The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice
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The Influence of Reading Recovery on Everyday Classroom Practice. A Legacy of Curricular Impact “A View from the Sidelines” “with a decided bias from the US experience” P. David Pearson UC Berkeley. Talk available.

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The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice

The Influence of Reading Recovery on Everyday Classroom Practice

  • A Legacy of Curricular Impact

  • “A View from the Sidelines”

  • “with a decided bias from the US experience”

  • P. David Pearson

  • UC Berkeley


Talk available

Talkavailable

  • I’ll make it available to your organization, and they can distribute it however they wish


Barbara too much focus on reading

Barbara: Too much focus on reading

  • Reading Recovery

  • Writing Wrenewal

  • Literacy Leg-up

  • Meaning Mending


I come with a history

I come with a history...

  • 1970s/early 80s: Consumer Knowledge of RR

  • 1985? or so: Visited the year old site at Columbus

  • One year later: Brought RR to U of I, Urbana-Champaign

  • Learned about it up close and personal


Barbara s infinite regress of tutoring

Barbara’s Infinite Regress of Tutoring

  • Those who can do

  • Those who can’t, teach.

  • Those who can’t teach, teach teachers how to teach.

  • Those who can’t teach teachers how to teach, teach teacher educators how to to teach teachers how to teach.


What this is not a talk about

What this is not a talk about...

  • Not a talk about the politics of reading in the United States

  • Although I have a lot to say about the political football that reading instruction has become

  • My sense is that this phenomenon is not limited to the US, or to the Northern Hemisphere.


What this is not a talk about1

What this is not a talk about...

  • Not a talk about the politics of government or foreign policy in the United States

  • Although I have a lot to say about our government and our foreign policy

  • My sense is that this phenomenon is not limited to the US, or to the Northern Hemisphere.


What this is not a talk about2

What this is not a talk about...

  • Not an evaluation of whether the evaluation research scales tip for or against RR

  • Although…

  • My own reading of the research, even the research of its critics, is that the scales tip toward Reading Recovery

  • See Forbes and Briggs volume (my foreword) for my assessment of the strength of the research


What this is not a talk about3

What this is not a talk about...

  • Not a talk about what the most recent evaluation studies say about the efficacy of RR

  • Although . . .

  • I was very impressed, 2 years ago, by disinterested data from Vermont’s state assessment

    • Schools in which RR is fully implemented benefit in terms of increases in test scores, compared to partial implementation schools.


What this is not a talk about4

What this is not a talk about...

  • Not a testimony to the thousands of kids whose lives have literally been turned around by RR

  • Although…

  • I am impressed by the fact that millions (wow!) of students served by Reading Recovery live lives that would not have been possible without this program.


This is a talk about how reading recovery

This is a talk about HOW Reading Recovery

  • As a program

  • As an intervention

  • As an intellectual phenomenon

  • Has influenced everyday reading instruction in the USA and perhaps beyond.

  • The Question: Do we do things differently, or better, because Reading Recovery has been a fact of our professional lives for over 20 years now in the USA and 30 here in New Zealand?


Some preliminaries getting my assumptions biases and predispositions on the table

Some preliminaries--getting my assumptions, biases, and predispositions on the table

  • I am, as I have been since the 1970s, a member of the radical middle in reading instruction policy and practice. This means that...

  • I am in the middle of most contentious issues

  • I am viewed with suspicion by those who end up on the child-centered, constructivist side of these debates and by those who end up on the curriculum-centered, structuralist, skills side.

  • I am radical about my stance


What does it mean to be in the radical middle for me

What does it mean to be in the radical middle? For me…

  • Extreme views are usually half right

    • CONTEXT!!!!

  • The whole point of reading instruction is reading

  • Skills are essential parts of learning and instruction

  • Skills—whether about decoding, comprehension, fluency, language, writing, genre, whatever—are nothing more than a means to an end; they are not ends unto themselves

  • Their worth = contributions to reading and writing growth and text understanding.


So context does not matter

So context does not matter?


Why do i adopt this stance

Why do I adopt this stance?

