Date of Award

Summer 8-14-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Carole Pelttari


Content-area teachers at the middle school level are charged with finding a balance between literacy and content instruction without diluting disciplinary rigor. This literature review addressed an instructional framework, the selection of resources, qualities of an effective teacher and the plethora of research-based strategies used in content-area classrooms. The Reading Apprenticeship Approach is an instructional framework that builds on metacognitive conversations to encourage literacy routines. Diversity of text, both topical and range of difficulty, ties to motivation and is strongly influenced by technology. Adolescent learners are faced with increasingly complex text and must be explicitly taught strategies to comprehend a multitude of texts and hypermedia. Strategies are categorized into text selection; before, during and after; oral; vocabulary; fluency; study; writing; and comprehension. Effective teachers reinforce reading and writing through strategy selection that is specific to the content discipline. Content-area teachers are experts in their respective fields and must understand their role in the classroom as a role model, mentor or coach to provide scaffolding as students make sense of what they are learning. Designing a tool box of strategies where the purpose of each strategy can be explained and modeled is recommended. Introducing one strategy at a time and providing practice for mastery will lead to generalization across contexts. Ultimately, moving away from the mindset that students learned how to read in elementary school and incorporating best practices in literacy at the middle school level will ensure that students are successful.

Included in

Education Commons