Students' reading comprehension skills of science and physics texts

Wahyuni Handayani, Wawan Setiawan, Parlindungan Sinaga, Andi Suhandi


Reading comprehension of physics texts is a neglected area in physics curricula. This article reports an investigation the critical reading of physics texts among students of physics education. Students’ performance reading comprehension on science text were investigated using reading comprehension test. Students’ reading comprehension of science texts are tested with the help of reading comprehension which is designed with reference to TOEFL reading test and translated into Bahasa Indonesia. Eight component skills of comprehension were examined. To assess the skill a reading comprehension of physics texts, true-false-unreported tests were used. It was found that the skill required to discriminate unreported statements from the others (true and false) was found to be of a higher level. Total of 67 students of physics education  at a college in Bandung  participated  in the study. It was found that students’ reading comprehension of science texts and physics texts were at lower level. These findings support the importance of incorporating training of reading comprehension strategy of the science text into the curricula.


Reading comprehension; physics texts; science text; strategy

Full Text:



Afflerbach, P., Cho, B.-Y., & Kim, J.-Y. (2015). Conceptualizing and assessing higher-order thinking in reading. Theory Into Practice, 54(3), 203–212.

Akbaşlı, S., Şahin, M., & Yaykiran, Z. (2016). The effect of reading comprehension on the performance in science and mathematics. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(16), 108–121. Retrieved from

Alexander, P. A., & Jetton, T. L. (2000). Learning from text: A multidimensional and developmental perspective. In Handbook of Reading Research (pp. 285–310). Mahwah, NJ: Routledge Handbooks Online.

Baker, L., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Metacognitive skills and reading. In P. D. Pearson, R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, & P. Mosenthal (Eds.), Handbook of Reading Research (Vol. 1, pp. 353–394). New York, N.Y.: Longman.

Becker, S. F. (1995). Guest comment: Teaching writing to teach physics. American Journal of Physics, 63(7), 587.

Clarke, P. J., Truelove, E., Hulme, C., Snowling, M. J., & Chesher, D. (2014). Developing reading comprehension. Wiley-Blackwell.

Collins, C. (1991). Reading instruction that increases thinking abilities. Journal of Reading, 34(7), 510–516.

Draper, R. J. (1997). Jigsaw: Because reading your math book shouldn’t be a puzzle. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 71(1), 33–36.

Graesser, A. C. (2007). An introduction to strategic reading comprehension. In D.S. McNamara (Ed.), Reading Comprehension Strategies: Theories, Interventions, and Technologies (pp. 3–26). New York, NY.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Herman, P., Gomez, L. M., Gomez, K., Williams, A., & Perkins, K. (2008). Metacognitive support for reading in science classrooms. In Proceedings of the 8th international conference on International conference for the learning sciences-Volume 1 (pp. 342–349). International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Herman, P., Perkins, K., Hansen, M., Gomez, L. M., & Gomez, K. (2010). The effectiveness of reading comprehension strategies in high school science classrooms. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences-Volume 1 (pp. 857–864). International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Kalman, J., & Kalman, C. (1996). Writing to learn. American Journal of Physics, 64(7), 954–955.

Koch, A. (2001). Training in metacognition and comprehension of physics texts. Science Education, 85(6), 758–768.

Koch, A., & Eckstein, S. G. (1991). Improvement of reading comprehension of physics texts by students’ question formulation. International Journal of Science Education, 13(4), 473–485.

Mayer, R. E. (1996). Learning strategies for making sense out of expository text: The SOI model for guiding three cognitive processes in knowledge construction. Educational Psychology Review, 8(4), 357–371.

McNamara, D. S. (2004). SERT: Self-explanation reading training. Discourse Processes, 38(1), 1–30.

McNamara, D. S. (2009). The importance of teaching reading strategies. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 35(2), 34.

McNamara, D. S., Ozuru, Y., Best, R., & O’Reilly, T. (2007). The 4-pronged comprehension strategy framework. In D.A. McNamara (Ed.), Reading comprehension strategies: Theories, interventions, and technologies (pp. 465–496). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Mullin, W. J. (1989). Writing in physics. The Physics Teacher, 27(5), 342–347.

National Assessment Governing Board. (2012). Reading framework for the 2013 national assessment of educational progress. Washington, DC.

O’Reilly, T., & McNamara, D. S. (2007). The impact of science knowledge, reading skill, and reading strategy knowledge on more traditional “high-stakes” measures of high school students’ science achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 44(1), 161–196.

Okanlawon, A. (2011). Using appropriate strategies to improve students’ comprehension of chemistry texts: A guide for chemistry teachers. African Research Review, 5(4).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2014). PISA 2012 results: What students know and can do (Volume I, Revised edition, February 2014). Pisa: OECD Publishing.

Perin, D. (2013). Literacy skills among academically underprepared students. Retrieved January 14, 2019, from

Pressley, M., & Afflerbach, P. (1995). Verbal protocols of reading : the nature of constructively responsive reading. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sengupta, S. (2002). Developing academic reading at tertiary level: A longitudinal study tracing conceptual change. The Reading Matrix, 2(1).

Shanahan, T. (2005). The national reading panel report. Practical advice for teachers. Learning Point Associates/North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).

Sharpe, P. J. (2001). How to prepare for the TOEFL test: Test of English as a foreign language. Barron’s Educational Series.

Solikhah, I. (2015). Pengembangan tes reading for academic purposes untuk program EAP di IAIN Surakarta. CENDEKIA: Journal of Education and Teaching, 9(2), 177.

Sullivan, J. (1978). Comparing strategies of good and poor comprehenders. Journal of Reading, 21(8), 710–715.

Yore, L. D., & Shymansky, J. A. (1991). Reading in science: Developing an operational conception to guide instruction. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 2(2), 29–36.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Jurnal Inovasi Pendidikan IPA

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Jurnal Inovasi Pendidikan IPA indexed by:

Creative Commons License
Jurnal Inovasi Pendidikan IPA by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

All rights reserved. p-ISSN: 2406-9205 | e-ISSN: 2477-4820

View My Stats