29 January, 2013

Motivational Theory: The Corrective Reading Program

About Corrective Reading:

The Corrective Reading program (Engelman, S., Hanner, S., & Johnson, G, 2008) is an intensive reading intervention program that most closely subscribes to the operant conditioning and cognitive information processing approaches to learning.  Utilizing a direct instruction approach as applied to student learning, the Corrective Reading program (Engelman et al, 2008) directs its attention on teacher and student interaction throughout the presentation of instruction. The direct instruction model encourages high levels of student-teacher interaction throughout lessons stimulated by teacher engagement in specific critical behaviors aligned with best practices and careful monitoring of student responses (Huitt, 2003).  This approach, when executed with proficiency, directly impacts four basic effects of motivation as outlined by Ormrod (2008):

  • Individuals' activity and energy levels are increased
  • Clear expectations direct individuals toward explicit goals
  • Mastery teaching promotes peresistence in activities
  • Unambiguous instruction promotes the use of evidence-based learning strategies that are highly generalizable.

Corrective Reading & Goal Oriented Motivation

The Corrective Reading program (Engelman et al, 2008) is most closely aligned to a goal oriented model of motivation that appears to be extrinsic in its approach.  As provided by Gredler (2009), goal oriented models of motivation center around behavioral intentions that encourage mastery learning, progression and attainment of skills, and an increase in self-efficacy through the experience of success.  Through the use of a carefully constructed program design coordinated with effective delivery practices, the Corrective Reading program (Engelman et al, 2008) addresses each of the goal oriented intentions.  For example, through on-going progress monitoring tools and clearly defined remediation strategies that parallel carefully planned corrective feedback and encouragement, the Corrective Reading program (Engelman et al, 2008) is created to hinge on student mastery of information that is presented.  Carefully sequenced activities that follow a track based model encouraging mastery of pre-skills that build upon each other until they can be applied as rules across multiple occurrences provides students with an understanding and the recognition of self progression as new skills are learned.  As Bandura (1994) indicated, the attainment and the recognition of success, in this case the acquisition of academic skills, breeds an increase in self-esteem as well as self-efficacy as students progress through the program.

While the Corrective Reading program (Engelman et al, 2008) is carefully constructed to encourage extrinsic motivation through a goal oriented model of motivation that is effective in keeping students engaged in instruction and interested in learning, it is important to recognize that there is an embedded approach within the program focused on fostering intrinsic motivation that is closely aligned with the attribution approach to motivation.


Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V.S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol.4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman [Ed.], Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998).

Engelman, S., Hanner, S., & Johnson, G. (2008). Corrective reading: Series Guide. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill

Gredler, M. E. (2009). Learning and instruction: Theory into practice (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Huitt, W. (2003). The information processing approach to cognition. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cogsys/infoproc.html

Ormrod, J. E. (2008). Human learning (5th ed.). Upper Sadler River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

23 January, 2013

Motivational Theory & Corrective Reading

Impact of Motivation on Corrective Reading Interventions

Motivational theory remains a key component in understanding how and why students learn.  The discussion of student motivation and its effect on student learning is a consistent element discussed across multiple learning and developmental theories (Ormrod, 2008). Motivation as a discussion topic has been used within education to question or validate instructional delivery practices, curriculum/program use, and classroom management procedures.  Three prominent motivational theories often ascribed to in education include; Expectancy model, Goal oriented model, and Attribution theory.

  • Expectancy Theory
    • The Expectancy theory states that student motivation is an outcome of how much the student wants a reward [Valence], the assessment of the likelihood that the effort will lead to an expected performance [Expectancy] and the belief that the performance will lead to reward [Instrumentality](adapted from MSG, n.d.). .
      • Valence is the significance associated by the student about the expected outcome. It is an anticipated [not the actual] satisfaction that a student expects to receive after achieving the goals
      • Expectancy is the faith that better efforts will result in better performance. Expectancy is influenced by factors such as: Student capability of the learning task, Student understanding of how to contribute within the classroom, Student connection to peers and the teacher.
      • Instrumentality is the faith that if the student performs well, then a valid outcome will be actualized.
  • Goal Oriented Model
    • The Goal Oriented theory states that student motivation is the result of the desire to develop the self by acquiring new skills, mastering new situations and improving one's competence.  Two prominent orientations within the theory are discussed as students with learning goal orientation or students with performance goal orientation (Dweck, 1986; Gredler, 2009).
      • Learning Goal Orientation Characteristics: 
        • seek feedback on past performance to evaluate current performance
        • focus on improving skills and acquiring knowledge, and are less concerned with making mistakes
      • Performance Goal Orientation Characteristics
        • approach situations with the goal of gaining approval from peers and teachers
        • seek to demonstrate and validate the adequacy of their competence in order to receive favorable judgments and avoid negative judgments
  • Attribution Theory
    • The basic premise of this theory is that people want to understand their environments and, therefore, strive to understand why certain events happen. In the classroom, the understanding students have about the causes of past events influences their ability to control what happens to them in the future. For example, if students fail a test, they will probably attribute that failure to a specific cause, such as (1) lack of ability, (2) lack of effort, or (3) poor instruction. The selected attribution will affect their subsequent motivation to engage in similar learning activities (Anderman & Anderman, 2009. sec.1).
As our nation continues to focus on reading and closing achievement gaps across subgroups [as reported by the National Assessment of Educational Performance - NAEP] educators often comment [perceive] that remedial and corrective reading programs fail students as the result of lacking motivational substance.  These perceptions can result in a potential avoidance of certain evidence-based programs, the development of a culture of excuses for student failure, or the subscription to alternative popular literature approaches that lack evidence to support their use.

