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An evaluation of a pilot program in reading for culturally disadvantaged first grade students

Bowers, W.
This study examined the effect of the DISTAR Reading program on the reading achievement of disadvantaged first grade students in comparison to students who received a “traditional reading program.” The study included 200 first grade students from four schools in a southwest city. All of the participants scored below the 25th percentile of the Metropolitan Reading Readiness test. Within each school students were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. There were eight classrooms, with one experimental and one control classroom in each school. Half of the classes in each group were self-contained and half were compartmentalized. DISTAR Reading was used with the experimental group for 4.5 months, and the control group received the school’s usual curriculum. Assessments were the Gates McGinitie Reading Test subtests of vocabulary and comprehension. Results indicated that the use of the DISTAR Reading program in the self-contained classrooms was more effective than its use in the departmentalized classrooms or the traditional approach in either classroom setting. Within the self-contained classrooms, the DISTAR group had higher scores on both vocabulary and comprehension; but in the departmentalized classrooms the students in the traditional group had higher scores. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
DISTAR Reading, reading, at-risk students
Unpublished doctoral dissertation (University of Tulsa)
Design type:
Pretest Posttest Control Group with Random Assignment Design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Disadvantaged students, “culturally deprived” students, first grade students, elementary students
Other tags:
DISTAR Reading, reading, Gates McGinitie Reading Test, Metropolitan Reading Readiness Test
South, Elementary School
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