Reading to learn: Theory, strategies and instructional research

Patricia L. Anders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article provides three arguments for the pervasive use of textbooks to transmit knowledge to adolescents in secondary schools. In turn, four common problems with the use of textbooks are counter-argued. These problems are responded to from a theoretical perspective that is based in schema theory and psycholinguistics. Adolescents' interaction with text can be improved with concommitant improvements in reading comprehension and Content learning by teacher choice of appropriate pedagogy. Recommendations for teacher developed activities before students read are provided. Likewise, a teacher developed activity for students use during reading and immediately after reading is provided. Finally, a sample activity for after reading is explained. The rationale for these activities is based on the assumptions of schema theory and psycholinguistics. Instructional research demonstrating the efficacy of these activities within the Content area classRoom is sparse. However, four studies supporting the use of one of the before reading activities, semantic feature analysis, are summarized. Further instructional research is called for.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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