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Norman Kennette G. Aguinaldo Jr.


Strategies of Remedial Reading There is no one best approach to remediation and even among these approaches there is very little evidence of any hierarchy of effectiveness. But since we are dealing with human beings who constantly vary in their needs and responsiveness to different courses of treatment, it is absolutely essential to be familiar with a variety of approaches. PSYCHOLOGICAL or COUNSELING APPROACH

The basic concept of those who approach rem ediation through psychological and counselling technique is that retardation in reading is only one manifestation of the individuals social and emotional adjustment to lifes demands. Basically, the rationale of this strategy is that the individual must be aided function more effectively as a member of society. In viewing other strategies, the counsellor or psychologist buttresses his stand by pointing out that the success of almost any approach depends upon the interpersonal relationship established between pupil and teacher.

Among the techniques that have been used in treating retarded readers in the framework of the psychological or counselling strategy are the following: Non-directive Counseling The relationship with the therapist is characterized by permissiveness, verbal emphatic reflection of the subjects expressed feelings and acceptance and respect for him as an individual. The primary tool conversation between the therapist and the subject may center around the reading problem or any other topic desired by the subject. The treatment is intended to aid the subject in realizing and capitalizing on his own resources for solving his problem. Directive Counselling The relationship is between one who is basically an authoritarian or guiding figure and an unsuccessful learner. Basic tools are helping the student to achieve personal organization through planning, scheduling or self-discipline; perhaps suggesting relaxation techniques to relieve physical or emotional tensions; giving guidance in study habits; arranging direct instruction in reading; and utilizing other clinical resources to assist the pupil in specific problem areas, such as marital or sex problems, physical therapy, speech, hearing or vision difficulties and vocational guidance.

Norman Kennette G. Aguinaldo Jr. BSE IV-A

Play Therapy Play therapy has evoked much less interest in work with retarded readers than was true in the early 1950s. Briefly, play therapy retains the qualities of permissiveness, reflection of feelings, acceptance and respect of its subject. Bibliotherapy Is an expressive therapy that uses individual relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression.


Stated briefly, the basic concept of operant conditioning is that behaviour, skill development, or learning is most effective when scheduled in small steps in a planned sequence leading to a specific goal. The learning schedule is planned and tested to insure successful progression of learners, and reinforcement of each step is arranged by self-knowledge through providing a continuous answer key. Programs were the materials inserted in the teaching machine and were soon available as separate workbooks.

Programmed Learning
Programming often provides well-planned materials, permits children to progress at their own rate, provides records for analysis of errors, and even helps teachers to learn more about the intricacies of development in certain skill areas. But a skill development package assumes that the act of comprehension can be broken into tiny bits, practice, and then, magically as it were, recombined into the flow of comprehension, a questionable and unproved assumption. On the other hand, most critics see its relevance in some of the more or less mechanical skills related to reading, as dictionary and library use, phonics, word recognition, study skills, structural and contextual analysis, and the like.

Performance Contracting
Performance contracting, as it is called, has been introduced to many school systems in which the reading success of the pupils has not been acceptable to the administration. In a tonguein-cheek article, Roger Farr et al. have pointed out how simple it would be to realize a large profit in performance contracting. Using the result of the controlled experiment as the basis for argument, these critics showed that by use of material rewards for improved test performance, without any reading instruction, dramatic gains in apparent reading ability were obtained. Significant gains in

Norman Kennette G. Aguinaldo Jr. BSE IV-A

vocabulary and comprehension and the number of test items of each attempted were stimulated by the promised rewards of radios, sweatshirts and candy bars.

Bahavior Modification
This approach resembles the ancient system of rewards and punishments known to most parents and teachers. In application, when a specific behaviour of the subject to be modified is identified, a system of constant rewards or punishments to reduce this behaviour or induce a substitute action is instituted. The rewards and punishments may take a variety of forms, each calculated to motivate the subject to change his behaviour.

Management Systems
One unique extensions of the operant conditioning theory has been the development of what are called management systems. Basically, these materials have the common characteristics.
1. The desired behaviour is defined by a behavioural objective that describes exactly what the learner is to be able to do at the end of the related training. 2. Hundreds of behavioural objectives are written to cover the reading curriculum. 3. Activities or exercises are designed, usually in the form of worksheets, for practice of each subskill the authors have identified. Commonly, a pre-test and post-test are offered. 4. Pre-test and post-test are criterion-referenced tests: scored according to a minimum criterion set by the authors, such as 80 to 95 percent correct answers.

The proponents of these management systems claim the systems have certain advantages. They insist that by this approach instruction can be truly individualized; that learning is efficiently managed, reinforced, and evaluated at each step; and that a system allows self-pacing. In contrast, critics of this behaviouristic approach make the following points:
1. System approaches individualize only rate of learning in instruction. 2. The assembly-line nature of these systems emphasizes content, not process. 3. Management systems break the reading process into tiny bits and pieces to fit their concepts.

For readers who have not yet been exposed to management systems, here are some very brief descriptions: Criterion-Referenced Reading (Random House) offers five progress tests for each of 380 skill for kindergarten to sixth grade. Each test is criterion-referenced with an expected performance standard of 80 percent.

Norman Kennette G. Aguinaldo Jr. BSE IV-A

Fountain Valley Teacher Support System (Richard L. Zweig Associates) stresses 367 skills and objectives for the first six grades. Seventy-seven self-scoring tests recorded on cassettes assess pupil mastery and indicate pupil needs for instruction. Pupils are to be grouped for instruction with the aid of a long list of basal and supplementary materials keyed to the skill sequences of the program. Prescriptive Reading Inventory (CTB/McGraw-Hill) offers seven groups of ninety skills and objectives identified by an analysis of basal needing programs. Student profiles indicating each pupils needs are then returned. Program Reference Guides list textbooks and other materials related to each objective. Extensive field testing was done to determine whether children could do the tests at the various levels and thus whether the objectives are appropriate. Read On (Random House) is a boxed kit of tests, cassettes and scoring keys for sixty reading skills in auditory and visual discrimination, word attack, and comprehension. The tests are administered by recorded directions and scored by cardboard masks. A 90 percent performance is expected on each test. Materials paralleling the objectives, each drawn from a source such as basal system, are bound in booklets to be purchased separately from the basic kit. Wisconsin Design for Reading Skill Development (Interpretive Scoring Systems) contains six components: word attack, study skills, comprehension, self-directed reading, interpretive reading, and creative reading. Diagnosis: An Instructional Aid (Science Research Associates) Ransom Program Reading Tests (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.) Reading: IOX Objective-Based Tests (Instructional Objectives Exchange) Individual Pupil Monitoring System Reading (Houghton Mifflin Co.) Power Reading Survey Test (BFA Educational Media) Individualized Criterion Referenced Testing Reading (educational Development Corp.) These systems are thoroughly reviewed in Buros Eight Mental Measurements Yearbook for those who wish to learn more about each program.