The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading Framework: Enriching the reading curriculum for all students

Date of Completion

January 2004


Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special|Education, Reading




Despite growing pressure in the U.S. to improve the reading performance of all students, scholars rarely agree about how reading should be taught beyond third grade. In many elementary reading classes, teachers struggle to meet the needs of diverse groups of readers, from students with learning disabilities to those who read several years above grade. Few studies have examined the needs of talented readers within this context. In response, researchers at The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented developed a reading intervention, The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading Framework (SEM-R) that employs the pedagogy of gifted education to challenge talented readers while simultaneously enhancing reading instruction for all students. This dissertation summarizes a cluster-randomized experimental design that investigated the impact of participation in the SEM-R on the reading achievement of 430 elementary students (grades 3–5) in a suburban school setting. ^ Four instruments were administered to all students participating in the study: oral reading fluency assessments, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills reading comprehension subtest, Degrees of Reading Power, and Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. Descriptive statistics and multivariate data analyses were used to investigate the differences in reading achievement and attitude among all performance level groups (i.e., high-, medium-, and low-performing students), and between students who participated in the SEM-R and those who participated in a more traditional basal reading program. ^ Results indicated that students who participated in the 12-week SEM-R intervention and those who were taught using a more traditional basal program showed similar growth on assessments of oral reading fluency and attitude toward reading. Students who participated in the SEM-R did score significantly higher on the DRP assessment. The impact of the SEM-R was not mediated by student reading performance levels, as students at high-, medium-, and low-performance levels responded similarly to the intervention. Finally, multiple regression analyses indicated that easily obtained demographic variables and oral reading fluency rates accounted for much of the variance in student performance on assessments of reading comprehension, suggesting that regular teacher assessment of oral reading fluency may be an effective and efficient way to track student achievement in reading. ^