Research Proposal: Best Practices for Students Diagnosed

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¶ … Best Practices for Students Diagnosed With a Learning Disability in Reading

The objective of this study is to make a review of research-based best practices for students diagnosed with a learning disability in reading.

The significance of this study is the synthesis of literature that will be produced by this study and the knowledge that will be added to the already existing knowledge base in this area of study.

The methodology of this study is of a qualitative nature and will be conducted through an extensive review of literature in this area of study.

Research findings have demonstrated that best practices exist in the instruction of students diagnosed with learning disabilities in reading. This work reviews those best practices in what is a synthesis of the findings in this area of study.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The work of Torgesen, Houston, Rissman, and Kosanovich (2007) entitled: "Teaching all Students to Read in Elementary School" states: "Reading comprehension is a very complex skill. Its most essential elements involve: (1) skill in reading text accurately and fluently; (2) sufficient background knowledge and vocabulary to make sense of the content; (3) skill in using reading strategies that improve understanding or repair it when it breaks down; (4) ability to think and reason about the information and concepts in the text; and (5) motivation to understand and learn from text. (p.1) it is additionally stated by Torgesen, Houston, Rissman, and Kosanovich that there are three 'critical elements' of a reading program in the elementary school that is effective: (1) Consistently implemented, high quality initial classroom instruction and follow-up small-group instruction that is well-differentiated according to student needs; (2) Use of student performance data to guide instruction and allocate instructional resources; and (3) Resources to provide interventions for struggling readers. (2007, p. 4)

The work of Fletcher (2002) entitled: "Researchers Support Early Intervention for All Children with Reading Difficulties" relates that experts in the field of education and literacy, at the national level "have found research evidence that challenges federal policy for making children eligible to receive some special education services. Currently, a child must score substantially higher on intelligence tests than on achievement tests, without exhibiting their other traits that might cause academic difficulties to qualify for special education resources in reading. A meta-analysis published in the summer 2002 issue of the American Educational Research Journal questions the use of this criterion in addressing reading difficulties of children." (p.1) Fletcher states that the meta-analysis of this issue "centers on the question of whether the needs of learning disabled children, who have been identified because of discrepancy between their intellectual potential and their levels of achievement, differ from the needs of children who do not demonstrate such a discrepancy but experience, nevertheless, difficulties in reading." (2002, p.1) Fletcher relates that there were 320 potential studies reviewed and after a process of careful construction 46 studies were chosen which make a comparison of "IQ-discrepant and IQ-consistent groups." (2002, p.1) Researchers report that there is an "...overlap between poor readers identified as learning disabled and those not so identified" which is of a substantial nature. Furthermore, it is stated that "little external validity exists for the differentiation of reading disability on the basis of IQ-discrepancy." (Fletcher, 2002, p.1) the solution is stated to be the careful assessment of "reading and reading-related skills in students for whom there is a concern about reading." (Fletcher, 2002, p 1)

The work of Jones (2005) entitled: "Meta-Analysis of Reading Interventions for Students with Learning and Emotional Disabilities" states that the development of "effective literacy skill has become an increasingly critical skill in today's information age. Students with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BC) routinely lack these skills and are not taught how to read effectively. The field of special education needs more comprehensive and specific information about how to most effectively teach reading skills to students with E/BD." (p.1) in fact, no issues has garnered the amount of attention as has "teaching of reading." (Harris, Sipay, 1980; in Jones, 2005, p. 2) the work of Kantrowitz, Underwood and Wingert (2000) relates that "mass literacy is a relatively new social goal." (in Jones, 2005, p. 1) the work entitled: "Teaching Reading is a Rocket Science: What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able to Do" states "Well-designed controlled comparisons of instructional approaches have consistently supported" the following components and practices for instruction in reading: (1) Direct teaching of decoding, comprehension, and literature appreciation; (2) Phoneme awareness instruction; (3) systematic and explicit instruction in the code system of written English; (4) daily exposure to a variety of texts, as well as incentive for children to read independently and with others; (5) Vocabulary instruction that includes a variety of complementary methods designed to explore the relationships among words and the relationships among word structure, origin, and meaning; (6) Comprehension strategies that include prediction of outcomes, summarizing, clarification, questioning, and visualization; and (7) Frequent writing of prose to enable a deeper understanding of what is read. (p. 8)

