Reaping the Rewards of Reading for Understanding

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This National Academy of Education (NAEd) report synthesizes findings from scholarship conducted over the past decade as part of a large-scale federal investment by the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to improve reading comprehension of U.S. students. To support this undertaking, IES launched the Reading for Understanding Initiative, which invested approximately $120 million in grant funding to six research teams charged with focusing on improving reading comprehension for students in pre-K through grade 12. This initiative responded to concern that children’s improvement in reading comprehension had leveled off over the previous few decades, coupled with the observation that research on reading comprehension had sufficiently matured to warrant a major investment in leveraging that research to improve student performance.

The Reaping the Rewards of the Reading for Understanding Initiative report articulates findings and common themes concerning the nature and development, assessment, and the enactment of curriculum and instruction of reading comprehension. It synthesizes work both within and across the six research teams, reviewing over 200 scholarly articles from this substantial and unprecedented effort to determine what has been learned about understanding and improving reading comprehension. Key findings include: (a) the importance of emphasizing comprehension in pursuit of knowledge and insight; (b) redoubling our efforts to enhance language development, both oral and written, for students across the age-span; and (c) changing the culture of classrooms to emphasize collaboration, deep comprehension, critique, and the generative use of comprehension. Additionally, this project includes a paper that is a conceptual review of technology-related reading comprehension research, as well as research related to multimodal meaning-making (both digital and nondigital) and reading comprehension in out-of-school contexts, in order to highlight future directions for reading comprehension research that complement those indicated by the RfU teams.

Reaping the rewards
of the
reading for understanding initiative

 

Editors

P. David Pearson, University of California, Berkeley

Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, University of Michigan

Gina Biancarosa, University of Oregon

Amy I. Berman, National Academy of Education

CONTENTS

   Front Matter 

   Acknowledgements

   Executive Summary

1. Introduction to the Reading for Understanding Initiative

 Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar; P. David Pearson, Amy I. Berman, and Peter Afflerbach  

 APPENDIX 1-1 DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURAL ELEMENTS FOR DEVELOPING THIS REPORT

2. The Nature and Development of Reading for Understanding

  Gina N. Cervetti

3. The Assessment of Reading for Understanding

   Panayiota Kendeou

   APPENDIX 3-1 BRIEF REVIEWS OF READING FOR UNDERSTANDING ASSESSMENTS

4. Teaching Reading for Understanding: Summarizing  the Curriculum and Instruction Work of the Five Core Reading for Understanding Teams

Gina Biancarosa, Peter Afflerbach, and P. David Pearson

 APPENDIX 4-1 PUBLISHED MEASURES USED IN THE READING FOR UNDERSTANDING PORTFOLIO OF EFFICACY STUDIES REPRESENTED IN CHAPTER 4 AND 5

 APPENDIX 4-2 DEMOGRAPHIC DATA FOR READING FOR UNDERSTANDING TEAMS’ RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS

5. Teaching Reading for Understanding: Synthesis and Reflections on the Curriculum and Instruction Portfolio

   Peter Afflerbach, Gina Biancarosa, Matthew Hurt, and P. David Pearson

6. Taking Stock of the Reading for Understanding Initiative

 P. David Pearson, Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, Peter Afflerbach, Gina N. Cervetti, Panayiota Kendeou, Gina Biancarosa, Jennifer Higgs, Miranda Fitzgerald, and Amy I. Berman

   Biographical Sketches of Steering Committee Members and Authors

Additional Resources:

New Media, New Literacies: Implications for Reading for Understanding

          Miranda Fitzgerald, Jennifer Higgs, and Annamarie Sullivan Palincsar

Steering Committee Members


Contact


  • Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar (Co-chair)

    University of Michigan

  • Donald Compton

    Florida State University

  • Kenji Hakuta

    Stanford University

  • Laura Justice

    The Ohio State University

  • John Sabatini

    The University of Memphis

  • Sharon Vaughn

    The University of Texas at Austin

  • P. David Pearson (Co-chair)
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Susan Goldman
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Glynda Hull
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Christopher Lonigan
    Florida State University
  • Catherine Snow
    Harvard University and Strategic Education Research Partnership

Amy I. Berman, Deputy Director

This project and research reported here were supported by grant R305U160002 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The opinions expressed are those of the editors and authors and do not represent the views of IES.

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