding a textbook passage about Reconstruction."
As adult educators, we have often focused on the background knowledge students bring to the classroom and we often bring in real world text, but I'd like to revisit the idea of multidisciplinary teaching. How do you integrate instruction for career pathways and high school equivalency programs across all of the content areas? Do you have model lessons you could share?
What tips and strategies do you have? I look forward to your ideas.