Magazine article Techniques

Reading Frameworks in CTE: Pilot Study Findings

Magazine article Techniques

Reading Frameworks in CTE: Pilot Study Findings

Article excerpt


IMPROVING COMPREHENSION SKILLS IS VITAL TO BUILDING COGNITIVE SKILLS. Reading and literacy skills enable youth to gather information and create knowledge from various sources, and then to consider solutions to problems in and about their lives from both a cognitive and a creative standpoint. By implementing disciplinary reading strategies in the career and technical education (CTE) curriculum, teachers enable all youth with the requisite skills to succeed in school, careers and daily life. The goal of reading strategy instruction is to enable students to independently select appropriate strategies, adapt them to particular texts, and employ them to solve reading problems (Pressley, Symons, McGoldrick, and Snyder, 1995).

Effective reading does not rely upon a single strategy but incorporates the coordination of several strategies (e.g., Meltzer, 2001), which improves comprehension and leads to reading more, bolsters critical reading, increases the variety of texts read, improves standardized test scores, and enhances general comprehension (National Reading Panel, 2000). Researchers (e.g., Taraban, Rynearson, and Kerr, 2000) have proposed that reading strategy instruction should be investigated in specific contexts, such as CTE. Within this research, supported by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education and conducted by a research team at Cornell University, models of reading frameworks and strategies were implemented to improve reading comprehension of CTE students, even those who struggle with reading.


The objective was to compare the effects of literacy strategy instruction under three conditions: (a) a control condition, (b) a generic CTE Reading framework, and (c) the MAX Teaching framework. The research determined if students in the intervention groups scored differently (higher) than students in the control condition on reading comprehension, vocabulary and motivation to read (for additional information, please see Authentic Literacy in CTE: Technical Report of the Spring 2009 Pilot Study in New York State).

Reading Frameworks

The MAX Teaching (Motivation, Acquisition, and extension: MAX) approach was developed by Forget (2004) and is a framework of classroom learning activities that uses systematic reading and writing in all classes and involves anticipation, realization and contemplation (Vaughn and Estes, 1986). The framework applies strategies before, during and after reading, and extends learning by incorporating cooperative learning and a skills acquisition model (Forget and Morgan, 1997). Students become engaged in learning through the use of setting purposes for reading and activating background knowledge. They acquire knowledge through guided practice, silent reading and teacher probing for understanding. Students extend knowledge through debates, discussions and other organized activities.

The CTE Reading framework was developed from a literature review of content area reading strategies and focused only in the before- and duringreading microperiods (Snow, 2002). Before students read, the embedded strategies assisted students in setting purposes for reading, activating relevant background knowledge, generating questions, and identifying problems to be solved. During reading, strategies assisted students in continuing to ask questions, rereading, checking context, monitoring comprehension, organizing information, and checking and modifying predictions. Teachers in the control group used a business-as-usual approach where they did not implement reading strategies but continued to teach with their normal teaching approaches.

When assigning texts to read, they used a routine of assigning the reading, asking students to answer questions related to the reading, and discussing the reading in class. …

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