Children's Reading Comprehension and Assessment

Children's Reading Comprehension and Assessment

Children's Reading Comprehension and Assessment

Children's Reading Comprehension and Assessment

Synopsis

Originating in a CIERA conference at Michigan University, this book examines how readers understand text and how comprehension is assessed. It provides contexts for the study of reading comprehension, examines how vocabulary, motivation, and expertise influence comprehension, and analyses the developmental course and correlates of comprehension.

Excerpt

Reading is remarkable. For some children, learning to read seems effortless and rapid, whereas for others, it can be an arduous and frustrating chore. Reading may not be rocket science, as some pundits note, but understanding how children learn to read, how to teach reading, and how to help struggling readers have been remarkably stubborn puzzles. Researchers, educators, and policy makers have devoted an enormous amount of energy and resources at the turn of this millennium to provide proven practices and evidence-based policies that will promote literacy for all children. It is a remarkable challenge considering that many children in America go to school without speaking English fluently, without adequate nutrition and safety, without adult tuition at home, without preschool literacy experiences that prepare them to read. The cognitive mysteries surrounding teaching and learning to read may be solved long before the social and economic obstacles that thwart literacy are removed, but it will require concerted effort and scientific innovation from professionals in many disciplines. Indeed, the children who are most at risk for low literacy will need remarkable resources: personal tutoring, motivating materials, daily instruction, and genuine opportunities to learn.

There has been a renewed dedication to improve children's reading, in the United States and throughout the world. Literacy is an essential skill in an interconnected world of advanced technology. Social progress and economic growth depend on an educated population. Research reading must be viewed within these historical and global contexts to appreciate the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and nations. Likewise, this volume must be considered in context. The Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) was begun in 1996 when Elfrieda Hiebert at the . . .

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