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Sustained Effects of Reading Recovery Intervention on the Cognitive Behaviors of Second-Grade Children and the Perceptions of Their Teachers

Askew, B. J., & Frasier, D. F. | S. Forbes & C. Briggs (Eds.) Research in Reading Recovery, volume two (pp.1–24). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann., 2002

Authors of the study cited three purposes:

  • to examine the literacy performance of former Reading Recovery children at the end of second grade and to compare that performance with a random sample of their peers
  • to explore comprehending behaviors of both groups of children
  • to explore classroom teachers’ perceptions of the literacy performance of both groups


The sample studied included 54 second graders who successfully completed Reading Recovery in Grade 1, and 53 random sample children from the same schools who had not had Reading Recovery lessons. The sample, from nine Texas schools, represented ethnic diversity as well as urban and suburban districts. Literacy performance was measured by three tasks including text reading, dictation, and spelling. The three indicators of comprehending behavior included running records, retellings, and fluency ratings. Classroom teacher perceptions were measured by a questionnaire.



  • Reading Recovery students scored at slightly lower, but with average levels of their second-grade peers on all three literacy tasks.
  • MANOVAs showed no significant difference (p<.05) between Reading Recovery and random sample children on the three retelling indices or when the indices were considered together.
  • MANOVAs showed no significant difference (p<.05) between groups when fluency was considered as a single factor or when considering phrasing or smoothness as factors. There was a significant difference on the pacing factor, with the random sample group demonstrating a faster pace on oral text reading.
  • In general, classroom teachers perceived former Reading Recovery children as average. In some areas, however, teacher perceptions did not match up with student performance.


The authors called for the use of additional tasks in following the literacy behaviors of former Reading Recovery children, specifically standardized measures. They also called for more exploration of the mismatch between teacher perceptions and student performance. The study offered support for running records as a way to make inferences about processing the meaning of text. Difficulties encountered with retelling and fluency measures were discussed.

This abstract first appeared in Schmitt, M. C., Askew, B. J., Fountas, I. C., Lyons, C. A., & Pinnell, G. S. (2005). Changing Futures: The Influence of Reading Recovery in the United States. Worthington, OH: Reading Recovery Council of North America.

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