Reading Recovery victory in New South Wales

Filling the pail

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have written a number of times about Reading Recovery. Reading Recovery research is exemplary in the way that it illustrates the problems with unfair tests.

Reading Recovery is a one-to-one intervention. When compared to doing nothing (or doing something short of one-to-one tuition) it appears to be effective. The problem is that we don’t know whether this is due to the form of the intervention or its nature. Would students make similar progress with a program of any additional one-to-one reading tuition of similar duration or is it the specific Reading Recovery strategies that cause the effect?

Theoretically, Reading Recovery is perhaps unsound. It is based upon the whole language approach to reading prevalent in the 1970s when it was developed. Although it has latterly incorporated an element of phonics, it’s not clear that this is the systematic synthetic phonics supported…

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