Michael Pressley's research while affiliated with Michigan State University and other places

Publications (241)

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College seniors participated in an ethnographic interview study about their academic motivations. It was found that grades and graduation are 2 primary distal target goals that motivate their academic efforts during the senior year. A variety of proximal factors were also reported to affect the seniors' motivation. These factors can be divided into...
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Observations of instructional practices, teacher interviews, and classroom artifacts were collected in 9 sixth-grade classrooms in 2 middle schools to determine teaching practices associated with student engagement (i.e., being on task, doing thoughtful assignments). The teachers used a variety of instructional practices, with some teachers produci...
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In exploring the potential for mentoring to support novice teachers’ use of effective teaching practices, we conducted a grounded theory analysis about change potential. Themes emerging from cross-case analysis of survey, interview, and observation data from six beginning primary teachers in the US and their mentors revealed factors, other than typ...
Chapter
The development of cognitive strategies for memory has a rich theoretical and empirical history. In the 1960s information processing theory framed studies of the development of children's verbal list learning strategies. Subsequent research has identified strategies of productive preschoolers, and enables a model of intentional, strategic memory to...
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The authors developed a grounded theory about how a school serving relatively advantaged children produces high reading and writing achievement compared with schools serving similar populations of students. The school's faculty is reading and writing focused, and students experience many books as they receive explicit, demanding instruction (i.e.,...
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In a qualitative, multiple case study, we explored the challenges and successes teachers encounter while participating in a professional development program aimed at improving their reading comprehension instruction so as to increase students' self-regulated use of comprehension strategies. We documented five fifth grade teachers' experiences as th...
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This is a case study of Benchmark School, which educates 6- to 15-year-olds with a history of school failure. Grounded theory methodology was employed to generate a theory about how the school promotes achievement. Many elements potentially promoting academic achievement were identified, including ones informed by psychological theory and research...
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This article describes the metacognitive processes in which good readers engage before, during, and after reading and the strategies instruction that fosters these processes. Benchmark School, a school in Media, PA for struggling readers, is provided as an example of how a grades 1–8, across-the-curriculum strategies program was developed based on...
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The characteristics of educational intervention research are reviewed: Educational intervention research is inspired by diverse theories, targeted at a variety of simple to very complex interventions, and includes a variety of methods and measurements. Some interventions have been studied much more than others, with the more studied ones often summ...
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The later stages of reading are largely concerned with comprehension or the construction of meaning, which requires both conscious and unconscious cognitive activity.
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The reasons some children struggle with reading are as varied as the children themselves. From trouble decoding words to problems retaining information, reading difficulties are complex. All kids, says the International Reading Association, "have a right to instruction designed with their specific needs in mind." The question is how to identify and...
Chapter
As I write this chapter in late 2003, I reflect that I cannot count the number of invitations I have received in the past few years to talk about balanced reading instruction, particularly in the elementary grades. Even more uncountable are the number of references I have seen in print in the past few years to “balanced instruction.” Plugging “bala...
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A portrait, using grounded theory qualitative methodologies, was constructed of a K-12 school serving urban, African American students, one producing high achievement. The primary data were observations complemented by questionnaire responses and document analyses. Consistent with conclusions in the effective schooling literature, this school has s...
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Incl. bibl., abstract. In this article, Michael Pressley, Nell Duke, and Erica Boling call for a second generation of scientifically based reading instruction that goes beyond the evidence currently informing public policy. The authors argue that the federal government's position on what constitutes "scientific research" embraces only a narrow rang...
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We observed 6 primary-grades teachers in public and private schools in this study. Based on midyear observations, 2 of these teachers were much more effective compared to the other 4 in producing greater student engagement and literacy progress, as determined by video and observation data of multiple content areas and as rated by the Classroom AIMS...
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This chapter reviews the study of teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Information in the first section summarizes a large body of work by Pressley and his colleagues generated through longitudinal studies and qualitative analyses of classroom observations of teaching behaviors. Findings associated with this naturalistic work have led to a...
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Pressley examines the research on literacy that has been contributed by psychologists. The chapter is organized along developmental lines, beginning in late infancy and proceeding through adulthood. Following the emphasis in pre- and early elementary school, there is a focus on the development of language and letter- and word-level competencies in...
