Handbook of Reading Research

By P. David Pearson | Go to book overview

7
MODELS OF THE
READING PROCESS
S. Jay Samuels and Michael L. Kamil

SOME CONTEXT

A Brief History of Models

Reading research is just a little more than 100 years old. In fact, it was the year 1879 when Emile Javal published his first paper on eye movements; James McKeen Cattell's still-cited paper on seeing and naming letters versus words (see Gough, this volume) was published in 1886. Surprisingly, serious attempts at building explicit models of the reading process—models that describe the entire process from the time the eye meets the page until the reader experiences the “click of comprehension”—have a history of a little more than 30 years, probably best marked by the publication in 1953 of Jack Holmes's famous and controversial substrata-factor theory of reading. A comparable, but earlier, emphasis on building models in the psychology of learning can be seen in the work of Hull (1943) and Tolman (1932).

This is not to say that early reading researchers were not concerned about all aspects of the reading process or that there were no scholarly pieces from which a model could be deduced fairly easily. One has but to read Huey (1908/ 1968), Woodworth (1938), or Anderson and Dearborn (1952) to refute such a claim. It is perhaps more accurate to speculate that until the mid-1950s and the 1960s, there simply was not a strong tradition of attempting to conceptualize knowledge and theory about the reading process in the form of explicit reading models.

There are a variety of factors that account for the observed burst in modelbuilding activity from 1965, say, to the present. Surely the changes that occurred in language research and the psychological study of mental processes (see Kamil, this volume) played a major role by elevating reading research to a more respectable stature. Just as surely, the advent of what has come to be known as the psycholinguistic perspective (Goodman, 1967/1976, 1970; Smith, 1971) pushed the field to consider underlying assumptions about basic processes in reading, as did a geometrically accelerating body of empirical evidence about basic processes (see Venezky, this volume).

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Handbook of Reading Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Contributors ix
  • Foreword xix
  • Preface xxi
  • Part One - Methodological Issues 1
  • 1 - The History of Reading Research 3
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 2 - Current Traditions of Reading Research 39
  • References *
  • 3 - Design and Analysis of Experiments 63
  • References *
  • 4 - Ethnographic Approaches to Reading Research 91
  • References *
  • 5 - Examples from Word Recognition 111
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 6 - Assessment in Reading 147
  • References *
  • Part Two - Basic Processes: the State of the Art 183
  • 7 - Models of the Reading Process 185
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 8 - Word Recognition 225
  • References *
  • 9 - A Schema-Theoretic View of Basic Processes in Reading Comprehension 255
  • References *
  • 10 - Listening and Reading 293
  • References *
  • 11 - The Structure of Text 319
  • References *
  • 12 - Metacognitive Skills and Reading 353
  • References *
  • 13 - Directions in the Sociolinguistic Study of Reading 395
  • References *
  • 14 - Social and Motivational Influences on Reading 423
  • Notes 443
  • References *
  • 15 - Understanding Figurative Language 453
  • References *
  • 16 - Individual Differences and Underlying Cognitive Processes in Reading 471
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Part Three - Instructional Practices: the State of the Art 503
  • 17 - Early Reading from a Developmental Perspective 505
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 18 - From Debate to Reformation 545
  • Notes 575
  • References *
  • 19 - Word Identification 583
  • References *
  • 20 - Research on Teaching Reading Comprehension 609
  • References *
  • 21 - Studying 657
  • References *
  • 22 - Readability 681
  • References *
  • 23 - Classroom Instruction in Reading 745
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 24 - Managing Instruction 799
  • References *
  • 25 - Oral Reading 829
  • References *
  • Author Index 865
  • Subject Index 891
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