Representing the AdultEd research team, John Hollander, Dr. John Sabatini, and Dr. Teneha O'Reilly will present research at the 2023 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting.
On April 15, 2023, they will lead the presentation titled “The Reading Skills Bottleneck Across Middle Grades." In this presentation, the researchers explore how skilled reading involves the efficient coordination of several print and linguistic skills. In late elementary grades, instruction involving reading in school often shifts in focus from learning to read to reading to learn. However, many students at this stage do not have well-developed foundational reading skill sets, and cannot benefit from comprehension instruction as efficiently as their peers. This study examined a large-scale dataset of middle-grades students using a reading skills assessment. Results indicate that students with better foundational skills are more likely to score higher on higher-level reading measures, and the size of this gap increases across grade levels, suggesting a “rich-get-richer” effect as typical instruction fails to fully address the needs of those who struggle with foundational skills.