Textbook readability study produces surprising results
Istation would like to congratulate Vice President of Curriculum and doctoral student Tracey Roden on her recent publication in a peer-reviewed journal!
Roden worked with a classmate and a professor to test the readability of social studies textbooks for students in grades 3 – 6. They found that all of the textbooks assessed were written above grade level.
Their study was published in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Teacher Action Research, a peer-reviewed online journal that allows teachers to share research about classroom practices.
“It’s exciting to see a project you put so much effort into being shared in a public way,” Roden said.
Before joining the Istation team, Roden spent 10 years as a classroom teacher. She said if she had read this type of research while she was still in the classroom, it would have made a difference. She offers current teachers some advice:
“I would be running more readability assessments on textbooks and content,” she said. “You’re trusting that it is written at the right level. But readability tests, which are now available online, give so much information.”
If teachers discover that their assigned textbooks are written above grade level, Roden suggests using other strategies to supplement instruction.
“This is really action research,” she said. “You can conduct your own research and use those findings to improve what’s happening in your classroom.”
Roden has almost finished her coursework and will soon begin working on her comprehensive exam and dissertation.