An alternate plan paper titled “Reading Comprehension in the Secondary Classroom” written by Rowe Novotny and Kathryn Grace seeks to address the issue of teaching comprehension strategies for secondary education. The paper explores available research related to the area of study at the secondary level to determine the most viable strategies for determining students’ comprehension skills. It is clear from the introduction to the first chapter that the issue of mastering academic content is one that requires comprehensive research. The authors start by saying that even though comprehension is an essential skill for the achievement of post-secondary goals, numerous students do not have sufficient comprehension of reading materials (Novotny & Grace, 2011). They state that all teachers have to provide their students with efficient comprehension strategies so they would become successful readers.
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Another part of the paper provides a literature review focusing on the following aspects of the issue: reading comprehension and the important elements, comprehension strategies, and implementation by teachers. Taking into consideration that the problem of reading comprehension in the secondary classroom is extremely complicated and multifaceted, the authors create a clear presentation of the issue focusing on the most important strategies. They sum up the section dedicated to the process of reading comprehension and its important elements by saying that all secondary teachers have to focus on the following elements of reading: vocabulary building and vocabulary instruction, comprehension strategies, and the development of professional skills of educators (Novotny & Grace, 2011). The next part of the paper is devoted to the analysis of existing comprehension strategies. The authors review four academic papers that indicate question asking and answering, summarization, story mapping, graphic organizers, generation of questions, and monitoring comprehension as the most important methods for increasing comprehension of reading materials (Novotny & Grace, 2011). Novotny and Grace close the last section of the second chapter of the paper by providing the following strategies for implementation of comprehension techniques: prediction, questioning, summarizing, and clarifying (2011).
The third chapter of the paper discusses strategies for teaching comprehension methods. It focuses on the instruction, practice, and independent reading in class (Novotny & Grace, 2011). It should be noted that the authors recognize the importance of the use of comprehension strategies at home. Moreover, they stress the necessity to inform students’ parents about comprehension strategies to encourage the habit of reading. Furthermore, Novotny and Grace acknowledge a lack of consensus among scholars on the most important comprehension methods and argue that “several strategies should be taught in combination for the best result” (2011, p. 24). However, the authors do not provide any empirical evidence to support their claim thereby weakening the argument. They also imply that text structure plays a significant role in the comprehension process; nonetheless, they fail to explain how the overall organization of a text influences the mental action of a reader. Therefore, it could be argued that more extensive research in the subject area would have provided a more accurate view of the topic. It should be noted that the method of data selection is not appropriate for the research area. Even though the quality of all articles selected for the study has been assessed by peer review, it is clear that some of them are outdated. Nonetheless, the paper provides an objective perspective on the issue of teaching comprehension strategies for secondary education.
Novotny, R., & Grace, K. (2011). Reading Comprehension in the Secondary Classroom. Theses, Dissertations, and Other Capstone Projects, Paper 102.