Impetus for Reading Comprehension: using inquiry and design based education to improve reading comprehension skills

Impetus for Reading Comprehension: using inquiry and design based education to improve reading comprehension skills

First Author: Conny Boendermaker -- Windesheim Flevoland
Additional authors/chairs: 
Marcel Staring; Hanno van Keulen
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Self-Efficacy, Teacher perceptions, Oral Language, Reading Motivation
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
In Dutch primary schools it is common practice to use methods for reading comprehension that focus on teaching reading strategies without a meaningful context. The results are unsatisfactory. The aim of this study is to explore the possibilities of inquiry and design based science and technology education as a means of improving reading comprehension skills of 9 to 12 year old Dutch students. Research indicates that oral language skills have a significant influence on reading comprehension. The objective of our study was to create a rich context for language learning in which students are challenged through sensory experiences of material (scientific or technological) phenomena in order to achieve meaningful production of language and create a context in which reading becomes meaningful.
Method, results, conclusion
The methodology of educational design research is applied. Several qualitative and quantitative instruments are used, including (video)observations and interviews, the Skills Rubric Inquiry and Design, and reading tests from PIRLS. Preliminary results indicate that primary teachers struggle with integrating language development in inquiry and design based lessons, but that they are eager to learn it, because students’ motivation in the lessons is much higher than in the traditional lessons for reading comprehension. Further results on the effects on students’ reading skills and on their skills for inquiry and design as well as the effects on teacher self-efficacy will be presented.