Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2001 Issue »

    Apprenticing Adolescent Readers to Academic Literacy

    Cynthia L. Greenleaf, Ruth Schoenbach, Christine Cziko, and Faye L. Mueller
    Throughout the United States, concern is growing among educators about the numbers of students in secondary schools who do not read well. In response, committed and well-meaning educators are increasingly advocating remedial reading courses for struggling adolescent readers. In this article, Cynthia Greenleaf, Ruth Schoenbach, Christine Cziko, and Faye Mueller offer an alternative vision to remedial reading instruction. The authors describe an instructional framework - Reading Apprenticeship - that is based on a socially and cognitively complex conception of literacy, and examine an Academic Literacy course based on this framework. Through case studies of student reading and analyses of student survey and test score data, they demonstrate that academically underperforming students became more strategic, confident, and knowledgeable readers in the Academic Literacy course. Students in Academic Literacy gained on average what is normally two years of reading growth within one academic year on a standardized test of reading comprehension. Student reflections, interviews, and pre-post surveys from Academic Literacy revealed students' new conceptions of reading for understanding, their growing interest in reading books and favorite authors, their increasing repertoires of strategies for approaching academic reading, and their emerging confidence in themselves as readers and thinkers. They argue for investing resources and effort into demystifying academic reading for their students through ongoing, collaborative inquiry into reading and texts, while providing students with protected time for reading and access to a variety of attractive texts linked to their curriculum. This approach can move students beyond the "literacy ceiling" to increased understanding, motivation, opportunity, and agency as readers and learners. These findings challenge the current policy push for remedial reading programs for poor readers, and invite further research into what factors create successful reading instruction programs for secondary school students. (pp. 79-129)

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    Spring 2001 Issue


    "Improve the Women"
    Mass Schooling, Female Literacy, and Worldwide Social Change
    Robert A. LeVine, Sarah E. Levine, and Beatrice Schnell
    Education for Democratic Citizenship
    Transnationalism, Multiculturalism, and the Limits of Liberalism
    Katharyne Mitchell
    Apprenticing Adolescent Readers to Academic Literacy
    Cynthia L. Greenleaf, Ruth Schoenbach, Christine Cziko, and Faye L. Mueller
    Book Review of Sibylle Gruber's Weaving a Virtual Web: Practical Approaches to New Information Technologies
    Bettina Fabos

    Book Notes

    Conflicting Missions?
    Edited by Tom Loveless

    Three Seductive Ideas
    By Jerome Kagan

    The Social Life of Information
    By John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

    Classrooms and Courtrooms
    By Nan Stein

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