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Comparative effectiveness of four methods of instruction on the achievement of children with specific learning disabilities

Serwer, B. L.; Shapiro, B. J.; Shapiro, P. P.
This study compared the effect of three remediation programs on the academic achievement of first grade students with learning disabilities. The programs examined included DISTAR Reading, an indirect perceptual motor program, and a combination of the first two programs. A group of students who did not receive special remediation, but did participate in a twice-weekly program of walks and listening to music, served as the control group. Sixty two at-risk students from two suburban schools were randomly assigned to one of the four groups, and received instruction for 30 minutes per day. All students were administered a battery of pretests and received post-testing with multiple measures after 3 ½ and 7 months of instruction. After 3 ½ months of instruction, results from the Word Recognition and Letter Names Test indicated a statistically significant difference on the word recognition section with the indirect group recording the highest mean score. After 7 months of instruction, results from the Metropolitan Achievement Test indicated a significant difference on the Arithmetic subtest with the indirect group recording the highest mean score. Additionally, results from the Handwriting Scale indicated a statistically significant difference favoring the combination and indirect groups over the DISTAR group. Overall, the indirect and combination groups generally outperformed the DISTAR and control groups. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
DISTAR; reading; language; perceptual motor program; Metropolitan Achievement Test; Handwriting Scale; Recognition and Letter Names Test
Design type:
Pretest Posttest Control Group with Random Assignment Design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Elementary students, students with learning disabilities, at-risk students
Suburban area, elementary school

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