Reading for Understanding

Reading for Understanding: Toward an R&D Program in Reading Comprehension

RAND Reading Study Group
Catherine Snow Chair
Copyright Date: 2002
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 184
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1465oeri
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  • Book Info
    Reading for Understanding
    Book Description:

    In fall 1999, the Department of Education's Office of Educational Researchand Improvement (OERI) asked RAND to examine how OERI might improve thequality and relevance of the education research it funds. The RAND ReadingStudy Group (RRSG) was charged with developing a research framework toaddress the most pressing issues in literacy. RRSG focused on readingcomprehension wherein the highest priorities for research are: (1)Instruction

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3227-0
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. FIGURES
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    (pp. xi-xxii)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
    Catherine Snow
  8. RAND READING STUDY GROUP AND RAND STAFF
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)

    This report presents a proposed reading research agenda drafted by the RAND Reading Study Group (RRSG). It addresses issues that the community of reading researchers urgently needs to address over the next 10 to 15 years. As a basis for the proposed agenda, this report maps the fields of knowledge that are relevant to the goal of improving reading outcomes and identifies some key areas in which research would help the education community reach that goal. The major challenges in the area of reading education include understanding how children learn to comprehend the material they are reading, how to design...

  10. Chapter Two DEFINING COMPREHENSION
    (pp. 11-18)

    We define reading comprehension as the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language. We use the wordsextractingandconstructingto emphasize both the importance and the insufficiency of the text as a determinant of reading comprehension. Comprehension entails three elements:¹

    Thereaderwho is doing the comprehending

    Thetextthat is to be comprehended

    Theactivityin which comprehension is a part.

    In considering the reader, we include all the capacities, abilities, knowledge, and experiences that a person brings to the act of reading. Text is broadly construed to include any printed...

  11. Chapter Three VARIABILITY IN READING COMPREHENSION
    (pp. 19-28)

    In this chapter, we elaborate on our definition of reading comprehension by giving examples of variations in the three reading comprehension elements—reader, text, and activity—and variations in the context in which they occur. Of course, none of these elements operates independently of the others in any authentic act of comprehension. However, we consider each in turn because each has an internal structure that deserves further consideration and that may clarify how we conceptualize these elements of reading comprehension and the interface among them.

    It is somewhat difficult to treat context in the same way as reader, text, and...

  12. Chapter Four A RESEARCH AGENDA FOR IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION
    (pp. 29-60)

    In this report, the RRSG characterizes reading comprehension in a way that the group believes will help organize research and development activities in the domain of reading comprehension. In Chapter Two, we provided a working definition for reading comprehension and outlined a framework including three core elements—reader, text, and activity—which are situated in a larger sociocultural context. Chapter Three elaborated on the elements by describing what we know about variation within them. In this chapter, the RRSG proposes a research agenda that prioritizes three specific domains of reading comprehension for future research: instruction, teacher preparation, and assessment. In...

  13. Chapter Five STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING A RESEARCH PROGRAM ON READING COMPREHENSION
    (pp. 61-72)

    Having a purposeful research agenda is only one prerequisite to developing a research program in any domain. In addition to formulating an array of desirable research activities, the education field will need to determine priorities—which aspects of the agenda to begin with and how to sequence the necessary research activities. Further, issues about the required infrastructure for the research effort must be addressed, as well as questions about how to sustain and steer the effort once it is under way so that knowledge can accumulate and its usability can be optimized. Considerations of the research methods are crucial, as...

  14. AFTERWORD
    (pp. 73-74)

    This report on a proposed research agenda for reading comprehension, like the public draft of the report issued in 2000 that preceded it, is intended to serve as a foundation for a dialog between the U.S. Department of Education and other agencies that fund education R&D and researchers and practitioners in the field of the study of reading. By consulting with researchers and practitioners, these agencies can generate the broad base of information and political support that is essential to any federally funded education R&D effort.

    The first draft of this report was commented on extensively during 2000 and 2001...

  15. Appendix A AN EXPANDED REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH ON VARIABILITY IN READING COMPREHENSION
    (pp. 75-110)
  16. Appendix B OUTLINE OF A SAMPLE REQUEST FOR APPLICATION
    (pp. 111-118)
  17. REFERENCES
    (pp. 119-146)
  18. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
    (pp. 147-156)