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Comprehensive research synthesis of reponse to intervention that lays the groundwork for scientifically validated effective reading programs.
Excerpted from Chapter 11 of Evidence–Based Reading Practices for Response to Intervention, edited by Diane Haager, Ph.D., Janette Klingner, Ph.D., and Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2007 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
The notion of Response to Intervention (RTI) as a means of identifying and treating children with learning difficulties is widely recognized as an important and welcome shift from practices that rely on arbitrary and inconsistent discrepancy criteria and focus on student impairments. The reauthorization of special education law with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004 (PL 108–446) indicates that schools may use an RTI approach to identifying students with learning disabilities. As researchers and educators move forward in delineating and validating interventions that support and enhance students' academic learning in an RTI model, practical issues related to implementation must also be examined. Of particular interest is how this shift in practice affects those who are responsible for instructionâ€”general and special education teachers.
Other chapters in this book describe models and instructional practices for reading intervention; therefore, this chapter does so only briefly. Though there are variations in the conceptualization of multitiered models across researchers, the basic framework is similar. The first tier represents core reading instruction that is provided for all students. Instruction in Tier 1 consists of a research–based reading program that is comprehensive in covering the essential early reading skills, is fully implemented, and is delivered by skilled teachers who have received adequate professional development. Tier 2 involves supplemental instruction beyond the core program for students whose performance is significantly below grade level expectations as determined by reliable and valid assessment of essential reading skills. Tier 3 consists of more intensive and specialized instruction for students who have significant learning problems that have not been addressed in a specified amount of time in Tier 2. Some researchers and educators would consider Tier 3 to be special education; others would include a fourth tier that would be reserved for students with recognized disabilities.
Clearly, no one would doubt the merit of adopting a process for early identification and treatment of significant learning problems that would lead to positive reading outcomes for many children. The idea of developing a system of assessment and intervention that is responsive to student needs is intuitively appealing. In an RTI approach, educators follow the progress of students showing early signs of reading difficulty and make educational decisions, such as adaptations to instruction or curriculum, based on students' responses to intervention. Some students may respond well to intervention and in a short time be able to discontinue intervention. Continued or more intensive intervention may be warranted for other students based on their inadequate response to intervention. Such students may require intensive, specialized reading instruction such as is offered in special education programs (Torgesen, 2000).
The RTI approach brings compelling questions to the forefront regarding teachers' roles. The delineation of roles for general and special education teachers becomes less clear as students with and without disability labels require specialized instruction. In this chapter, we consider the roles of both general and special education teachers in a three–tier model of reading intervention. How does this model change teachers' roles and daily activities? What evidence is there that it is feasible for general and special educators to adopt the necessa
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I Background and Overview of the Three-Tier Model
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