Cognitive Strategy Instruction for Adolescents : What We Know about the Promise, What We Don’t Know about the Potential

Spring 2008

Source: Harvard Educational Review, Volume 78, Issue 1Spring 2008

Strategy instruction” is quickly becoming one of the most common — and perhaps the most commonly misunderstood — components of adolescent literacy research and practice.
In this essay, the author - a veteran teacher educator - argues that a particular type of strategy instruction known as cognitive strategy instruction holds great promise for improving adolescents’ reading, writing, and thinking across content areas.

However, the author further suggests that we do not yet have the research needed to adequately understand and maximize the potential of cognitive strategy instruction in secondary content-area classrooms.
After situating cognitive strategy instruction in the larger context of research on adolescent literacy and school-to-work transitions, the author provides classroom examples of cognitive strategy instruction, demonstrates the need for meaningful integration of cognitive strategies in teacher education, and recommends specific directions for future research needed to understand and maximize the benefits of cognitive strategy instruction for adolescents.

Updated: Jun. 16, 2008