ED 200 Week Six Part 1 (Fall 2020)

Hi Everyone,

It should becoming a bit clearer to you why background knowledge is important. After reading the last Chapter Two you should have a sense why students who start with more background knowledge tend to learn more in schools than those who start with less. You should also have a sense why those students who know more about a subject will learn more during class and will remember more about what was taught the next day.

On of the things that probably seems obvious to you is that knowledge is valued in academe and academic/educational settings. Something else we know to be true is this: the more students read for pleasure, the more knowledge they acquire and the better they do on standardized tests. Reading is important in one’s academic success.

When you start taking education classes in the Education Teaching Program you will often be expected to show how you will include reading into your lesson plans. Today we will work to develop a bit more background on the connections between reading and knowledge.

I would like to share an article with you written by E.D. Hirsch. We will talk more about him later, but today we will read his paper.

Here it is:


Please read the article and answer the following questions:

Fourth Response Question Set Continues:

Question 1: What is the “fourth grade slump”?

Question 2: What accounts for the “fourth grade slump”? In other words, why does this seem to happen?

Question 3: What is meant by reading fluency?

Question 4: What effect does ‘domain knowledge’ have on fluency?

Question 5: Why is a good vocabulary important?

Question 6: The paper says: “Don’t Spend Excessive Time Teaching Formal Comprehension Skills. A great deal of time in language arts is currently being spent on teaching children formal comprehension strategies like predicting, classifying, and looking for the main idea.”

Why does the author say, “Don’t Spend Excessive Time Teaching Formal Comprehension Skills”?


That is all for today. You should be developing a good sense of just how important background knowledge is. You should also be able to say why developing a good vocabulary is also very important.

Until next time 🙂