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Help for locating disciplinary literacy resources.


Gewertz, Catherine. "Districts Gear Up for Shift to Informational Texts." Educational Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review 78.1 (2012): 10-14 . Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 9 June 2015.

The entire article is available in EBSCO's Education Full Text database.

"The Common Core State Standards' emphasis on informational text arose in part from research suggesting that employers and college instructors found students weak at comprehending technical manuals, scientific and historical journals, and other texts pivotal to work in those arenas. The common core's vision of informational text includes literary nonfiction, as well as historical documents, scientific journals, technical manuals, biographies, autobiographies, essays, speeches, and information displayed in charts, graphs, or maps, digitally or in print. Helping students tackle complex examples of such genres across the disciplines--from English to engineering--bolsters them for work and higher education by building foundational knowledge, vocabulary, and literacy strategies, common-core advocates contend. Many states and districts are responding to the new emphasis on nonfiction with new materials and training. But as this article points out, funding for professional development and instructional materials that reflect new standards is at issue."

Harvey, Stephanie, and Anne Goudvis. "Comprehension at the Core." Reading Teacher 66.6 (2013): 432-439.
Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 9 June 2015.

The entire article can be found in EBSCO's Education Full Text database.

"As teachers, we have both the power and the responsibility to create classrooms full of eager, curious, and active readers and learners. Teaching students to become strategic readers and thinkers and to actively use the knowledge they glean from reading are the focus of the comprehension practices discussed in this article. A longstanding research tradition suggests that comprehension strategies are best taught as tools for reading and learning, so that students acquire and use a repertoire of thinking strategies that further engagement and understanding. To become literate in the broadest sense of the term, students must learn to read, write and think across disciplines, evaluating information, asking questions and engaging in dialogue. The authors suggest principles and practices that keep comprehension at the core of 21st century teaching and learning."


Lee, Carol D., Anika Spratley, and York Carnegie Corporation of New. "Reading In The Disciplines: The Challenges Of Adolescent Literacy. Final Report From Carnegie Corporation Of New York's Council On Advancing Adolescent Literacy." Carnegie Corporation Of New York (2010): ERIC. Web. 9 June 2015.

This entire article is available through ERIC at:

"Adolescents may struggle with text for a number of reasons, including problems with a) vocabulary knowledge, b) general knowledge of topics and text structures, c) knowing of what to do when comprehension breaks down, or d) proficiency in monitoring their own reading comprehension. Most recent literacy initiatives target younger readers and attempt to instill basic decoding and comprehension skills. But struggling adolescent readers in schools face more complex and pervasive challenges. Supporting these readers as they grapple with the highly specific demands of texts written for different content-areas will help prepare them for citizenship, encourage personal growth and life-satisfaction on many levels, and open up opportunities for future education and employment. In this paper, the authors focus on one foundational aspect of adolescent literacy that has been relatively ignored by recent reports on the problem. Their starting point is the fact that the major difference between reading in grades K-5 and reading in grades 6-12 is the transition from "learning to read to reading to learn." The latter skill brings into play numerous academic concepts and modes of reasoning, primarily through the act of reading. Adolescents often need more sophisticated and specific kinds of literacy support for reading in content-areas, or academic disciplines. The authors call this more advanced form of literacy required of adolescent readers "disciplinary literacy" because each academic discipline or content-area presupposes specific kinds of background knowledge about how to read texts in that area, and often also requires a particular type of reading. In this paper, the authors address the following: (1) define and illustrate what is entailed in comprehending texts within and across academic disciplines; (2) examine what the empirical research base says about reading comprehension generally and reading in the disciplines specifically; and (3) briefly discuss the implications of this research base for teaching and assessments. They conclude with some recommendations for improving policy and practice in the area of disciplinary literacy. (Contains 1 endnote and 10 boxes.) [For related reports, see "Adolescent Literacy Programs: Costs of Implementation. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535296); "Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Adolescent Literacy for College and Career Success. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535318); "Measure for Measure: A Critical Consumers' Guide to Reading Comprehension Assessments for Adolescents. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535299); "Adolescent Literacy and Textbooks: An Annotated Bibliography. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535323); and "Adolescent Literacy Development in Out-of-School Time: A Practitioner's Guide. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535304).]"


McKeown, Margaret G., Isabel L. Beck, and Ronette G. K. Blake. "Rethinking Reading Comprehension Instruction: A Comparison Of Instruction For Strategies And Content Approaches." Reading Research Quarterly 44.3 (2009): 218-253. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 8 June 2015.


Reports from research and the larger educational community demonstrate that too many students have limited ability to comprehend texts. The research reported here involved a two-year study in which standardized comprehension instruction for representations of two major approaches was designed and implemented. The effectiveness of the two experimental comprehension instructional conditions (Content and Strategies) and a control condition were compared. Content instruction focused student attention on the content of the text through open, meaning-based questions about the text. In strategies instruction, students were taught specific procedures to guide their access to text during reading of the text. Lessons for the control approach were developed using questions available in the Teacher 's Edition of the basal reading program used in the participating classrooms. Student participants were all fifth graders in a low-performing urban district. In addition to assessments of comprehension of lesson texts and an analysis of lesson discourse, three assessments were developed to compare student ability to transfer knowledge gained. The results were consistent from Year 1 to Year 2. No differences were seen on one measure of lesson text comprehension, the sentence verification technique (SVT). However, for narrative recall and expository learning probes, Content students outperformed Strategies students, and occasionally, the Basal control students outperformed Strategies students. For one of the transfer assessments, there was a modest effect in favor of the Content students. Transcripts of the lessons were examined and differences in amount of talk about the text and length of student response also favored the Content condition.

Link to full text of the article here


Robertson, Dana A., et al.  "Re-Envisioning  Instruction." Reading Teacher  67.7 (2014): 547-559. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 9 June 2015.

This entire article is available within EBSCO's Education Full-Text database.

"The adoption of the Common Core State Standards has raised the achievement ante for students, and the instructional ante for teachers, too. Across disciplines, all students, even those reading below grade level, are now expected to read grade level texts and to access texts of increasing complexity. Such access requires an instructional approach that incorporates the types of support that can make it possible for struggling readers to achieve the CCSS. Research shows that effective instruction for struggling readers must not only meet readers where they are, but also integrate three key elements: motivation and engagement, intensity of instruction, and cognitive challenge. This article examines why a reconceptualization of instruction incorporating these key elements is crucial for accelerating the learning of students who struggle, and then describes an upper-elementary learning context that illustrates how the three elements can be woven into instructional planning."



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