Robert Slavin and colleagues reported that reading programs that provide extensive professional development on instructional strategies which promote student participation, strengthen phonics competence, and explicitly teach comprehension strategies are the best bets for improving reading achievement. The clearest examples of the programs that led to the highest achievement were Direct Instruction and Success for All.
Writing in the December 2009 issue of the Review of Educational Research, Professor Slavin and colleagues reported the results of their examination of 142 studies. They wanted to determine whether curricula, technology, instructional processes, or combinations of curricula and processes produce greater reading achievement. The curriculum group included core reading programs, such as Reading Street and Open Court Reading. The technology group included programs that employ computers or similar methods such as computer-assisted instruction, multimedia (e.g., Reading Reels, or Writing to Read). The instructional process group included approaches that provide teachers effective strategies for teaching reading, such as Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) and Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC). The combined curriculum-and-instructional-process group included programs that function as core curricula and also provide detailed professional development about using instructional strategies, such as Direct Instruction and Success for All. The researchers separated the studies into two groups: those with outcomes at the (a) beginning reading level vs. upper elementary level.
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