The zeitgeist of reading instruction

Reading researchers look again and again at strategies and ignore knowledge instruction, writes Dan Willingham on Answer Sheet. Why? Because it’s easier and faster to do strategy research.

Teaching children reading strategies is quick. A research project might call for 10 or 20 lessons in total, each lasting 30 minutes or less.

. . . But the hypothesis for knowledge instruction is that it takes years to make a broad impact on students’ knowledge.

As a result, there’s little research “on the impact of a knowledge-rich curriculum on reading,” he writes. The “zeitgeist” favors short-term strategies.

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