20 Research Articles for 2020

"'I'm Not Stupid': How Assessment Drives (In)appropriate Reading Instruction" by Danielle V. Dennis (Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 2009)

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled educators to find ways to provide meaningful instruction in increasingly limited amounts of time. At the same time, parents and policymakers continue to express concerns about student learning outcomes. Dennis highlights how assessment data can lead to a focus on unnecessary instruction for struggling readers, potentially resulting in wasted time and effort on ineffective instruction. She presents a study in which she worked with a group of adolescent readers identified as below proficient by a state assessment. Rather than comply with the then-common practice of providing intensive phonemic awareness and decoding instruction to these students, she administered further assessments to identify the area of reading with which each student struggled, then developed a targeted instructional framework to meet the unique needs of each student rather than provide a one-size-fits-all program. Dennis provides a step-by-step guide to designing targeted tiered interventions that focus on the unique abilities of striving adolescent readers and build on these strengths based on ongoing data collection. This practice allows teachers to spend less time on delivering ineffective instruction and more time on meeting students where they are and building on the strengths they bring to the learning process.

Reviewed by Meg Jones, University of Rhode Island

Dennis D.V. (2009). "I'm not stupid": How assessment drives (in)appropriate reading instruction. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(4), 283–290. https://doi.org/10.1598/JAAL.53.4.2

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