Effect of Social Studies and Science Instruction on Elementary Reading Comprehension

In an era of high-stakes testing and accountability under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 many elementary school teachers, administrators, and district level decision-makers have focused instruction on the standardized testing subjects of language arts and math. Previous research indicated that the amount of time teachers spend onsocial studies and science instruction has drastically been reduced or eliminated completely. With a causal-comparative design, the researcher in the current study sought to determine if increasing the amount of social studies and science instruction contributed to an increase in the reading comprehension ability of third-grade students at a suburban San Diego elementary school. The findings suggested that there was no significant difference in the reading comprehension ability in students who received approximately twice the amount of science and social studies instruction over a 45-day period. Future research may be conducted in an experimental model where other factors are eliminated that may have impacted the current study’s outcome.