Information Brief 2014-5

ACT National Curriculum Survey®: Mathematics Educators’ Estimates of Time Spent Teaching Strategies for Reading Course Materials

Percent of Mathematics Educators Reporting How Much Time They Spend Teaching Students Strategies for Reading Course Materials

LevelLittle or No TimeA Moderate Amount or a Lot of Time
Elementary School26%74%
Middle School56%44%
High School71%29%
College81%19%

Note: Educators who did not respond to the question were excluded from the analysis.

The 2012 ACT National Curriculum Survey asked how much time mathematics teachers at various educational levels spend teaching students how to read course materials.1 The results are shown in the figure above.

The amount of time spent teaching reading strategies decreases steadily as educational level increases, with elementary school teachers substantially more likely to spend a moderate amount or a lot of time than teachers in the higher levels. One might well expect this: as students improve their reading comprehension skills, they are likely to become better able to learn mathematics by means of the reading strategies they already possess. But given that most elementary school teachers teach a variety of subjects (including reading itself), it is also possible that the time they reported spending on reading strategies may not be specific to mathematics, but rather to strategies applicable across the curriculum, including mathematics.


1 ACT, Inc., ACT National Curriculum Survey 2012: Mathematics (Iowa City, IA: Author, 2013). http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/NCS-Mathematics.pdf.


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