Is your school using Reading Recovery? Is your child’s school using Reading Recovery? Reading Recovery is one of the most popular reading intervention programs in the country. Emily Hanford highlights that the Reading Recovery program is based on a theory of reading that has long been disproven by Cognitive Science researchers.
A new study released from the American Educational Research Association has startling results. In sum, the new study found that kids who received the Reading Recovery intervention performed worse than their counterparts who didn’t.
LD Online, a learning disability advocacy group, writes that Reading Recovery is a “whole language incarnation.”
Whole language is a method of teaching reading that teaches kids to guess at words. In addition, whole language actively teaches kids to double down on the habits struggling readers use.
Whole language does NOT teach decoding skills.
According to LD Online, Reading Recovery is a “whole language incarnation” that “covertly” embodies “whole language ideals.” It’s an expensive 1-on-1 reading intervention program that can cost over $10,000 per student.
Yet, Hanford sites that the program actively promotes reading methods that Cognitive Science has long disproven.
What do Cognitive Scientists know about learning to read?
Cognitive Scientists know predictable texts, incidental phonics, and guessing based on context and the first letter don’t work.
Struggling readers need explicit, systematic phonics programs with phonemic awareness and strong sound-by-sound teaching methods.
The new research on the Reading Recovery program is startling.
The new research suggests the Reading Recovery program doesn’t help struggling readers.
In the study, the kids who received the Reading Recovery intervention performed worse than the kids who didn’t. Both groups were of similar reading abilities prior to the intervention. Thus, if your student is a struggling reader the new research suggests that the Reading Recovery program can cause further harm.
If you’re a teacher, this new research suggests that you should seriously look into this matter and consider the immediate termination of programs that don’t work. However, that’s tough to do in a school system that praises balanced literacy practices or whole language. Some teachers fear social shunning or losing their jobs if they quit reading programs that don’t work.
If you’re a parent of a struggling reader, ask the school if they use Reading Recovery. If they do, show them the research provided in the link. The new research is a huge warning to parents of struggling readers. After all, no parent wants their struggling reader to get worse over time.
If you’re interested in learning more on this topic, read: New research shows controversial Reading Recovery program eventually had a negative impact on children.