Predicting growth in reading in regular and special education

Meg Ann Regner, Marquette University


One of the goals of schools is to meet the learning needs of all school age children. Such an undertaking has led to the development of programs which would meet the needs of those who could not learn in traditional educational settings. Within the many types of programs offered to meet these various needs one common feature has been the need to address low reading achievement. Comparisons among different programs have not resulted in a clearer understanding of which reading methods work well with any given disabled group of readers. When reading programs for regular and LD groups were compared differences in amount of time students were engaged in various reading activities were examined. The relationship of reading achievement to these reading activities was not addressed. Methodology. The present study investigated the relative effects of amounts of content covered, time spent reading (orally and silently), and difficulty of content on growth in reading for both regular and LD students. Qualitatively, differences in how teachers cued students during reading instruction were also investigated. Students were observed in their classrooms over the course of a semester in order to obtain data on these measures. Data analyses were performed to determine the degree to which each of the quantitative variables predicted growth in reading and whether IQ or placement influenced the predictability. A comparison of the types of cues used by regular education and LD teachers was also accomplished. Conclusion. Pretest measures correlated with post-test measures and their significance was not mediated by silent reading. A step-wise regression procedure did find that silent reading made a significant independent contribution to the equation when reading rate was the dependent variable and IQ provided an independent contribution when the WRMT-R comprehension post-test was the dependent measure. Thus these variables showed some predictive power. A significant contribution to the relatedness of the pre- and post-test measures of the QRI word recognition achievement measure was made by content coverage. It was also found that typically, regular education teachers used contextual cues whereas LD teachers typically used phonetic cues when students were struggling with an unknown word. A case was not made for separate programming for these two groups of low readers and more silent reading time was recommended. LD teachers were cautioned against altering their requirements for content coverage and continued use of phonetic cuing.

Recommended Citation

Regner, Meg Ann, "Predicting growth in reading in regular and special education" (1992). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9227135.