  • That is where my reading of the research points me

  • That is the position that so many classroom teachers adopt in trying to negotiate these contentious debates

  • A modest view of evidence supports only modest claims


Caveats

Caveats

  • These contributions are NOT solely the work of Reading Recovery

  • They most likely extend beyond the goals of Reading Recovery

  • RR has been careful to say that it is NOT responsible for

    • schoolwide reading programs

    • improving the overall achievement of a school

  • BUT, hey, it is my reading of what I see...


How would we could we evaluate this legacy

How would we, could we, evaluate this legacy?

  • Examine what reading instruction looked like before Reading Recovery arrived on the scene, at least in the USA.

  • Look at changes in reading instruction, especially early reading instruction, since its arrival (these may hold across the English speaking world?).

  • Look for plausible connections—change that could conceivably be attributed to Reading Recovery.

  • Evaluate the plausibility of the attribution and utility of those changes.


Reading instruction in 1984

Reading Instruction in 1984

  • Basals still dominated

  • We emphasized skills not skill

  • The idea of a strategic reader was just emerging

  • Whole Language was in its ascendancy--but not yet a household word.

  • Literature based reading was waiting in the wings


Dick and jane were gone but not the logic that gave birth to them

Dick and Jane were gone, but not the logic that gave birth to them.

1. Go! Go!

2. Go, Dick, Go!

3. Go! Go!

4. Look! Look!

1. This is Mike.

2. This is Amy.

3. This is Mike and Amy.

4. Mike and Amy work.

5. Mike and Amy play.

6. Mike and Amy have fun!


Phonics was taught aggressively as a set of rules

Phonics was taught aggressively, ...as a set of rules

  • “George, what happens when two vowels go walking?”

  • “Let’s see, Penelope,… I think the first one does the talking, and the second one just sits there, like a bump on a log!”


The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice

...and worksheets

Fill in the bubble under the picture that starts with the same sound as the picture on the left

Matthew Story


The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice

Is a black and white kitten

white and black?

YES

NO

After you cross the street,

are you on the other side?

YES

NO

3. Do cows buy their milk

at stores?

YES

NO

Do a coat and a fire both

keep you warm?

YES

NO


Writing was just starting to make its way into the curriculum

Writing was just starting to make its way into the curriculum

  • The influence of Graves and Caulkins

  • Prior to that time, we thought that teaching writing too early might interfere with learning to read

  • We were just beginning to learn that writing helps kids learn

    • to focus on meaning, both when they write and when they read.

    • to fine tune their phonics repertoire

    • to enhance their phonemic awareness


So when rr hit the us reading scene in the early mid 1980s what did it bring

So, when RR hit the US reading scene in the early-mid 1980s, what did it bring?

  • What are its lasting contributions?

  • I am interested in knowing whether similar contributions exist in other countries.


A completely different model of remediation

A completely different model of remediation

  • Acceleration, not remediation

  • Provided by the most skilled, not the least skilled, among us.

  • Instead of fixing kids up, we were gearing them up

  • What was compensatory and differential was OPPORTUNITY and ASSISTANCE, not a set of materials or a special approach

  • We were preparing kids for success in everyday reading instructional settings

  • We were holding standards and expectations constant and allowing scaffolding to vary.


The legacy in 2004

The Legacy in 2004

  • In the year 2004, we have at least a dozen pretenders to the RR throne--

  • tutoring or small group approaches that aspire to the same goals as RR--

  • to provide opportunity and assistance to those targeted for failure so that they gain access to the secrets of reading success--

  • to use all the resources one can muster in monitoring and making sense of the printed word.

Note: erosion since 1998: Scripted programs


An apprenticeship model of instruction

An apprenticeship model of instruction

  • While the notion of cognitive apprenticeships had been with us

  • As well as the idea that what teachers do is to gradually release responsibility for reading and sense making to students

  • Reading Recovery showed us how it looked in action...


The legacy in 20041

The Legacy in 2004

  • We have learned to think of reading as an emergent process that improves with opportunity and the assistance of a mentor--a journeyman reader

  • rather than a set of separable skills to be mastered

  • Coaching kids during reading on how to use phonics and context to unlock words

Note: erosion since 1998: Single skill mastery comeback


The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice

Gradual Release of Responsibility

100

With any luck, we move this way (----->) over time.

Teacher Responsibility

But we are always prepared to slide up and down the diagonal.

