"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, veteran teacher educator Mark Conley 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, he 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, Conley 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.

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