Amanda Inns and colleagues from Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education have completed a research review on effective programs for struggling readers in elementary schools. A total of 61 studies of 48 programs met study inclusion standards. 84% were randomized experiments and 16% quasi-experiments. Results showed that:
- There were positive outcomes for one-to-one tutoring and positive but not as large for one-to-small group tutoring.
- There were no differences in outcomes between teachers and teaching assistants as tutors.
- Whole-class approaches (mostly cooperative learning) and whole-school approaches incorporating tutoring obtained outcomes for struggling readers as large as those found for one-to-one tutoring, and benefitted many more students.
- However, technology-supported adaptive instruction did not have positive outcomes.
The article concludes that approaches mixing classroom and school improvements with tutoring for the most at-risk students have the greatest potential for the largest numbers of struggling readers.
Source (Open Access): Inns, A. J., Lake, C., Pellegrini, M., & Slavin, R. (2019). A synthesis of quantitative research on programs for struggling readers in elementary schools. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.