Durkin's research (1978-79) has indicated that much more time is spent testing reading comprehension than teaching it. Consequently, all reading comprehension skills need to be taught by the teacher to the students in the classroom. Since making inferences is a necessary comprehension skill when reading across the curriculum (Gordon, 1985), it also must be taught. However, many children find it difficult to make inferences because they are required not only to derive a conclusion from the facts or premises found in their reading materials, but in many cases, they must go beyond the text to their own knowledge and experiences for information. Thus, prior knowledge which student bring to the text, as well as their sensitivity to the text information, are essential aspects of inferential comprehension.
Hollingsworth, P. M., & Reutzel, D. R. (1988). Get a GRIP on Comprehension. Reading Horizons, 29 (1). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol29/iss1/8