Helping Students “Do School”: Examining the Impact of Understanding Text Organization on Student Navigation and Comprehension of Textbook Content

Deborah Beth Scott, Mariam Jean Dreher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As students proceed through school, they are expected to comprehend complex texts but may not have the necessary competencies to do so. This study examined the impact of teaching text organization of lengthy social studies textbook passages on student comprehension of the content contained there. Over a 10-week period, 205 sixth-grade students received either routine social studies instruction or instruction on identifying rhetorical patterns used to organize textbook content and on constructing graphic representations of that content. The effectiveness of the intervention was measured by comparing graphic representations and written summaries generated by participants before and after instruction. A mixed between-within subjects ANOVA showed a statistically significant interaction between time and treatment on graphic representation and written summary scores for the intervention group indicating that explicit instruction in rhetorical patterns facilitates recognition of key information and supporting details in text. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReading Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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