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    GoVols: Research
    By BookMuncher

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    I'm sure this isn't "once and for all research", but I really respect Dick Allington. If you've never read his stuff, he's really good at looking at all the research on reading from way back in the 80's up until now. He truly looks at if the study was done with fidelity and if it was peer reviewed by plenty of outside sources. He does the background work and find out when studies are done "in-house" (meaning by the company who makes the program). Here's what he has to say about it:

    "It is widely implemented but almost no published research is available that supports its use. In both these cases (referring to AR and Waterford Early Reading Program), newsletters or privately produced in-house magazines routinely offer testimonials, case studies, and reports of achievement effects. But publishing a positive puff-piece in an in-house magazine or newsletter does not offer the same sort of evidence of effects as would independent studies published in recognized, peer-reviewed research journals." (page 12, 13 What Really Matters for Struggling Readers)

    Later in the book:

    "Some of the most popularly used materials and activities offered no instructional component either. For instance, neighter the Accelerated Reader materials nor the Barnell-Loft materals provide anything but activities that assess student strategy use. I call these "assign and assess" materials because no instruction is provided. Many students seem not to discover these strategies without teacher demonstration. "(page 121)

    I don't feel that Dick Allington is necessarily saying anything that negative about AR. What he is saying (of course, I'm reading between the lines) is that AR is implemented in a really full-force way in a whole lot of schools for something that does not have a good research base. His second point, later in the book, is simply that in some schools, programs like AR are implemented as a big part of the reading program, without explicit, demonstration for students in what it looks like to be a reader. Children are simply told to read.

    I personally feel that your case is tragic... those kids are getting pushed through with a totally warped sense of what reading is.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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