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This chapter gives an overview of educational psychology in the modern era, working back from the present to 1960. In detailing the field at the close of the 20th century, the authors analyze 2 sources of evidence about the research being carried out by educational psychologists. First, they review the contents of 3 recent, substantial volumes over...
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Nine grade 3 teachers in 8 Catholic schools were observed and interviewed, and student work was collected to determine how the teachers motivated students. Engagement varied dramatically between some classes, covarying with motivating elements of instruction. Engaging teachers did much to motivate their students and little that might undermine acad...
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I argue that the National Reading Panel was too narrow in its presentation of scientifically-valid reading instructional research. Although the findings summarized by the Panel were valid, they were but a sampling of the many instructional practices that enjoy scientific support, most emphatically, in experiments and quasi-experiments (i.e., in the...
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Editors of archival psychological and educational journals were asked to rate the importance of 38 potential standards that can be used to judge publishability of a paper. The standards included classic internal and external validity standards as well as writing standards and criteria pertaining to the visibility of issues in the paper and the auth...
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Literacy instruction in 7 Grade 1 classrooms was observed with the goal of determining how the teachers motivated literate activity in their classrooms. Literacy engagement (i.e., proportion of time spent reading and writing) was much higher in 2 of the classes compared to the 5 others. There also were great individual differences between teachers...
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Stories of Beginning Teachers offers insight into the challenges and triumphs of beginning teachers, presenting both research findings and case studies on the challenges faced by new teachers. More than twenty categories and five hundred specific examples of potential problems and issues are cited in Part I of this book. Armed with such useful info...
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Do teachers trained in Reading Recovery (RR) modify their regular classroom teaching to use RR-type instructional practices and to teach students the strategies typically taught during RR tutoring sessions? Ten classrooms (three kindergartens, five grade one classrooms, and two grade two classrooms) were observed over the course of two school years...
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An important goal in every first-grade classroom is to get children reading--but how? This book examines current research on first-grade literacy instruction and shows how it translates into what good teachers really do in the classroom. The book's authors, premier early literacy scholars and educators, describe several studies of effective beginni...
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Literacy instruction in first-grade classrooms in five U.S. locales was observed. Based on academic engagement and classroom literacy performances, the most-effective-for-locale and least-effective-for-locale teachers were selected. The teaching of the most-effective-for-locale teachers was then analyzed, including in relation to the teaching of th...
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Full-text available
Literacy instruction in first-grade classrooms in five U.S. locales was observed. Based on academic engagement and classroom literacy performances, the most-effective-for-locale and least-effective-for-locale teachers were selected. The teaching of the most-effective-for-locale teachers was then analyzed, including in relation to the teaching of th...
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This study examined the instructional practices of special education teachers nominated as effective in teaching elementary students with reading disabilities to become successful readers and writers. Thirty-one special education teachers from 19 different states completed questionnaires about their instructional practices. These teachers reported...
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In an effort to share the good news about what can be done to increase learning and achievement for students in high poverty schools, the research has been combed to pinpoint instructional and organizational factors that lead to student success. Specifically examined were how and why some schools across the country are attaining greater than expect...
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There have been recent arguments for expanding research on some basic beginning reading skills (i.e, phonemic awareness, word recognition) to the exclusion of other literacy competencies. Moreover, there have also been arguments that certain methodologies should be favored in reading research to the exclusion of others. The case is made in this art...
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In this study we examined the discourse components, interaction patterns, and reasoning complexity of 4 groups of 12 Grade 8 students in 2 science classrooms as they constructed mental models of the nature of matter, both on their own and with teacher guidance. Interactions within peer and teacher-guided small group discussions were videotaped and...
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Research conducted in New Jersey reveals a portrait of exemplary first-grade literacy instruction.
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Classroom observations and in-depth interviews were used to study 9 first-grade teachers from 4 districts who had been nominated by language-arts coordinators as outstanding (N = 5) or typical (N = 4) in their ability to help students develop literacy skills. Based on observational measures of student reading and writing achievement and student eng...
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Observed literacy instruction in 6 4th-grade and 4 5th-grade classrooms over 1 yr. Using the method of constant comparison, the study identified commonalities among classrooms in reading and writing instruction, instructional materials and goals, management, and classroom motivational orientation. Teachers in all classrooms provided a combination o...
