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Teaching Reading to Low Performing First Graders in Rural Schools: A Comparison of Two Instructional Approaches

Umbach, B.; Darch, C.; Halpin, G.
This study compared the effect of Reading Mastery (RM) and a traditional basal program on the reading achievement of low performing first grade students in rural schools. Thirty one students were randomly assigned to either program. The Woodcock Reading Mastery Test was administered for pre- and posttest measures. The Wide Range Achievement Test was administered as an additional posttest measure. After one year of instruction, students’ gains on decoding and passage comprehension skills were compared. Results indicated that students in the RM group scored significantly higher on both decoding and passage comprehension. A significant difference was also identified between the adjusted posttest means on the Total Reading scores of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, favoring the RM group. At the end of the academic year, students in the RM group were performing at grade level 2.0 on average, while students in the basal reading group were performing at grade level 1.3. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Direct Instruction; Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series; Reading Mastery; Woodcock Reading Mastery Test; reading; Stanford Achievement Test; decoding; comprehension; Wide Range Achievement Test
Journal of Instructional Psychology
Design type:
Pretest Posttest Control Group with Random Assignment Design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Elementary students, low achieving students, African American students, Caucasian students, low-SES students
Other tags:
Direct instruction, Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series, Reading Mastery, Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, reading achievement, Stanford Achievement Test, decoding skills, comprehension skills, Wide Range Achievement Test
Low income rural area, Southeast, elementary school
Republished in 1992 in DI News, 11(3), 9-14

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