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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Child-Instruction Interactions in Early Reading: Examining Causal Effects of Individualized Instruction

Carol McDonald Connor, Florida State University
Frederick J. Morrison, University of Michigan

Abstract: Across samples and grades, our research has revealed that the effect of particular instruction strategies depends on children's language and reading skills (childXinstruction interactions) (Connor, Morrison, & Katch, 2004; Connor, Morrison, & Petrella, 2004; Connor, Morrison, & Slominski, in review; Connor, Morrison, & Underwood, in preparation) To examine the causal implications of childXinstruction interactions on reading skill growth, we are conducting a random field trial with schools randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions in 10 schools with 50 teachers and 640 students. For the intervention, we developed Assessment to Instruction (A2i) software. This web-based software uses students' vocabulary and letter-word reading scores and desired reading outcomes (e.g., grade level or above) to drive algorithms, which compute recommended amounts and types of instruction, across multiple dimensions, for each child in the classroom. The software then groups students based on learning goals and indexes the school's core curriculum to the specific types of instructional strategies. The purpose of the study is to examine whether implementing individualized reading instruction based on childXinstruction interactions (i.e., computed by A2i) leads to stronger student reading outcomes. This poster will present A2i and the preliminary results after four months of intervention using January 2006 student outcomes. Hierarchical Linear Models reveal that, even after a few months, students in classrooms where the teachers implemented the intervention with average to high fidelity (over 60% of teachers) demonstrated stronger letter-word reading skill growth than did children in the control group or children whose teachers implemented the intervention with no or low fidelity.