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An important aspect of metacognition, one potentially affecting much of students’ academic efforts, was tapped in this study. College students’ beliefs about their academic motivation were elicited systematically using ethnographic interviewing. We reasoned that students are very conscious of their decisionmaking regarding academics, and thus, they...
Chapter
Children are ready to begin learning how to read at about six years of age and do so in six to eight years. This chapter illustrates the concepts of excellent reading as constructively responsive reading, the information processing components that interact to produce constructively responsive reading, emergent reading during the preschool years, ph...
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This article addresses the myth that children will be able to comprehend a text simply because they can decode words in it. Evidence is provided to support the claim that developing readers benefit from explicit teaching of comprehension strategies via direct explanation and modeling of strategies. Transactional strategies in which readers interact...
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Research on the implementation of comprehension-strategies instruction is discussed briefly. The particular focus is on the challenges educators have encountered in translating research-based strategies instruction into workable, school-based interventions and, ultimately, into classroom practice. The research outcomes reviewed here are consistent...
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Grade 5 teachers, who were nominated by their supervisors as effective in educating their students to be readers and writers, responded to questionnaires about their practice. The teachers claimed commitments to (a) extensive reading at the heart of their reading instruction; (b) diverse instructional activities (e.g., whole-group instruction, smal...
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The goal of this research was to detail college students’ beliefs about the examinations they face. We interviewed those closest to the exam preparation process, those who make the decisions about when, how, and what to study, college students themselves. Students responded to progressively more focussed questions. The conclusions that emerged from...
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The cognitive science of reading is broader from my perspective than from Lorch and van den Broek's (1997) viewpoint. In particular, verbal protocol analyses have resulted in substantial new insights about important control processes in reading. Much has also been learned with cognitive science methods about the letter- and word-level processes inv...
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Why it is so difficult to prepare for academic exams is reviewed with respect to recent research. Textbooks, teaching, and information processing characteristics of students all contribute to undermining effective learning and review. Recommendations are made about how instructors can make it easier for students to review and appraise their test re...
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THE PURPOSE of the study was to determine the impact of a literature-based program integrated into literacy and science instruction on achievement, use of literature, and attitudes toward the literacy and science program. Six third-grade classes with children from diverse backgrounds (N=128) were assigned to one control and two experimental groups...
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provides an overview of instructional scaffolding, suggests ways to expand scaffolding from one-to-one dialogues to whole-class settings, and offers some practical advice for teachers interested in building scaffolding into their pedagogical repertoires / analyze the talk in middle and high school inquiry-based science classrooms where students wor...
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Second-grade, low-achieving students experienced a year of either transactional strategies instruction or highly regarded, more conventional second-grade reading instruction. By the end of the academic year, there was clear evidence of greater strategy awareness and strategy use, greater acquisition of information from material read in reading grou...
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Kindergarten (N = 23), grade 1 (N = 34), and grade 2 (N = 26) teachers, who were nominated by their supervisors (N = 45) as effective in educating their students to be readers and writers, responded to 2 questionnaires about their practice. As expected, there were shifts in reported practices between kindergarten and grade 2, although there was muc...
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Self-regulated learning is more complex than Winne argued, as illustrated by the complex strategies articulated by very skilled readers as they process text. So, too, is transfer of newly learned strategies from one task to another, although paradoxically Winne underestimated the evidence supporting some of the mechanisms of transfer he favored. Th...
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Describes the transactional strategies instructional (TSI) approach as a strategy to improve reading comprehension. Thinking aloud methods have been used to study reading throughout the 20th century. Several theories relate the conscious processes of text processing to those reported in verbal protocols, such as the reader response, metacognitive,...
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The good information processing perspective is that cognitive performance is a product of strategies, nonstrategic knowledge, metacognition, motivation, and short-term capacity. To date, the perspective is supported (a) by quantitative studies establishing that strategic functioning depends on nonstrategic knowledge, metacognition, motivational bel...
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Reasons for concern about the quality of quantitative, experimental research in education are reviewed. These include internal and external validity errors, questionable design and analyses practices, and incomplete or misleading discussions of findings. More positively, the concerns can be addressed by individual investigators, and the larger prof...
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Examined whether 10- to 14-yr-olds infer implied instruments when reading isolated instrument-implicit sentences (IISs; e.g., Her friend swept the floor) as certainly and completely as they do when instructed to generate instruments in response to IISs. On-line instrumental encoding was tested with a procedure that was based on recognition priming...
