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Prior Knowledge is the Key to Reading Comprehension
“The most important factor in comprehension isn’t mastering strategies: it’s how much knowledge a reader has of the topic. In one widely replicated experiment, students who scored poorly on a reading test but knew a lot about baseball outperformed “good readers” who knew little about baseball—when the reading passage was about baseball. comprehension strategies endorsed by the panel all rely on activating prior knowledge—which means they only work if a reader has enough background knowledge to understand the text in the first place. “
This excerpt is from an article written by Natalie Wexler, education contributor for Forbes magazine, the full article can be found by clicking here. The article encapsulates the Think60 philosophy for teaching reading to adults.