Project: Reading for Understanding Initiative

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Overarching Project Goals:
The goals of this project were to investigate the underlying cognitive and linguistic components that contribute to or prevent the acquisition of well-developed comprehension skills, and to create and evaluate coherent, integrated multi-component instructional interventions intended to build and integrate key component skills that support students' proficient oral and text comprehension and reading for understanding (Note: intervention portion of project not currently available on LDBase). Researchers aimed to identify, develop, and evaluate interventions that will likely result in substantial increases in students' reading comprehension across early childhood and elementary school with a focus on students at risk for significant reading comprehension difficulties, particularly among children attending higher poverty schools. A focus of this project was the investigation of the cumulative impact of the use of effective instructional interventions on students' reading comprehension skills. Development and evaluation studies were embedded in a longitudinal model, and explored the accumulated effects of instruction over multiple years of schooling. Interventions consisted of data-informed instructional sequences and activities that were shared through a web-based teacher tool called CTT (Comprehension Tools for Teachers). This tool includes assessments for use in decision making. In addition, this team developed and evaluated a professional development support and training system to increase fidelity of implementation of the multi-component instructional interventions and increase the impact on the reading comprehension skills of students from prekindergarten to fourth grade. Studies focused on understanding critical elements of cognitive and linguistic processing at the word, sentence and text level, and as such data within this project contains rich information related to students’ reading comprehension, reading fluency, decoding skills, phonemic/orthographic/morphological awareness, linguistic comprehension and related vocabulary skills, working memory, and pbserved behavioral measures related to attention, hyperactivity, and opposition.

Basic Cognitive Studies
Studies focused on understanding critical elements of cognitive and linguistic processing at the word, sentence and text level. Methods included both traditional and novel approaches (such as tracking of eye movements) that will be used to study both conscious and ‘under the hood' processes. Researchers examined how information is processed during reading; the role of inhibitory processes, attention regulation, and sensorimotor activity during comprehension; understanding in relation to contextualization; dialect awareness; meta-cognitive processes; and semantic connections in relation to comprehension monitoring.
A multivariate study of components of reading comprehension was conducted to identify which cognitive and linguistic factors accounted for the largest portion of variance in reading comprehension and therefore could be the most promising targets of intervention. A cross-sequential study was conducted in years 1–3 to identify promising targets of intervention through providing both cross-sectional and longitudinal data for multiple cohorts. Students were assessed on a battery of measures that include standardized and experimental assessments as well as eye-tracking measures. The study collected multiple measures of similar constructs to allow for better estimation of latent abilities. Multilevel, multivariate, latent variable models were used to analyze data to identify targets for intervention.

Project Active From
2010 to 2015
Project Descriptor(s)
Developmental Design
Funding Agency / Grant Number

Most Recent Datasets in Project

There are no datasets for this project.

Most Recent Documents in Project

  • Codebook: Reading for Understanding Codebook
    Last update: December 7, 2021
    Description: This codebook contains information on the related Reading for Understanding project's data and measures. Information regarding measures of or related to: SWAN, CRS, Woodcock-Johnson, Working Memory, ...

Most Recent Code in Project

There are no code for this project.