The next few posts will focus on a review of an evidence-based corrective reading program targeted for student in grades 3-12 identified as reading more than 1 -1.5 years behind their peers for evidence of embedded motivational strategies.  The program, simply titled, Corrective Reading was authored by Siegfried Engelmann, Susan Hanner, and Gary Johnson (2008) and is published by McGraw-Hill . Reporting will focus on the identification, application, and benefits of motivational strategies embedded within the program and identify any areas of motivation that may be lacking.


Anderman, E, & Anderman, L (2003-2009). Attribution theory. Retrieved from www.education.com

Dweck, C.S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040-1048.

Engelman, S., Hanner, S., & Johnson, G. (2008). Corrective reading: Series Guide. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill

Gredler, M. E. (2009). Learning and instruction: Theory into practice (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Management Study Guide (n.d.) Expectancy theory of motivation. Retrieved from www.managamentstudyguide.com

Ormrod, J. E. (2008). Human learning (5th ed.). Upper Sadler River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

16 January, 2013

Supervision & Evaluation: Summative Phase

Summative Phase of Supervision

As per this curriculum and instruction appraisal model’s cyclical nature, the summative phase of supervision is both cumulative and ongoing.  Reports are generated upon the completion of each coaching visit as part of the observation/coaching form and are provided to teachers during post-coaching follow-up conferences.  The feedback is precise and reflects directly that which was observed, discussed, or coached at the time that the supervisor [or instructional coach] was in the classroom.  The summary of each meeting results in the identification of those behaviors that have been observed or identified as model and those behaviors that will continue to be targeted for additional coaching.

The cumulative nature of this model provides for an opportunity for a supervisor to create a data set indicative of staff needs over time.  The data set can be translated into a formal schedule of professional development to be provided throughout the school year.  The professional development can be differentiated among staff further reflecting a developmental approach.  Teachers identified as model teachers can be encouraged to assist or lead professional development in the domains in which they have been found to be exceptional.


The curriculum and instruction appraisal model provided within these posts would be best aligned with an evaluation model that subscribed to a clinical approach to teacher rating focused on evidence-based practices aligned to the domains of:

  • Professionalism
  • Classroom management
  • Curriculum use
  • Instructional delivery

The use of a clinical approach provides for a shared understanding between staff and administration of what constitutes excellence in teaching and provides for the greatest opportunity to increase student learning.  The use of backward design to tease out critical behaviors within each domain that can be directly taught to teachers and measured in terms of proficient use and consistency provides for seamless supervisory support for teachers to reflect upon and use to improve classroom practices.  A cyclical and cumulative supervisory model that reflects frequent classroom visits by administrators and clear concise feedback on critical behaviors that affirms excellence and identifies the need for improvement as aligned with the greater evaluation process is a necessity in education and would provide for a significant improvement in teaching and student learning.

11 January, 2013

Supervision & Evaluation: Formative Stage Phase 2

The Coaching Stage

During the coaching stage, the information gathered and discussed during the investigatory stage's post observation meeting is translated into one of two tracks of supervision [support] for a teacher.
  1. A teacher is assigned for additional coaching at a frequency of two visits per month
  2. A teacher is identified as being a model teacher and is assigned follow up coaching at a frequency of one visit every other month
Coaching is scheduled as either announced or unannounced visits and can be initiated by the supervisor, an instructional coach, or the teacher.  Announced visits provide teachers an opportunity to prepare for the coaching visit.  Preparation may include:

  • Additional practice of the lesson that the coach will see
  • Identification of certain aspects of a lesson that the teacher would like modeled by the coach
  • Identification of critical behaviors that the teacher has been working on within the classroom that they would like to showcase during the visit
Unannounced visits provide an opportunity for the supervisor or coach to provide support in classes representative of a lesson taught during a typical day.  The unannounced visit also reinforces the importance for teachers to be prepared daily.

Coaching visits last between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the critical behaviors and type of coaching that occurs in the classroom.  Types of coaching include:
  • Observation with written and oral feedback
  • Modeling
  • Co-teaching
  • Side-by-side coaching
The forms used for coaching are the same forms used during the initial observation, as the critical behaviors do not change.  The form provides the opportunity for the supervisor to document support provided in the classroom during each coaching.  The professional development support that is provided through coaching is therefore individualized as teachers will be working on different critical behaviors throughout a school year based on individual levels of proficiency.

The follow-up meetings that occur during the coaching stage include affirmations of growth and mastery of critical behaviors observed as glows, and provide an indication for the need for additional work on critical behaviors identified as grows.  The coaching strategies modeled, coached, or observed during a coaching visit are documented and provided to the teacher.  The collection of support forms provide teachers an opportunity to self-reflect on their progress toward the goal of being identified as a model teacher in each of the respective teaching domains.