The Causes of High and Low Reading Achievement

The Causes of High and Low Reading Achievement

The Causes of High and Low Reading Achievement

The Causes of High and Low Reading Achievement

Synopsis

This book describes all of the important factors that cause some students to have low reading achievement and others to have high reading achievement. It concentrates on the main factors that influence how much a student gains in reading achievement during a year of school, or a calendar year. An attempt is made to answer the following questions: what can educators do to increase reading achievement, and what is beyond their influence? The author is directly concerned with achievement associated with normal or typical reading. The focus of the book is on things teachers can do during an entire school year that are likely to improve the reading level and reading rate of students, which in turn, will increase their reading achievement. This effort to specify the most important causes of high and low reading achievement represents an integration of two disciplines of scientific psychology--experimental psychology and psychometrics. A glossary at the end of the book contains definitions of terms and concepts. Helpful appendices explain rauding theory, the three laws of rauding theory, and the equations that can be used to predict the accuracy of reading comprehension, provide conversions among units of rauding rate, and list the numbered equations presented in the book.

Excerpt

In this book, an attempt will be made to describe all of the important factors which cause some students to have low reading achievement and other students to have high reading achievement. This book is most relevant to researchers. However, teachers and other stakeholders, such as parents, school district personnel, government agency personnel, and legislators should find it helpful.

Researchers who read this book should be able to organize their knowledge better, and thereby improve the way they design and conduct their research. Teachers who read this book should have a better idea of how to improve their instruction in reading. When this book is read by other stakeholders, such as parents, legislators, state department personnel, and government employees dealing with education, they should be better able to evaluate what is likely to work with respect to new programs designed to increase the reading achievement of students.

Great attention will be devoted to the main factors that influence how much a student gains in reading achievement during a year of school, or a calendar year. If we can increase the reading achievement of students, then they will automatically comprehend more of what they read whenever they read. An attempt will be made to answer the following question: what things can educators do to increase reading achievement, and what things are beyond the influence of educators?

This book will be directly concerned with achievement associated with normal or typical reading. Other types of reading such as skimming, scanning, learning from difficult text, or memorizing text will not receive much attention. This book will not be concerned with helping students learn to improve their study skills, or improve their study habits, or improve their motivation to read. Instead, much attention will be directed toward the things that teachers can do during an entire school year that are likely to improve the reading level and reading rate of students, which in turn, will increase their reading achievement.

The content of this book is unique in at least nine ways. First, it defies tradition by contending that a deficiency in a reading process is not a primary cause of low reading achievement. This book will not try to fix reading processes that are malfunctioning because it will be contended that poor reading achievement has little or nothing to do with how a student is looking at the words on the page. Second, tradition will also be defied by theorizing that beginning readers should not be asked to guess at the pronunciation of words; they should not be asked to guess from context via the whole-language approach or guess from letter-sound correspondences via the phonics approach. Third, this book treats spelling quite differently from traditional instructional methods. The teaching of correct spelling is usually done for the purpose of helping children write better. One major thrust of this book is that the teaching of spelling not only helps children increase their reading level but it also helps . . .

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