Browsing Master's Theses by Author "Rockwood, Amanda"
The impact of integrated curriculum on students' comprehension of expository texts.Rockwood, Amanda (2015)The increasing curricular demand on K-12 students to comprehend expository texts has teachers looking for ways to improve comprehension. An integrated curriculum offers the promise of providing students with a curriculum connected across disciplines and enabling students to increase their comprehension of expository texts. To explore that promise, the research question asked was, what is the impact of an integrated curriculum on K-12 students’ comprehension of expository texts in the content areas? The most appropriate way to answer that question was with a research synthesis. The exhaustive literature review and subsequent research synthesis for this study produced four findings. The first is that a key to comprehension of expository texts at the early elementary grade levels appears to be students’ ability to make personal connections with the material being read across an integrated curriculum; the second finding is that students’ comprehension in the upper elementary to high school grade levels can be significantly impacted by activating prior knowledge for an integrated curriculum. The third finding is that when the integrated curriculum includes hands on, interactive practices for students in grades one through six, the impact on student learning behavior and academic performance, including some literacy performance, is positive. The fourth finding appears to be that integrating literacy with nearly any other subject area may produce a positive impact on student academic performance from grades three to eight. These findings then form the basis of professional development for teachers that takes the form of an information-bearing Google Site.