AN INVESTIGATION OF READING COMPREHENSION INSTRUCTION AND CONTENT INSTRUCTION IN FOURTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES

MARY COYNE, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

A prevalent concern of educators is that students cannot comprehend written materials used to transmit knowledge in school. Although there has been extensive theoretical and applied research concerning prose comprehension, this research has not resulted in a consistent body of knowledge on which to base future educational methodology. This knowledge is particularly lacking in elementary content area reading, where children first experience the importance of using written material to gain knowledge, and social studies content area reading, where comprehension of facts and concepts is a prerequisite to understanding our present and past worlds. A knowledge of what is currently happening in classrooms to provide comprehension and content instruction is a required prerequisite to the further development of methods and materials. This research documented methods and materials used in fourth grade social studies to improve prose comprehension in fourth grade social studies by providing comprehension and content instruction. The following research questions were addressed: (1) What methods and materials are used by teachers in fourth grade social studies in one school district to provide comprehension instruction? (2) What methods and materials are used by teachers in fourth grade social studies in one school district to provide content instruction? (3) How do fourth grade teachers in one school district view reading in the content areas as exhibited by audiotaped social studies activities and interviews with participating teachers? How did their views evolve? The data were analyzed quantitatively (time and frequency) and qualitatively for activities, materials, and grouping patterns. Although no comprehension instruction took place, teachers provided content instruction, predominantly through the use of a whole class reading one text. The methodology employed, the social studies text itself, and methods of initial and ongoing teacher education were discussed as influences on the results.

Subject Area

Education

Recommended Citation

COYNE, MARY, "AN INVESTIGATION OF READING COMPREHENSION INSTRUCTION AND CONTENT INSTRUCTION IN FOURTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES" (1981). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8207574.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8207574

Share

COinS