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Reading Apprenticeship

the Reading Apprenticeship program by the Center of Academic Success

Reading Apprenticeship involves teachers in orchestrating and integrating four
interacting dimensions
of classroom life that support reading development. These
dimensions are woven into subject-area teaching through metacognitive conversations
conversations about the thinking processes students and teachers engage in as they read.


Social: The social dimension draws on adolescents’ interests in peer interaction as well
as larger social, political, economic, and cultural issues. A safe environment is created
for students to share their confusion and difficulties with texts, and to recognize the
diverse perspectives and resources brought by each member.

Personal: This dimension draws on strategic skills used by students in out-of-school
settings; their interest in exploring new aspects of their own identities and self-awareness
as readers; and their purposes for reading and goals for reading improvement.

Cognitive: The cognitive dimension involves developing readers’ mental processes,
including their repertoire of specific comprehension and problem-solving strategies.
Importantly, the work of generating cognitive strategies that support reading comprehension
is carried out through classroom inquiry.

Knowledge-Building: This dimension includes identifying and expanding the
knowledge readers bring to a text and further develop through personal and social
interaction with that text, including knowledge about word construction, vocabulary,
text structure, genre, language, topics and content embedded in the text.

In Metacognitive Conversation, these four dimensions are integrated as teachers and students work collaboratively to make sense of texts, while simultaneously engaging in a conversation about what constitutes reading and how they are going about it. This metacognitive conversation is carried on both internally, as teacher and students reflect on their own mental processes, and externally, as they share their reading processes, strategies, knowledge resources, motivations, and interactions with, and affective responses to texts.