I think Hattie has been called out on this already and made adjustments but, regardless, what I'm looking at when I go to the EEF project (http://educationendowmentfoundation.org ... tterbooks/
) are the conclusions of the study. To me, and I admit that there are so many un-operationalised terms flying around that make it hard to cast judgement, it looks like the same old, same old. How many studies are we going to have to read in which some prof, who probably hasn't got the first idea about what these secondary kids are missing, goes in and does 'dialogic' reading. Having finished exploiting half-digested Vygotskian language, this is dressing up paired or group reading in the terminological language of 'dialogism' (Bakhtin). Dialogism can be very useful in throwing light on all sort of aspects of language, especially in the field of literary criticism and socio-linguistics; however, it is utterly meaningless in the context of teaching the kids in the study to read - assuming that this is what's needed if one is going to 'enjoy reading for pleasure', given that it can't be much of a pleasure if one can't read.
Here are the conclusions of the EEF study:
There was no evidence of impact of either Chatterbooks or Chatterbooks Plus on reading ability.
The process evaluation indicates that schools encountered problems with timetabling, planning and resourcing, which make the intervention unsuitable in its current format.
If implementing this intervention with low-achieving pupils, it would be important to find a way of increasing motivation to mitigate behavioural issues.
The dialogic reading component of Chatterbooks Plus could be expanded and trialled separately.
To make Chatterbooks more suitable for a school setting, it would be important to consider how sessions that focus on reading for pleasure can be developed to demonstrate impact on reading ability.
To start with, how is it that a study can be set up in such a way that the schools can't/won't sort out when and where the programme under scrutiny can be taught? And, what does is say about the schools if those that are involved in the project involved couldn't prioritise an intervention which might have had a significant impact on the real-world lives of these kids? I think it's pathetic. Of course, as I'm sure we all know, what this is about is departments in schools refusing to release children from 'their' lessons because they don't want them to 'miss out on the curriculum'. The fact that they can't access the curriculum because their reading and writing skills aren't up to it doesn't seem to occur to them.
So, what does this kind of programme amount to? 'Reading for pleasure' means that they 'read' the obligatory 'age-appropriate' book and receive prompts. What are 'prompts'? I bet we know, don't we? 'Prompts' mean that they are told to guess from context, look at the first sound in the word and guess, look at pictures/illustrations if there are any, and/or they are told what the word is when they can't read it for themselves. After that, they still can't read for pleasure because they still can't read! Or, if some of these children are able to memorise some of the words in the texts they are reading, they'll look good today and the effects wash out tomorrow/next week - as can be seen from the stats.
And, what's more, they waste good taxpayers money on training literate graduates to mediate this stuff when they could be training them to teach high quality phonics programmes to many of these poor, wretched kids.
It really is so frustrating!