Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Everybody can become a better a reader

16.11.2011
Students with cognitive impairments may learn to comprehend written texts much better than commonly thought, according to Monica Reichenberg and Ingvar Lundberg, reading researchers and professors at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

‘Traditionally, we have been hesitant to challenge these students. It’s like we haven’t dared to expose them to certain things. As a result, we haven’t given them a chance to show what they are able to do. Our research project found that their potential for development is much larger than previously believed. It is therefore important that we dare to challenge the students in their nearest development zone,’ says Professor Monica Reichenberg, Department of Education and Special Education at the University of Gothenburg.

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate, Skolinspektionen, published a report in 2010 that showed that many särskolor, which are schools that provide compulsory schooling to children with intellectual disabilities, tend to prioritise a caring climate and a good emotional environment at the expense of reading comprehension training.

A matter of participation
‘Fictional texts have typically been used in this context, but we wanted to focus on factual texts from for example newspapers. We thought this would give the kids a useful tool – well, it’s actually a matter of participation and democracy,’ says Ingvar Lundberg, Professor Emeritus in Psychology and tied to the University of Gothenburg.

The project, which included 40 students in grades 7-9 and lasted for eight weeks, focused on reading of factual texts, often from 8 SIDOR – a newspaper in easy-to-read Swedish. The reading was followed up with structured conversations about the texts where Reichenberg and the teachers focused on ‘why’ questions. The purpose of the conversations was to enable the students to understand and reflect upon the content of the articles.

Structured teaching
There were a total of 82 text talks performed in small groups to ensure that each student was included. It turned out that the students were surprisingly successful at comprehending the texts.

‘Everybody can learn how to read between the lines and make reflections, but it requires well-structured teaching,’ says Reichenberg. The more discussions the students participated in, the more active they became. They for example started to ask more questions. The reading and talking also developed their skills. The project included pre- and post-testing of the students’ reading skills, and most of them performed significantly better at the end of the period.

The project was funded by the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools. 

The research project is presented in detail in the new book Läsförståelse genom strukturerade textsamtal (in Swedish) published by Natur & Kultur. The book is designed to be a teaching aid, and targets special needs teachers in particular.


For more information, please contact: Monica Reichenberg
Telephone: +46 (0)31 786 24 51, +46 (0)90 786 76 35
E-mail: monica.reichenberg@ped.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht How Humans and Machines Navigate Complex Situations
19.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A gene activated in infant and young brains determines learning capacity in adulthood
13.11.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Small particles, big effects: How graphene nanoparticles improve the resolution of microscopes

Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.

Microscopy is an important investigation method, in physics, biology, medicine, and many other sciences. However, it has one disadvantage: its resolution is...

Im Focus: Atoms don't like jumping rope

Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.

By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...

Im Focus: Images from NJIT's big bear solar observatory peel away layers of a stellar mystery

An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.

With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

The neocortex is critical for learning and memory

20.11.2019 | Life Sciences

4D imaging with liquid crystal microlenses

20.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Walking Changes Vision

20.11.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>