Learning from text in an advanced government and politics course | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925



We report a study of the literacy challenges faced by students and teachers in an advanced, project-based version of the US Government and Politics course. The study occurred in the current era of school reform when students of all abilities, not just well-prepared students, are encouraged to take advanced classes. As a result, classrooms contain individuals with a wide range of reading abilities and domain knowledge. Students in this study, when working with course texts, encountered densely constructed textbooks, challenging specialized vocabulary, and lack of teacher support for learning from text. Generally, they could read but not comprehend. Both teachers and students developed strategies to avoid learning from textbased resources. These strategies hindered students’ ability to learn course content and further disadvantaged students who needed more practice and support in learning from text. We end with two recommendations for supporting all students to effectively learn from civic-related texts.


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