Comprehension instruction in second grade classrooms : investigating pedagogical practices that support comprehension acquisition

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Beutel, Denise Duncan

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the ways in which teachers scaffold students’ acquisition of reading comprehension skills. This semester-long study employed ethnographic methods of data collection, including classroom observations, teacher interviews, and video and audio recordings of classroom events. Data was analyzed using the constant comparative method as described by Strauss and Corbin (1990) and discourse analysis, informed by Mercer (1987). Two case studies offer detailed portraits of the nature of comprehension instruction in second grade classrooms. Findings indicate that teacher directed scaffolding of comprehension strategies and a classroom environment that supported engagement and understanding of text afforded young readers opportunities to acquire strategies that assist in making meaning from text. Study findings also suggest that a continuum of support within teacher-led lessons provided the students occasions to observe and to participate in comprehension strategy use in a supportive context. This study offers insight on pedagogical practices that support young readers in acquiring comprehension skills and strategies.



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