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Reading Recovery: A Scientifically Based Analysis - page 6 / 21





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Place, 1990; Glynn, Crooks, Bethune, Ballard, and Smith, 1989; Shanahan and Barr,

1995). The learning rate of returned RR children was lower than that of other low-

achieving children (Glynn, Crooks, Bethune, Ballard, and Smith, 1989). Battelle (1995)

found that only 53 percent of the children eligible for RR scored at the classroom average

on the book-level measures at the end of first grade.

Contentions that RR enables children to establish a self-extending learning system

that allows them to improve as readers after they are returned to the classroom support

this with evidence of growth in reading among discontinued RR children without

comparing this growth with that of a controlled group. Evaluations with a controlled

group find that children who return to the classroom as successfully “recovered” students

immediately begin falling behind. Their learning rate is slower than that of other low-

achieving children. For example, Glynn, Crooks, Bethune, Ballard, and Smith (1989)

found that the learning rate of RR children immediately slowed when the children were

returned to the classroom and was much lower than that of low achieving children. Data

from DeFord, Pinnell, Lions, and Place (1990) also indicate that RR children did not

learn at a rate comparable to the average children in the class after being discontinued

from RR (Shanahan and Barr, 1995). Part of the problem may be that the children have

difficulty transferring their strategies of prediction from the predictable text they read in

RR to the authentic text they might read in the regular classroom. By the third grade, the

effects found on the book-level measures have washed out. “These results suggest that by

third grade, the RR instructed groups may not be significantly different from the

comparison groups as indicated by measures of text reading” (Shanahan and Barr, 1995,

p. 980). Hiebert (1994) found the same pattern of results at fourth grade: “Although RR-

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