Analysis of a Theoretical Framework

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Michael F. Marcos
EDUC 701
Dr. Gary C. Woods
November 7, 2010

Dissertation Title
Purtee Pearson, C. L. (1990). The comparison of the effects of three prereading advance organizers on the literal comprehension of fifth-grade social studies materials.

Theoretical Framework Identified and Explained
The theoretical framework is founded on the pretense that much has been written concerning the problems that many students have with the comprehension of reading materials, especially content texts--science, math, and social studies. Alexander (1988) suggested that these children may be those who have little trouble with their basal readers or trade books, yet are unable to derive meaning from what they read in content area textbooks. This difficulty is a result of a combination of factors, both within the reader and within the printed material (Vacca & Vacca,1986). One explanation for the problem that the reader has with content texts is that these materials are written on reading levels beyond the capacity of the intended reader. Textbook writers have attempted to solve this problem by simplifying terminology and shortening sentences. This "dumbing down" of material does not necessarily make it more comprehensible. When long sentences are artificially broken into series of shorter sentences, inferential relationships are often neglected. This may "complicate the reader's ability to comprehend" (Vacca & Vacca, 1986, 18). Accord- ing to Hittleman "word frequency and sentence length do not stand in simple relationship to reading disability" (1978, 118). Many other factors affect reading comprehension which readability formulas do not consider. These would include such text variables as concept load, format of material, organization of ideas (Hittleman, 1978), typography, literary form and style, and cohesiveness (Harris &Hodges, 1981). Also not taken into consideration are factors inherent within the reader, such as "motivation, reading ability, and...
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