Tuesday, April 9, 2013

COR Literacy Framework Part 1

Recently I was invited to present my research on reading comprehension at the 18th International Lindamood-Bell Conference in Anaheim, California.  High profile guest speakers included Professor Allan Paivio and Professor Mark Sadoski (see link http://www.lindamoodbell.com).

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes is an organisation dedicated to helping children and adults learn to their potential. Their research-validated instructional programs have proven successful for individuals with a wide range of learning challenges, including previous, third-party diagnoses of learning disabilities such as dyslexia, hyperlexia, ADHD, CAPD, and autism spectrum disorders.

In my presentation I mentioned that teachers generally know what works in teaching reading comprehension but the difficulty has been in knowing how to orchestrate comprehension strategies. Unlike phonics instruction, comprehension strategies need to be used simultaneously and practised over a long period of time with different text types in order to be successful. The question that many theorists and practitioners have been asking is how can this be done most effectively and what is the best combination of strategies for reading comprehension to be most effective? 

To answer this question I presented the findings from a joint project between Griffith University and Independent Schools Queensland that was conducted over a four-year period to provide a professional development package to teachers in a number of ISQ affiliated schools throughout the state. This involved the implementation of the COR Literacy Framework (see 'Catalyst' p24-27) which is a systematic approach to teaching reading comprehension. 

The COR Framework is based on three levels of cognition; stepping foreword (Consider), Stepping into (Oganise), and stepping back (Reflect) which can operate simultaneously or in combination during a learning task. A reading activity, for example, can also have three phases: before reading, during reading, and after reading that require different strategies. The framework also has an embedded self-regulation focus involving goal setting, monitoring, and reflection process that relate to all three levels. The combination of the two dimensions (phases and levels of cognition) provides a flexible framework that enables teachers to fill the nine cells with pedagogical practices (or questions) that will orchestrate effective learning by integrating the three cognitive levels.

For example, in the table (COR Literacy Framework - above) the nine cells have been filled in with elements from two well known reading comprehension procedures: Reciprocal Teaching and the KWL strategy. The Reciprocal Teaching strategies (Predicting, Clarifying, Questioning, and Summarising) have been inserted into the cells that correspond to the particular level and reading phase that they target. The KWL procedure asks the questions: 'What  do I know?' 'What do I want to know?' and 'What have I learned?' These questions have also been inserted into the appropriate cells. The other two remaining cells have been filled with other elements to reflect an overall self-regulation focus. As a flexible framework other items can be substituted as long as they fit with the two dimensions (phase and level of cognition).  

More ideas about reading comprehension can be found in my recently published book, 'Reading Comprehension: AssistingChildren with Learning Difficulties, Springer International. 
See full review by Peter Westwood: This book deserves a place on the bookshelf of every teacher and researcher concerned with improving literacy standards. … I recommend this book most highly to everyone with a genuine concern for raising standards in literacy. (Peter Westwood, Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, Vol. 17 (1), May, 2012). 

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