Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

JoeAnn Hinrichs

Abstract

In order to achieve academic success, students must be able to comprehend written material in content-area textbooks. However, a large number of high school students struggle to comprehend science content. Research findings have demonstrated that students make measurable gains in comprehending content-area textbooks when provided quality reading comprehension instruction. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how high school science teachers perceived their responsibility to provide content-related comprehension instruction and 10 high school science teachers were interviewed for this study. Data analysis consisted of open, axial, and selective coding. The findings revealed that 8 out of the 10 participants believed that it is their responsibility to provide reading comprehension. However, the findings also revealed that the participants provided varying levels of reading comprehension instruction as an integral part of their science instruction. The potential for positive social change could be achieved by teachers and administrators. Teachers may use the findings to reflect upon their own personal feelings and beliefs about providing explicit reading comprehension. In addition to teachers' commitment to reading comprehension instruction, administrators could deliberate about professional development opportunities that might improve necessary skills, eventually leading to better comprehension skills for students and success in their education.