WWC review of this study

Improving the reading comprehension of middle school students through reciprocal teaching and semantic mapping strategies (Doctoral dissertation

Brady, P. L. (1990). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. (UMI No. 9111093)

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    12
     Students
    , grades
    5-8

Reviewed: September 2016

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Comprehension subtest

Daily Report Cards vs. Business as usual

5 Weeks

Full sample;
12 students

526.00

485.33

No

--
More Outcomes

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Vocabulary subtest

Daily Report Cards vs. Business as usual

5 Weeks

Full sample;
12 students

487.33

494.83

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 33%
    Male: 67%

  • Rural
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
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    • J
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    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
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    • w
    • y

    Alaska

Setting

The setting for the study is one combined 7th-8th grade classroom in rural southwest Alaska. One student was included that was from the 5th-6th grade combined class because they received regular reading instruction from the 7th-8th grade instructor.

Study sample

The students in the study were all bilingual Alaskan native students (p. 28). The sample include four girls and eight boys. Reading levels at baseline were varied, but most students scored below grade level.

Intervention Group

Semantic Mapping and Reciprocal Teaching intervention (SMART): The second intervention was also a 25-day instructional process in which the researcher and the regular classroom teacher collaborated to implement the reciprocal teaching intervention, combined with semantic mapping practices, and called this intervention Semantic Mapping And Reciprocal Teaching (SMART). In the SMART intervention group, students were led to complete prereading, reading, and postreading strategies with instruction and scaffolding on semantic mapping of texts. Students received prereading semantic map instruction on Day 7, and postreading semantic map instruction on Day 9 (p. 41).

Comparison Group

The comparison group did not receive extra instruction using either the reciprocal teaching or semantic mapping and reciprocal teaching methods. Over the same 25-day period, the comparison group received no strategy instruction, only their regular basal reading instruction in the morning. The comparison group students were not pulled out of the regular science class, but worked on science assignments or engaged in computer activities (not related to reading comprehension) while intervention students were pulled out.

Support for implementation

No particular support for implementation is provided, other than the supports provided by Dr. Annemarie Palinscar in sharing materials and supporting the researcher in implementing the strategy with his students. Additional support was provided by the researcher's dissertation chair and committee, and support was provided by the school to implement the randomized controlled trial in the context of the regular school day. Texts and daily comprehension quizzes were all supports provided for the implementation of the study, as was Dr. Anne Marie Palinscar's research on reciprocal teaching.

Reviewed: September 2010

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Social studies comprehension tests

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Maintenance

Grades 5-8;
12 students

5.33

2.50

No

--
More Outcomes

Daily comprehension tests

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-8;
12 students

7.09

5.89

No

--

Science comprehension tests

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Maintenance

Grades 5-8;
12 students

3.09

1.75

No

--

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Vocabulary subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-8;
12 students

509.84

494.83

No

--

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Comprehension subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-8;
12 students

502.89

485.33

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 33%
    Male: 67%
  • Race
    Native American
    100%
  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic
    100%

  • Rural
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Alaska

Setting

The study was conducted in two multi-grade classrooms (one classroom contained seventh- and eighth-grade students, while the other contained fifth- and sixth-grade students) in a school in rural Alaska.

Study sample

Eighteen Native Alaskan students in grades 5–8 were ranked by their baseline reading scores and then placed into groups of three starting with the three lowest-scoring students and ending with the three highest-scoring students. Students within each group of three were then randomly assigned to one of three study groups: (1) the reciprocal teaching group, (2) a group that received combined instruction in reciprocal teaching with instruction in semantic mapping strategies (SMART), and (3) a business-as-usual control group. This review focused on comparisons of the six students who received reciprocal teaching and the six students in the comparison group, and examined outcomes after the programs had been implemented for 25 days. Additional findings reflecting item-level scores on daily comprehension tests and students’ outcomes 4.5 months after the start of the intervention can be found in Appendix A4.1 and Appendix A4.2.

Intervention Group

The intervention group learned the four reciprocal teaching comprehension strategies of questioning, summarizing, clarifying, and predicting, as developed by Palincsar and Brown (1984). The study reported students’ outcomes after 25 days of program implementation.

Comparison Group

The control group was not taught using reciprocal teaching or semantic mapping strategies. Students in the control group attended their regular basal reading classes during the study.

Outcome descriptions

For both the pretest and the posttest, students took the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test reading comprehension and vocabulary subtests. Students also took 35 daily comprehension tests during the course of the study. Scores from the first six daily tests administered were combined to yield an average pretest score. Scores from the six daily tests taken at the end of the 25-day program implementation period were combined to yield an average posttest score. Scores from the five daily tests administered 4.5 months after the start of the intervention were combined to yield an average follow-up score. Students also took two social studies comprehension tests and two science comprehension tests; these tests were administered at pretest (during the first week of instruction), at midpoint (during the third week of instruction), at posttest (during the last week of instruction), and at follow-up (4.5 months after the start of the intervention). The two scores for each time period were averaged to yield a single science comprehension score and a single social studies comprehension score for each time period. The reading passages for the social studies and science comprehension tests were drawn from sections of the texts not yet covered in class in order to avoid confounding the results with prior instruction. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix A2.

Support for implementation

Teacher training was conducted by the study author.

Reviewed: September 2010

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Comprehension subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

5 Weeks

Full sample;
12 students

507.50

485.33

No

--
More Outcomes

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Vocabulary subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

5 Weeks

Full sample;
12 students

498.17

494.83

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 17%
    Male: 83%

  • Rural
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Alaska

Setting

The setting for the study is one combined 7th-8th grade classroom in rural southwest Alaska. Two students were included that were from the 5th-6th grade combined class because they received regular reading instruction from the 7th-8th grade instructor.

Study sample

The students in the study were all bilingual Alaskan native students (p. 28). The study had 6 girls in the sample (4 in the SMART group and 2 in the RT group), and no girls in the comparison group, so the remaining 12 students in the study were boys. Reading levels at baseline were varied. On pp. 28-30, the author summarized that 17 of the 18 students scored below grade level, and one seventh grader scored above grade level. 12 of the students were 2 or more years below grade level, and seven were four or more years below grade level.

Intervention Group

Reciprocal Teaching Intervention: The first intervention is a 25-day instructional process in which the researcher and the regular classroom teacher worked together to implement the students' training on questioning, summarizing, clarifying, and predicting strategies - called Reciprocal Teaching (RT). Students engaged in the interventions for 1/2 hour per day for five weeks in a separate classroom during their regular science class (p. 31). The first week of the RT intervention consisted of basic instruction in the four reciprocal teaching strategies, and the remaining four weeks focused on students' application of the strategies while they read informational texts in social science and science (p. 32).

Comparison Group

The comparison group did not receive extra instruction using either the reciprocal teaching or semantic mapping and reciprocal teaching methods. Over the same 25-day period, the comparison group received no strategy instruction, only their regular basal reading instruction in the morning. The comparison group students were not pulled out of the regular science class, but worked on science assignments or engaged in computer activities (not related to reading comprehension) while intervention students were pulled out.

Support for implementation

No particular support for implementation is provided, other than the supports provided by Dr. Annemarie Palinscar in sharing materials and supporting the researcher in implementing the strategy with his students. Additional support was provided by the researcher's dissertation chair and committee, and support was provided by the school to implement the randomized controlled trial in the context of the regular school day. Texts and daily comprehension quizzes were all supports provided for the implementation of the study, as was Dr. Anne Marie Palinscar's research on reciprocal teaching.

 

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