Maybe we don’t understand what readers really do – and why it matters
Here is an excerpt from Wiggins detailed posting.
By grantwiggins posted Wed Feb 11 2015
“How well are we doing in comprehension of text as a nation? You know the answer. We are doing poorly when it comes to genuine comprehension:
What should we infer from the data?
Numerous causes and their implied solutions, as readers know, have been proposed for flat reading scores: poverty, low expectations, inadequate background knowledge, an anti-boy bias in schools (especially in terms of book selection), IQ links to reading ability, computer games, TV, etc. etc.
The utterly flat national trend line, over decades, says to me that none of these theories holds up well, no matter how plausible each may seem to its proponents. Perhaps it’s time to explore a more radical but common sense notion: maybe we don’t yet understand reading comprehension and how it develops over time.
Maybe we have jumped to solutions before understanding the problems of naïve and superficial comprehension. Maybe we still haven’t specified, in diagnostic detail, what real readers do when they supposedly read books and articles and try to comprehend – regardless of what “good readers” supposedly do.
At the very least: it is a good time to question the premise that we understand the problem…”
Several years ago, along with two of my colleagues, we developed a strategy-based reading comprehension program for middle school students. Although it hasn’t been updated recently, I am posting the link:
Wiggins’s posting will give me a lot to think about.