Helping At-Risk Children

Helping At-Risk Children

Reading Recovery: Helping At-Risk Children Learn to Read

Pinnell, G. S. (1989). The Elementary School Journal, 90, 161-183.

Pinnell evaluated two cohorts of students. The purposes of the study were to explore whether Reading Recovery could succeed with low-achieving children and to determine whether those children maintained their gains. The lowest-achieving children were randomly assigned either to Reading Recovery or to a control group served daily in individual lessons taught by a trained paraprofessional (not a Reading Recovery teacher). Both groups were compared with a random sample of average and high progress first graders as an indication of average progress. The study used all six tasks of Clay’s Diagnostic Survey, a writing sample, and the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (two subtests).

Pinnell found that in the full Reading Recovery program, Reading Recovery children scored significantly better than control children on seven of the nine diagnostic measures at the end of first grade. They compared well with the random sample group. Reading Recovery children were followed in second and third grade to determine their performance in text reading in subsequent years. Reading Recovery children remained superior in comparison with the control group.

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Download Six Reading Recovery Studies: Meeting the Criteria for Scientifically Based Research (PDF)

This abstract first appeared in What Evidence Says About Reading Recovery (2002). Columbus, OH: Reading Recovery Council of North America.