Implementing reading strategy programs and their effects on teachers’ instruction and students’ comprehension in secondary schools

Implementing reading strategy programs and their effects on teachers’ instruction and students’ comprehension in secondary schools

First Author: Joerg Jost -- University of Cologne
Additional authors/chairs: 
Anke Schmitz; Fabiana Karstens; Elmar Souvignier
Keywords: Self-regulation, Strategy Instruction, reading strategies, Reading development, teacher observation and evaluation
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
In secondary school it is important to foster higher order reading skills by instructing cognitive and metacognitive strategies, and self-regulation techniques (Hattie 2009). Unfortunately, teachers seldom instruct self-regulated reading (Magnusson et al. 2018). To find an answer for this, it is necessary to identify conditions for implementing reading strategy programs and measure effects on students’ competencies.
Methods
The implementation of two reading strategy programs in 5th grade is analyzed by classroom observations (N = 42) and teacher-surveys (N = 135). The scales are based on the strategy taxonomy of Weinstein and Mayer (1986) and on principles of effective strategy instruction (Duke & Pearson 2002). The programs differ regarding their complexity (single tool vs. complex material) and implementation strategy (bottom-up by teachers vs. top-down by educational administration). The effects on students’ (N = 954 from 53 classrooms) reading fluency and comprehension is assessed in contrast to a control condition by three measurement points with standardized tests.
Results
Classroom observations reveal a low level and a small variance in the instruction of different cognitive strategies, only few metacognitive activities and an implicit way of strategy instruction irrespective of the type of reading-strategy program. In contrast, teachers’ self-perception is more positive especially when handling the complex program. Latent growth curve models show that students’ competencies developed comparably and gained progress in reading fluency only.
Conclusion
The results are discussed against the background of implementing and training reading strategies at school, and the indirect impact of reading strategy programs on reading fluency.