Teaching reading in the 21st century: A glimpse at how special education teachers promote reading comprehension

Janette K. Klingner, Jennifer Urbach, Deborah Golos, Mary Brownell, Shailaja Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we conducted 124 observations of 41 special education teachers teaching reading to their third- through fifth-grade students with learning disabilities to determine the extent to which and in what ways they promoted students' reading comprehension. In 42 lessons, we did not observe any comprehension instruction. In 30 lessons, the only comprehension-related activity consisted of asking students questions about what they had read by means of mostly factual, rote-level questions. In 49 lessons, teachers provided additional comprehension instruction, although this mostly consisted of prompting students to use a strategy rather than providing explicit instruction. Predicting was the most common strategy observed. We rarely saw teachers use more complex strategies, such as finding the main idea or summarizing. Most special education teachers seemed unsure of how to promote their students' reading comprehension. We noted many missed opportunities to do so. Our findings suggest implications for researchers and teacher preparation programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-74
Number of pages16
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

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