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The purpose of this investigation was to conduct a methodological analysis of the available research on whole language. Studies were selected based on (a) embodied principles of whole language as outlined by Bergeron (1990); (b) the usage of the term whole language in the title, abstract, or body of the article; and (c) research that focused on chi...
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Examined whether 10- to 14-yr-olds infer implied instruments when reading isolated instrument-implicit sentences (IISs; e.g., Her friend swept the floor) as certainly and completely as they do when instructed to generate instruments in response to IISs. On-line instrumental encoding was tested with a procedure that was based on recognition priming...
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In this ethnographic interview study, college students' theory of note-taking emerged after 4 phases. The theory was confirmed in a 5th interview phase. The students' theory includes conclusions consistent with ones already in the note-taking literature, but also many insights into note-taking dynamics that have not been identified in previous rese...
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32 factual statements were processed by 140 6th and 7th graders. Half of the statements were consistent with the Ss' prior knowledge, whereas the remaining facts were inconsistent with the Ss' prior knowledge. Half of the Ss were instructed to read the sentences for understanding (reading controls). The remaining Ss were instructed to use their pri...
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A synthesis of the commentaries to our leadoff paper is presented, along with our replies to some of the specific comments offered. When the original analysis and the commentaries are combined, an exceptionally thorough summary of issues that should be considered by intervention researchers emerges. We hope this set of issues will be useful to the...
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A comprehension strategies instruction program called Students Achieving Independent Learning (SAIL) is described. In SAIL, strategies teaching is long term and complex, with students taught to coordinate traditional memory and comprehension strategies with interpretive processes. Consistent with reader‐response theories, we refer to this approach...
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Fifteen active social scientists read self-selected professional-level articles pertinent to their interests and professional activities. Verbal protocols were generated during reading. All readers exhibited a number of comprehension strategies normally associated with sophisticated, self-regulated reading. They also monitored the worth and credibi...
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The impact of prior knowledge on locating information in textbooks was assessed. Undergraduates enrolled in a full-year introductory psychology course searched an introductory psychology textbook not used in their course to locate answers to questions related to fall- or spring-term content. Three groups of students were compared in their search of...
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Introduces the topic of strategies education, summarizing the contributions to this special issue on strategies education. Emphasizes the importance of collaborations between researchers and practitioners to ensure that strategies education programs are practical and implementable. (MDM)
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The instruction of 6 teachers in a private school for bright underachievers that is characterized by a strategic teaching initiative, strong instructional leadership, ind collegiality was examined to characterize the nature of instructional dialogue. Lesson transcripts were coded for the presence and organization of 8 instructional ''moves'' often...
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A metacognitive hypothesis to explain age differences in adult memory is explored here–that younger and older adults differ in beliefs about memory and strategic processing. The motivational beliefs that adults make for their own memory performances were examined across tests of recall, recognition, face–name learning, and appointment-keeping. Fort...
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Comments on an article by R. S. Siegler and K. Crowley (see record 1991-27055-001 ) regarding using the microgenetic method (MM) for studying cognitive development. The author argues that the MM was expensive, produced data that may reflect changes brought on by repeated assessment rather than development, and may have failed to capture the change...
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The case is made that the theoretical propositions and instructional recommendations that Cunningham attributes to semiotics are shared with other perspectives. However, the theoretical and instructional positions Cunningham favors must be evaluated more completely if they are to be acceptable to the educational psychology community, which is gener...
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Reading educators are translating the comprehension strategies research of the 1970s and 1980s into strategies-based reading instruction, meshing decoding, comprehension, and interpretational strategies into transactional strategies instruction. The teachers in 1 prototypical program were interviewed to determine their perceptions of program effect...
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Comprehension strategies are being taught in schools, with important similarities across some schools that are teaching them well. Strategy teaching typically occurs daily in these schools as part of group instruction. It is long term and complex since students are taught to coordinate traditional memory and comprehension strategies with interpreti...
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Canadian and West German adults were presented facts about Canadian provinces and West German states (at the time of the study, West Germany was a separate nation of what is now the Federal Republic of Germany). Participants in the elaborative-interrogation condition rationalized why each fact was sensible. Reading-to-understand participants read t...