0

Student Responsibility

0

100


Changing teacher roles

Changing Teacher Roles

High Teacher Low Teacher

Low StudentHigh Student

Explicit Instruction

Modeling

Scaffolding

Facilitating

Au and Raphael

Participating


A new model of teacher support during text reading

A new model of teacher support during text reading

  • We had the tradition of the DRTA

  • We had read-alouds

  • We had independent reading

  • What we did not have was a model of how you sequence support

  • Read-alouds-->shared reading-->guided reading-->independent reading


The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice

Gradual Release of Responsibility

Read Aloud

100

Shared Reading

Guided Reading

Teacher Responsibility

Independent Reading

0

Student Responsibility

0

100


The legacy in 20042

The Legacy in 2004

  • While there are clearly other influences involved here (including certain leaders in the RR movement)

  • I do not think that the model would be so compelling today without the crystal clear modeling of RR teachers on how to provide (and withdraw) that scaffolding.


A new theory of text difficulty

A new theory of text difficulty

  • Prior to Reading Recovery, we had readability formulas to predict difficulty

  • When basals gave way to literature-based reading, readability died, and we lived without any theory of text difficulty for a few years.

  • Reading Recovery helped us rebuild a theory of what made books for young readers more or less accessible.


The legacy in 20043

The legacy in 2004

  • While it is not fully complete, we now have a sense that all of these factors contribute to readability:

    • Familiarity of the topic

    • Predictability of the language

    • Interestingness

    • Non print contributions

    • Decodability of the words

  • The work of Hoffman and Hiebert on text access


A fundamental shift in early literacy assessment

A fundamental shift in early literacy assessment

  • My own research--1990

    • Lots of Skills, especially phonics

    • Multiple Choice: the dominant response format

    • The bubble machine!


The legacy in 2001

The Legacy in 2001

  • The dominant tools

    • Reading text

    • Running Records--accuracy and fluency

  • Performance tasks

    • (ala Concepts of Print)

  • Authenticity prevails

LOTS of Clones out there on the tundra!!!

Note: erosion since 1998


The assessment legacy in 2004

The Assessment Legacy in 2004

  • The impact in the US of Reading First has prompted a retreat from performance-based and classroom-based assessment to more “standardized” measures, especially those that substitute speed for accuracy

  • DIBELS


The influence of reading recovery on everyday classroom practice

The perils of performance assessment: or maybe those multiple-choice assessments aren’t so bad after all…….

  • The four seasons are salt, pepper, mustard, and vinegar.

  • Thunder is a rich source of loudness

  • To keep milk from turning sour, keep it in the cow.


The perils of performance assessment or watch out for those open ended questions

The perils of performance assessment, or watch out for those open-ended questions:

  • "Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state”

  • "The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana."


The perils of performance assessment

The perils of performance assessment

  • "The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."


The perils of performance assessment1

The perils of performance assessment

  • "Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."

  • Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if you don't, why you should.


The perils of performance assessment2

The perils of performance assessment

  • "Germinate: To become a naturalized German."

  • "Vacumm: A large, empty space where the pope lives.”

  • “Monsoon: A French gentleman”


The perils of performance assessment3

The perils of performance assessment

  • You can listen to thunder and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it, you got hit, so never mind.

  • "When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire."


Rediscovery of the importance of fluency

Rediscovery of the importance of fluency

  • There was a time, 40 years ago, when reading fluently, so that reading sounded like speech, was an important curricular goal.

  • In the skills management movement of the 1970s, it had no place (could not measure it on a paper and pencil test).

  • Did not fit the zeitgeist of Whole Language either; seemed to distant from meaning?


The legacy in 20044

The Legacy in 2004

  • Reading Recovery, by showing us the importance of lots of opportunity to read and reread texts that are well under control, has reminded us that daily reading of easy material is one key to fluency.

  • The research is clear on this point, daily easy reading, coupled with guided reading of more challenging text, is the right recipe for progress in early reading. Why?...


