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Maria (1990) maintains that reciprocal teaching is a successful technique for children

with difficulties in reading comprehension. She further indicates that there was substantial

improvement in dialogue between student and teacher, improvement on standardized tests in

measured comprehension, durability in the effect of the strategy over a period of six months,

and improvement transferred to similar but separate classroom tasks. Maria attributed these

improvements to the application of the strategies of reciprocal teaching by the teacher.

Wormeli (2001) states that the main advantage of reciprocal teaching is that it allows

the teacher to differentiate instruction. That is, it accounts for students who develop

intellectually at different rates and in different styles. The teacher individualizes goals within

the classroom content and instructional strategies. Therefore implementation varies among

classrooms. Tomlinson (2001) adds that students work in an atmosphere of respect and

appreciation for their peers and their differences when teachers differentiate the instruction.

Bass (2005) applied the strategies to her high school music theory class. She notes that

“a guiding principle of [reciprocal teaching] is focusing on what the learners should be able to

recall, understand, and do in a given domain. Instruction … is centered around the concepts,

principles, and skills of the subject. It provides a way for the learner to understand and retrieve

information, to construct meaning, and to see the relationship of the parts to the whole” (p. 3).

Her findings indicated that students learned music faster and received higher scores in

performance adjudications. Snow and Apfelstadt (2002) write that musical thinking and

learning in the context of an ensemble experience are maximized when the musicians have

multiple opportunities to make musical decisions and use musical judgment. Bass (2005)

indicates that reciprocal teaching ensures that all students have the opportunity to develop their

abilities and pursue both equity and excellence.


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