Review methods

Beginning reading

Educator's summary

As a PDF document

As web pages:
- Key findings
- Top-rated programmes
- Programmes with limited evidence
- Other programmes
- Review methods

Full report

As a PDF document (168 pages)

An exhaustive search considered more than 2000 published and unpublished articles. It included those that met the following criteria:

  • Schools or classrooms using each programme had to be compared to randomly assigned or well-matched control groups.
  • Study duration had to be at least 12 weeks
  • Outcome measures had to be assessments of the reading content being taught in all classes. Almost all are standardised tests or state assessments.
  • The review placed particular emphasis on studies in which schools, teachers, or students were assigned at random to experimental or control groups.

The Full Report

The full report, which this review summarises, is Slavin, R.E., Lake, C., Chambers, B., Cheung, A., & Davis, S. Effective beginning reading programs: A best evidence synthesis. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education.