27 SES 02 A, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
It is generally assumed that teachers’ choices of instructional models play an important role for the quality of students’ learning. A thoroughly applied theoretical framework may very well provide reasonable explanations for the advantages of one teaching method over the other. In our presentation we would like to argue for the need of stronger empirical validation of the assumed effects, in terms of students’ learning, from different models of reading instruction. The presentation will include a short introduction to the political and theoretical background of a newly started design-based research project on reading instruction and reading development. Through a series of related studies our purpose is to provide more knowledge about how reading instruction may help students, at the age of 12 to 15, to develop more advanced skills for reading and interpretation. What difference will the choice of a particular instructional frame make to students’ learning? And by what sort scientific tools may those differences be detected and explained? During the presentation we will also provide some preliminary findings from a pilot study related to the project.
International comparisons such as the PIRLS and PISA tests implicate that reading achievements of Swedish students is declining. Similar conclusions are drawn from Swedish national periodic surveys. In addition, international research has suggested that explicit classroom instruction on powerful reading strategies at a higher level is rare not only in Swedish schools but in schools in many countries. In order to work with students’ literary understanding, the previous research also proposes that teacher and students need to share an ongoing dialogue on joint reading experiences, and that students need challenging assignments which require them to think for themselves and to develop their own body of interpretive resources.
However, that students should acquire simply a set of determinate and definable skills is not a very helpful metaphor for describing the overarching objective of this instructional initiative. Rather, students should be encouraged to develop, first and foremost, an engagement in reading, and to enter upon a gradual acculturation to seeing themselves as participants in the process of literary meaning making. At the same time, teachers often speak of the need for teaching students how to “read between the lines”. This may connote being able to make inferences, to draw conclusions, to relate to previous reading experiences and so on. In this project we aim to examine the impact of explicit instruction on meta cognitive reading strategies and extensive dialogues on jointly read texts. By comparing the results from research-based teaching with the results from more common and often criticized ways of teaching we hope to provide more knowledge of the relationship between reading instruction and reading development.
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