WWC review of this study

Implementing cooperative learning: A field study evaluating issues for school-based consultants.

Bramlett, R. K. (1994). Journal of School Psychology, 32(1), 67–84. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ480774

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grade

Reviewed: June 2012

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

California Achievement Test (CAT): Word Analysis

Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition® (CIRC®) vs. Business as usual


Grade 3;
392 students




More Outcomes

California Achievement Test (CAT): Total Reading

Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition® (CIRC®) vs. Business as usual


Grade 3;
392 students





Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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The study took place in eight school districts in rural southern Ohio. The number of participating schools was not provided in the study.

Study sample

Eighteen third-grade teachers from eight school districts volunteered to participate in this quasi-experimental study. They were matched on school district and years of teaching experience and equally divided into two groups. In the analysis sample, the CIRC® group included 198 students in nine classrooms, and the comparison group included 194 students in nine classrooms. Each of the two groups of children was divided into three ability levels (lowest 33%, middle 33%, and upper 34%) based on the students’ California Achievement Test (CAT) total reading score percentile rankings (administered prior to implementation of CIRC®). These subgroup results are presented in Appendix D.2.

Intervention Group

Students in the nine intervention classes were given only the reading components of the CIRC® program: basal-related activities, partner reading, story structure, words out loud, word meaning, story retelling, spelling, direct instruction in reading comprehension, and independent reading. The composition component of the CIRC® intervention was not used. The study reported student outcomes after one school year of program implementation.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received their regular reading curriculum, which was not described in the study. Teachers in the comparison group were promised CIRC® training at the completion of the study, and six of them were subsequently trained.

Outcome descriptions

Teachers administered four CAT measures in the fall of 1990 and in the spring of 1991: Reading Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Total Reading, and Word Analysis. (Note that the Total Reading measure is comprised of Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.) Findings for the Total Reading and Word Analysis outcomes can be found in Appendix C.1. Subtest findings for Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension can be found in Appendix D.1. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

The teachers received a one-day (six-hour) training in CIRC® by a certified trainer, as well as the project supplemental materials. Following training, the teachers were given assistance via observation and behavioral consultation sessions (approximately 15–30 minutes). Teachers also attended three half-day meetings during the study year to discuss implementation issues. The teachers in the comparison group were promised CIRC® training and materials upon completion of the study’s collection of outcome data.

Reviewed: September 2010

Meets WWC standards with reservations

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Rural

Reviewed: August 2010

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Bramlett, R. K. (1992, August). Cooperative learning: A field study with implications for school psychologists. Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.


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