Full Report (2.2 MB) || Educator's Summary (399 KB)
This article systematically reviews research on the achievement outcomes of three
types of classroom approaches to improving the reading achievement of students in
grades 2-5: Reading curricula, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and instructional process
programs. Study inclusion criteria included use of randomized or matched control
groups, study duration of at least 12 weeks, and use of valid achievement measures that
were independent of the experimental treatments. A total of 80 studies met these criteria.
The review concludes that programs designed to change daily teaching practices have
substantially greater research support than those that focus on curriculum or technology
alone. In particular, positive achievement effects were found for cooperative learning
programs and for structured, phonetic curricula combined with instructional process
approaches. The effective approaches provided extensive professional development
intended to significantly affect teaching practices. In contrast, studies of reading
textbooks and of computer-assisted instruction found small effects on reading outcomes.