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Reading Recovery is a supplementary education program that aims to offer the lowest-achieving first-grade children an effective method of English language reading and writing instruction. It was designed to compromise between the two "schools" of beginning reading education, intensive phonics instruction and the whole language approach.

The program was developed in the 1970s by New Zealand educator Dr. Marie Clay. In 1984 Dr. Gay Su Pinnell and Dr. Charlotte Huck of Ohio State University introduced the method to the United States. "Reading Recovery" is a registered trademark of Ohio State University in the U.S.

Reading Recovery sites operated in four Canadian provinces, 48 U.S. States, and the District of Columbia. Approximately 60,000 North American children were served by Reading Recovery educators during the 1993-94 school year. In California alone, more than 500 school districts served approximately 5000 children. (Schwartz & Klein, 1996) The program is also implemented in Australia, Canada, and England.

According to its inventors and advocators, Reading Recovery combines extensive teacher education with an emphasis on the development of phonological awareness and the use of contextual information to assist reading. They claim it to be an educationally sound and cost-effective early intervention program for helping children who are at-risk of early reading failure.

Method[edit | edit source]

Reading Recovery offers daily half-hour one-on-one tutorial sessions for students who have trouble learning to read after one year of formal instruction. The program is supplementary and short-term, with most students needing from 12 to 16 weeks of instruction before they can be successfully discontinued from the program. A combination of teacher judgment and systematic evaluation procedures identify those lowest-achieving children for whom Reading Recovery was designed. The program's goal is to bring students up to the level of their peers and to give students the assistance they need to develop independent reading strategies. Once students are reading at a level equivalent to that of their peers, they are discontinued from the program.

Reading Recovery is designed to provide the social interaction that supports the students' ability to work in their "zone of proximal development"—just beyond their level of actual development—with a supportive adult who helps them solve problems and to perform. Clay's theory of learning to read is based on the idea that children construct cognitive systems to understand the world and language. These cognitive systems develop as self-extending systems that generate further learning through the use of multiple sources of information.

A typical Reading Recovery lesson[edit | edit source]

During the daily half-hour sessions, children read many small books, some of which are written in a style close to that of oral language. The books also often use predictable language. Teachers take a running record to analyze the child's reading performance. Children also compose and read their own messages or stories. In addition, children read slightly more challenging texts that they have not read before. Teachers provide detailed support for the children as they read these more difficult texts. Magnetic alphabet letters might be used to assist in analyzing words. Reading skills are taught in the context of extended reading and writing by Reading Recovery teachers who have completed a year-long inservice education program that focuses on moment-to-moment responses to children's actions and behavior.

Teacher's role[edit | edit source]

An essential component of the Reading Recovery program is the training of the teachers who provide the tutorial instruction. Reading Recovery teachers learn to observe, analyze, and interpret the reading and writing behaviors of individual students and to design and implement an individual program to meet each student's needs. Just as the Reading Recovery children engage in social interaction with the teacher, Reading Recovery teachers engage in social interaction with their colleagues and mentors to construct a view of learning and teaching that supports literacy learning.

References[edit | edit source]

Center, Yola, et al. (1992). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Reading Recovery: A Critique. Educational Psychology, 12(3-4), 305-13. [EJ 478 469]

Chapman, James W., and William E. Turner (1991). "Recovering Reading Recovery." Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 17(1), 59-71. [EJ 445 894]

Clay, Marie M. (1985). The Early Detection of Reading Difficulties. Third Edition. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. [ED 263 529]

Denner, Michael, Comp. (1993). "Reading Recovery Research, 1986-1992: Citations and Abstracts from the ERIC Database." Bloomington, IN: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills. [ED 376 449]

Dyer, Philip C. (1992). "Reading Recovery: A Cost-Effectiveness and Educational Outcomes Analysis." ERS Spectrum, 10(1), 10-19. [EJ 442 889]

Gaffney, Janet S. (1993). "Reading Recovery (r): Widening the Scope of Prevention for the Lowest Achieving Readers. Technical Report No. 580." Urbana, IL: Center for the Study of Reading. [ED 360 624]

Glynn, Ted (1992). "Reading Recovery in Context: Implementation and Outcome." Educational Psychology, 12(3-4), 249-61. [EJ 478 468]

Pinnell, Gay Su, et al. (1994). "Comparing Instructional Models for the Literacy Education of High-Risk First Grades." Reading Research Quarterly, 29(1), 8-39. [EJ 475 731]

Pollock, John S. (1994). "Reading Recovery Program 1992-93. Elementary and Secondary Education Act--Chapter 1. Final Evaluation Report." Columbus Public Schools, Ohio. Department of Program Evaluation. [ED 376 437]

Schwartz, R., Moore, P., Schmidt, M., Doyle, M. A., Gaffney, J., & Neal, J. (1996). Executive Summary of Research on Reading Recovery.

Sensenbaugh, Roger (1994). "Effectiveness of Reading Recovery Programs." Reading Research and Instruction, 34(1), 73-76. [EJ 494 625]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Reading Recovery The original version of this Wikipedia article is from this public domain site; it is pro-Reading Recovery
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