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Beyond Direct Explanation: Transactional Instruction of Reading Comprehension Strategies

Michael Pressley, Pamela Beard El-Dinary, Irene Gaskins, Ted Schuder, Janet L. Bergman, Janice Almasi and Rachel Brown
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 92, No. 5 (May, 1992), pp. 513-555
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1001737
Page Count: 43
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Beyond Direct Explanation: Transactional Instruction of Reading Comprehension Strategies
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Abstract

Comprehension strategies are being taught in schools, with important similarities across some schools that are teaching them well. Strategy teaching typically occurs daily in these schools as part of group instruction. It is long term and complex since students are taught to coordinate traditional memory and comprehension strategies with interpretive processes. Consistent with both reader response theories and psychological theories, we refer to this approach as transactional strategies instruction: Student and teacher transactions with text are the heart of this form of instruction, with classroom discourse consisting of teachers providing support and guidance to students as they attempt to use strategies to learn regular elementary content. The limited evidence available suggests that this approach is effective and deserves research. Longitudinal experiments and quasi experiments are required, as are detailed descriptive analyses. There are many potential effects of transactional strategies instruction on classroom interactions, student reading and motivation to read, and cognitive competence in general-many more potential effects than the comprehension and memory variables that were the focus of comprehension strategies research during the last 2 decades. Research on these potential effects could yield a practical and realistic theory of comprehension strategies instruction.

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