reciprocal teaching, secondary science instruction, reading comprehension, reading in content areas
This action research study was conducted with 7th grade life science students at a public middle school in central Florida. The author used Reciprocal Teaching (RT) as described by Annemarie Palincsar and Anne Brown (1984) to examine changes in student comprehension when reading their life science textbook and changes in how the students used the predicting, questioning, and summarizing strategies. The RT strategies ask students to employ 4 strategies: predict what they will read, generate questions about what was read, clarify any ideas that were not understood in the reading, and summarize the main idea of the reading. Students were given a pre and post reading comprehension test, they completed reading response worksheets to record their predictions, questions, clarifications, and summaries. Students were explicitly taught the 4 strategies prior to using them and the strategies were reinforced through teacher modeling (using think aloud teaching to show students how to use the strategies) and expert scaffolding (giving students the support needed while using the strategies). The teacher-researcher also examined if the students showed change in their level of proficiency when using the strategies after they had been taught them. Analysis of data revealed that student comprehension did increase after being taught the four reading strategies. Data also showed that students became increasingly more proficient when using the strategies as the study progressed. Data analysis also uncovered the unexpected pattern of increased student participation during whole-class and reading group discussions. Further research is needed to examine the effects of teaching highly proficient students specific reading strategies and to see how the explicit instruction of reading strategies affects student participation and achievement during inquiry-based laboratory investigations.
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Master of Education (M.Ed.)
College of Education
Teaching and Learning Principles
K-8 Math and Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Bess, Brooke, "The Effects Of Reciprocal Teaching Strategies On Students' Comprehension Of A Seventh Grade Life Science Text" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3085.