Evaluation Of A Social Studies Classroom

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Comparisons to Other Research
As previously stated, there has not been a large amount of study conducted in regards to reading comprehension in a social studies classroom. The lack of research into this area could, in-part, be blamed on the assumptions of secondary teachers believing that elementary teachers have provided the proper reading instruction that would prepare their students to be adept and strategic readers (Bintz, 1997). Assumptions are easy to make, and, it humbles me to say, that this study has cured me of my own assumptions regarding the students’ knowledge in regards to taking notes and creating outlines. According to Doty et al. (2003), students can build meaning from text by forming plausible connections between the information they are reading and any prior knowledge they may have on the topic. Sometimes, as was discovered in this study, there is no prior knowledge to use in deciphering the text. What can a student do if they have no prior knowledge of the topic they are reading? What if they are reading the text, but not understanding what they are reading?
Strategies are needed in order to help students examine their thoughts as they read (Tovani, 2000). There has been success in the use of graphic organizers to analyze text. In the case of sequential charts, students can identify relevant information, organize it into a chart, and then interpret the information and patterns (Hennings, 1993). While this method can be beneficial, there is still a great
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