Qualitative research on text comprehension and the report of the National Reading Panel

Janice F. Almasi, Keli Garas-York, Lynn Shanahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examined how the report of the National Reading Panel (NRP) in 2000 might have differed if qualitative research had been included in their examination of text comprehension instruction. Electronic and hand searches yielded 12 qualitative studies meeting criteria for inclusion in the study. Each of the studies was read and coded to describe its characteristics and outcomes. We used analytic inductive methods to determine the extent to which results paralleled those of the NRP. Findings revealed that our understanding of how prior knowledge activation should be done to enhance comprehension would have been enhanced with the inclusion of these studies. As well, a better understanding of the type of instruction that can foster coordinated and flexible strategy use by readers would have been possible. Finally, the qualitative research was more recent than the experimental research the NRP examined. Overall, the inclusion of qualitative studies would have not only depicted classroom activities that enhance text comprehension but also the conceptual and theoretical manner in which those activities relate to one another to create conditions that foster text comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-66
Number of pages30
JournalElementary School Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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