Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Thomas N. Turner

Committee Members

Amy D. Broemmel, John B. Rehder, Deborah A. Wooten


This study focused on evaluating the sufficiency of research in reading in the content area used to instruct classroom teachers. The research used was conducted between 1970 and 2000 and incorporated into textbooks written between 1975 and 2005. Studies examined were those reported in the following journals: Review of Educational Research, Review of Research in Education, Social Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, Reading Research Quarterly, and Research in the Teaching of English. Some attention was also given to two major educational curriculum and issue journals- Educational Leadership and Phi Delta Kappan as these sources might identify relevant research studies for further investigation. References cited in more than one text helped identify and establish a baseline of those studies considered most significant by textbook authors.

The findings of this study showed that the majority of citations looked at the following themes: -Learners acquire meaning from the printed page through thought. -Reading can and should be done for different purposes using a variety of materials. -A number of techniques can be used to teach reading skills. -Reading materials need to be selected according to changes in a child‘s interests. -Reading ability is the level of reading difficulty that students can cope with. It depends on ability rather than age or grade level. -Readability contributes to both the reader‘s degree of comprehension and the need for teacher assistance when reading difficulty exceeds the reader‘s capability. -Reading instruction, in some form, needs to be carried on into the secondary grades.

Research findings from the 1970s were concerned with reading strategies, reading skills, reading comprehension, readability, attitudes towards reading, vocabulary, study skills, and content area reading programs.

In the 1980s research cited in content area reading books looked at reading comprehension, reading skills, vocabulary, learning strategies, curriculum issues, purposes for reading and writing, content area reading programs, readability, schema theory, thinking skills, summarizing, comprehension strategies, and cooperative learning.

By the 1990s more research cited in content area reading books focused on reading strategies, curriculum issues, how to read documents and graphs, reading skills, vocabulary, attitudes towards reading, reading comprehension, and activating background knowledge.

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