A Meta-Analysis of Comprehension Strategy Instruction for Upper Elementary and Middle School Students
Davis, Dennis S
This study synthesizes what is known about strategic reading pedagogy through a meta-analysis of research on multiple comprehension strategies instruction (MCSI) for young adolescents in grades 4-8. The average effect of MCSI on reading comprehension was found to be 0.36 (p<0.01) for standardized measures and 0.55 (p<0.01) for non-standardized measures. For measures of students’ knowledge of strategies and their ability to use strategies while reading, the average effect sizes were 0.73 (p<0.01) and 0.77 (p<0.01), respectively. MCSI had positive effects on achievement for a variety of student populations. Effects for all four outcomes varied significantly across studies, which justified the need for moderator analyses to identify factors that strengthen and weaken the impact of MCSI on student achievement. Several characteristics of the content and pedagogical methods used in MCSI had marginally significant relationships to treatment effectiveness after accounting for methodological and sample characteristics. The findings of this study update and expand previous reviews of research on comprehension instruction and provide recommendations for classroom practice and future research in this area.