It is also related in the work entitled: "Direct Instruction" a publication of the Division for Learning Disabilities and Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children that direct instruction "is one specific model of teacher directed explicit instruction. It is distinguished from other approaches to explicit teaching or direct instruction by its emphasis on both the importance of instruction and the importance of curriculum design." (Current Practice Alerts, 1999, p.1) it is stated that centric to direct instruction are the following elements: (1) teachers are responsible for student learning; and (2) curriculum design is a critical variable in student achievement. (Current Practices Journal, 1999, p. 2) Stated as the goal of direct instruction is the acceleration of student learning through "maximizing efficiency in the design and delivery of instruction." (Current Practice Alerts, 1999, p.2) Efficiency is stated to be achieved "when students generalize beyond the specific material in the lesson." (Current Practice Alerts, 1999, p.2) the direct instruction curriculum has principles of design based on the theory of Engelmann of learning and generalization which holds that: (1) the student does not learn something first in a concrete sense and then generalize to a larger set even when the initial learning is a generalization; (2) generalization can be taught explicitly and systematically by using examples and non-examples to communicate critical samenesses among sets of exemplars; and (3) generalizations represent efficiency. (Current Practice Alerts, 1999, p.2) Direct instruction has been successfully used in children with learning disabilities.

The work entitled: "Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read" phonemic awareness instruction is critical in the initiative to teach reading. Phonemic awareness is: "the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds - phonemes - in spoken words." (2003, p.10) Also stated is that phonemic awareness is important because: (1) it improves children's word reading and reading comprehension; and (2) it helps children learn to spell. (2003, p. 10) Phonemic awareness can be developed through the following activities: (1) identify phonemes; (2) categorize phonemes; (3) blend phonemes to form words; (4) segment words into phonemes; (5) delete or add phonemes to form new words; and (6) substitute phonemes to make new words. (Put Reading First: The Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, 2003, p. 10) Phonemic awareness instruction is most effective: (1) when children are taught to manipulate phonemes by using letters of the alphabet; and (2) when instruction focuses on only one or two rather than several types of phoneme manipulation." (Teaching Children to Read, 2003, p. 10)

The National Reading Panel reports the following phonics instructional approaches: (1) Analogy Phonics -- Teaching students unfamiliar words by analogy to known words (e.g., recognizing that the rime segment of an unfamiliar word is identical to that of a familiar word, and then blending the known rime with the new word onset, such as reading brick by recognizing that -ick is contained in the known word kick, or reading stump by analogy to jump); (2) Analytic Phonics -- Teaching students to analyze lettersound relations in previously learned words to avoid pronouncing sounds in isolation; (3) Embedded Phonics -- Teaching students phonics skills by embedding phonics instruction in text reading, a more implicit approach that relies to some extent on incidental learning; (4) Phonics through Spelling -- Teaching students to segment words into phonemes and to select letters for those phonemes (i.e., teaching students to spell words phonemically); and (5) Synthetic Phonics -- Teaching students explicitly to convert letters into sounds (phonemes) and then blend the sounds to form recognizable words." (Report of the National Reading Panel, 2006, p. 1)

The work of Thompson, Morse, Sharpe and Hall entitled: "Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of Students with Disabilities" (2005) states that accommodations for student with reading disabilities and difficulty in decoding are those as follows:

1) Instruction Accommodations for Presentation: Screen reader; Human reader, Audiotape or CD, Videotape.

2) Assessments Accommodations for Presentation: Human reader, Audiotape… [END OF PREVIEW]

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