Source: Hattan, Courtney & Lupo, Sarah. (2020). Rethinking the Role of Knowledge in the Literacy Classroom. Reading Research Quarterly. [In press]
Abstract: Knowledge plays an inarguably critical role in reading comprehension. When considering the science of reading, it is important to engage with varying theoretical frameworks and empirical research that inform our collective understanding regarding the intersection of knowledge and literacy in K-12 classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this commentary is to consider sociocultural and cognitivist perspectives on the role that knowledge plays throughout the reading process as well as examine whose knowledge matters. We then address three tensions related to the role of knowledge in K-12 literacy instruction and offer research-based perspectives on how educators, researchers, school leaders, parents and community leaders can rethink knowledge to support children in learning from texts. First, we reframe the knowledge gap and suggest ways that teachers can privilege children’s knowledge as assets during literacy instruction. Second, we address the importance of supporting children in activating, integrating, and revising their knowledge during text processing, and suggest evidence-based instructional techniques that support students’ learning from texts. Finally, we contend that content knowledge is not the only type of knowledge that matters in reading and suggest how teachers can support readers in using other types of knowledge that are crucial to comprehension.