Effective reading programmes for secondary pupils

Ariane Baye from the University of Liege and Cynthia Lake and colleagues from the Center for Research and Reform in Education have updated their paper Effective Reading Programs for Secondary Students. Their review focuses on 73 studies that used random assignment (n=66) or high-quality quasi-experiments (n=7) to evaluate outcomes of 55 programmes on widely accepted measures of reading.

The authors found that specific programmes using one-to-one, small-group tutoring, and cooperative learning showed positive outcomes, as did a small number of programmes emphasising social-emotional learning, technology, or teaching of metacognitive strategies. Benchmark assessments did not affect reading outcomes. Leaving aside tutoring and benchmarks, programmes that provide additional instructional time (usually, a daily extra period) were no more effective than programmes that did not provide extra time.

The findings suggest that secondary readers benefit more from engaging and personalised instruction than from additional time on supplemental courses.

Source: Effective Reading Programs for Secondary Students (August 2017), Best Evidence Encyclopedia

Effective reading programmes for secondary students

In recent years, major initiatives in the US and UK have added greatly to the amount and quality of research on the effectiveness of secondary reading programmes, especially targeted programmes for struggling readers. As a result, the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education was able to complete an updated review of the research on secondary reading programmes using tougher standards than would have been possible in earlier reviews, and assembling data from a much larger pool of programmes and studies. The authors were Ariane Baye, Cynthia Lake, Amanda Inns, and Robert Slavin.

The current review focuses on 64 studies that used random assignment (n=55) or high-quality quasi-experiments (n=9) to evaluate outcomes of 49 programmes on widely accepted measures of reading. Programmes using one-to-one and small-group tutoring (ES=+0.23) and co-operative learning programmes (mean ES=+0.16) showed positive outcomes, on average. Among technology programmes, metacognitive approaches, mixed-model programmes, and programmes for English learners, there were individual examples of promising approaches. Except for tutoring, targeted extra-time programmes were no more effective than programmes provided to entire classes and schools without adding instructional time.

The findings suggest that secondary readers benefit more from engaging and personalised instruction than from remedial services.

Source: Effective reading programs for secondary students (2016, December). Best Evidence Encyclopedia, Johns Hopkins University, Center for Research and Reform in Education.

Study investigates inquiry-based science curricula

This study, published in the October issue of Research in Science Education measures the effects of higher level, inquiry-based science curricula on primary pupils in schools in deprived areas in the US. The sample included approximately 3,300 pupils aged five to nine from six schools who were assigned to experimental or control conditions (N = 115 total) on a random basis according to class. Pupils in the experimental condition were taught with a concept-based science curriculum that emphasised “deep learning” through concept mastery and investigation, whereas control classes followed traditional curricula.

The researchers found that all ability groups benefited from the science inquiry-based approach, and that there was a positive achievement effect for young children from low socio-economic backgrounds.

This study relates to a recent review of primary science programmes, which can be found on the Best Evidence Encyclopaedia. The findings supported the use of inquiry-oriented programmes without science kits, which help teachers to learn and use generic processes such as science-reading integration in their daily science teaching.

Sources: Project Clarion: Three years of science instruction in title I schools among K-Third grade students (2012), Research in Science Education, 42(5).

Effective programmes for primary science: A best-evidence synthesis (2012), Best Evidence Encyclopedia