The legacy of easy reading continued

The Legacy of Easy Reading, continued

  • Daily easy reading

    • consolidation of skills and processes and new vocabulary

    • Confidence

    • Fluency

  • Daily guided reading of challenging books

    • Allows us to stretch our skills to the max

    • Brings us new ideas to use in tomorrow’s easy reading--

    • Today’s new knowledge is tomorrow’s prior knowledge

Note: erosion recently toward speed not flow


Helped us understand why and how spelling aids reading

Helped us understand why and how spelling aids reading

  • Spelling is worth teaching in its own right

  • BUT…

  • Spelling is the place where phonemic awareness gets practiced authentically

  • Spelling reinforces the letter-sound correspondences in reading through sound-letter practice


The legacy in 2004 sound based spelling

The Legacy in 2004: sound based spelling

  • Interesting that we have convergence from so many camps on this one

    • Reading Recovery

    • What is left of whole Language

    • New Phonics

  • Sound-based spelling is not inconsistent with the goals of conventional spelling

  • Stopping points along the path to conventionality


The central role of monitoring for sense

The central role of monitoring for sense

  • Not a new idea

  • Part and parcel of any and all contextual views of reading

  • BUT…

  • Reading Recovery showed us how to operationalize monitoring for making sense

  • Through teacher modeling and

  • Scaffolding kids through some tough sledding


The legacy in 20045

The Legacy in 2004

  • Monitoring is

  • The hallmark of the expert reader: Better to be ready to fix up one’s understanding than to exhibit errorless oral reading

  • The place where reader, text, and task connect: Cross the New to Known bridge

  • The point where cueing systems--phonics, sight words, and context--work in synergy

  • Comprehension in action


Monitoring in action

Monitoring in Action


Individual accountability

Individual accountability

  • In the 80s and early 90s, when classroom teaching became so focused on whole group instruction (don’t ask why!!!)

  • Many kids could ONLY “get” the story by listening to a read aloud

  • They got pulled along at their frustration level for the sake of holding a common conversation


The legacy in 20046

The legacy in 2004

  • The cost of a rich diet of literature that is read aloud cannot be that kids are not expected to read it on their own.

  • The truth is that instruction MUST be offered at an instructional level--where a student can take advantage of the scaffolding provided by a sensitive teacher--so that she to reach just beyond her grasp.


Reading recovery has served as a mirror for reflection

Reading Recovery has served as a mirror for reflection

  • Illuminated the weaknesses in the skills management mentality of the 70s and 80s

    • Too many parts, not enough whole

    • Lack of authenticity of text and task

  • Pointed to the soft spots in whole language--

    • lack of attention to systematicity

    • excessive reliance on immersion


The legacy in 20047

The legacy in 2004

  • Must help the rest of us arrest the rush to phonics as the savior of reading instruction

  • Remind us all that learning to read is a complex process requiring orchestration of many sources of knowledge and skill

  • Help us respect the role of context in monitoring, word identification, and comprehension


Reading recovery has provided a new model of professional development

+ : Reading Recovery has provided a new model of professional development

  • The ultimate apprenticeship

  • Takes teaching out of the closet (you can’t improve by pretending everything is all rosy)

  • Share our practices, blemishes and all, en route to improvement

  • Make practice a matter of professional discourse

  • Get over the personal investment in cosmetic appearance


The pd legacy in 2004

The PD legacy in 2004

  • Illustrates that the apprenticeship model of learning that works for kids also works for adults

  • Shows that we have much to learn from one another

  • Makes the construct of a community of learners very real


The pd legacy in 20041

The PD legacy in 2004

  • Has spawned some kissin’ cousins

    • Video sharing

    • Lesson study


The pd legacy in 20042

The PD legacy in 2004

  • Has reminded us of a central lesson in reform

    • Until and unless we confront the moment by moment interaction of teachers and students, we will not achieve genuine reform.

    • We will skirt around the edges talking about

      • Curriculum

      • Assessment

      • Student readiness, motivation and background


My reading recovery wish list

My Reading Recovery Wish List

  • I know that Reading Recovery cannot be expected to solve ALL the ills of international reading instruction, but…

  • That is not going to stop me from telling you what I wish RR would consider...


The comprehension dilemma

The Comprehension Dilemma

  • The facts

    • Reading Recovery accepts the goal of returning kids to classrooms where they can benefit from ordinary instruction

    • Reading Recovery is great at promoting accuracy, fluency, and monitoring

  • BUT…in order to benefit from ordinary instruction, kids must be able to

    • participate in interrogations of text--discussions

    • learn vicariously, while sharing the limelight


The comprehension dilemma1

The Comprehension Dilemma

  • How and where can we help kids acquire the “discourses of classroom conversation” so that they CAN benefit from participation in ordinary classrooms

  • Why I wish there were a more systematic attempt to incorporate ordinary comprehension activity--of the ilk we see played out daily in story discussions

  • Also like to see comprehension incorporated into level placement decisions


Here is the goal

Here is the goal


Supporting talk about text

Supporting talk about text

Back


Supporting talk about text1

Supporting talk about text


A full tool kit for word reading

A full tool kit for word reading

  • I like the balanced emphasis that I see on word reading--appeal to context, sounding it out, looking for patterns, but…

  • I would love to see what RR could do if this element were augmented with, say, the model of someone like Linnea Ehri

  • Letter-sound decoding

  • Decoding by analogy

  • Sight word reading

  • Context


A full tool kit for word reading1

A full tool kit for word reading

  • Truth be told, at least in the US, we are perilously close to the early 1970s skills for skills sake that was prompted by the behavioral objectives movement

  • We must bring authenticity, relevance, and application back into the picture…

  • And I think Reading Recovery could help


Unpack your theory of text difficulty

Unpack your theory of text difficulty

  • What is it that lies just behind our collective and individual wisdom in judging books to provide a particular level of challenge

  • What is it about the books, the ideas, the words and the linguistic structures that accounts for that wisdom?


Just to summarize

Just to summarize

  • Reading Recovery has left us a rich legacy, one for which

    • I and others are grateful

    • You all should take pride in

  • But…

  • Reading Recovery as a strong organization and a grass roots community of committed teachers could help the broader reading community address some pressing issues


A little help from our rr friends

A little help from our RR friends

  • The comprehension business

  • The full tool kit of word id strategies

  • The theory of text difficulty

  • Help to prevent backsliding on

    • Model of apprenticeship in learning

    • PD as a committed professional community

    • Assessment as authentic performance on tasks that pass the prima facie test…

      • is that what I mean by reading!


Let me close by offering an invitation to you all

Let me close by offering an invitation to you all

  • I invite you all to join my new literacy political party

  • The Radical Middle

  • You may already be there,

  • But now you can have a name!


Our fundamental position

Our fundamental position

  • The debates, at least in the USA, Canada, and maybe England (don’t know enough about NZ and Australia), have been counterproductive by sustaining a pretense that authenticity and explicit instruction are oppositional ideas.


Our fundamental position1

Our fundamental position…

  • We must wed these two powerful ideas--authentic activity and ambitious instruction in a curriculum that provides:

    • skills that give kids independence,

    • writing opportunities that promote their communicative competence

    • reading opportunities that promote engagement, motivation, and intellectual challenge


You can stand where you like but as for me

You can stand where you like, but as for me . . .

  • I choose to stand in the radical middle

  • on the common ground that brings us together

  • to build the sorts of curriculum and opportunity

  • that will support the development of the kinds of readers we will need in the 21st century.

  • Readers who can read and think for themselves

  • And if you join, you must accept our motto, our platform, and our pledge


Our motto for the radical middle

Our motto for the radical middle

  • Read me a book today, and I learn a little more, I feel new emotions, and think a bit more deeply.

  • Teach me to read today, and you give me a lifetime of tomorrows in which I can read, and learn, and feel, and think for myself.


Our platform

Our platform

  • Better to be helpful than politically correct.

  • Better to be involved that theoretically pure.

  • Better to be searching for common ground than for ideological distinction.

  • Better to be in the middle of a road headed somewhere than stuck in a ditch on either side.


Our pledge

Our Pledge

  • Kids are who they are. They know what they know. They bring what they bring.

  • Our job is not to wish that students knew more or knew differently.

  • Our job is to transform each students' knowledge, along with the collective diversity of knowledge they bring to the classroom, into a curricular strength rather than an instructional inconvenience.

  • We can do that only if we hold high expectations for all students, convey great respect for the knowledge and culture they bring to the classroom, and offer every ounce of support needed to achieve those expectations.


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