An efficacy randomized controlled trial of Reciprocal Reading in secondary schools

Allen Thurston*, Maria Cockerill, Tien-Hui Chiang, Andy Taylor, Joanne O'Keeffe

*Corresponding author for this work

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This manuscript presents results of a Level 2 exploratory randomized controlled trial of the Reciprocal Reading programme in secondary schools. The programme is a workforce development programme that supports teachers and teaching assistants develop and deliver targeted reading comprehension instruction to secondary school students aged 11-13. The research assessed whether the programme could be delivered in secondary school settings and explored whether it improves reading outcomes in this context. The Reciprocal Reading programme was delivered successfully over approximately 6 months in a sample of 315 students from 14 schools in five English districts with high socio-economic disadvantage. Positive Effect Sizes were observed in the primary outcome measure for analysis (reading comprehension) and the secondary outcome measures of overall literacy and reading accuracy, and the overall reading performance of the students. Teachers and teaching assistants reported that they found the programme acceptable and they evaluated the success of the programme to be universally successful. The programme proved easy to implement in secondary schools and was received with overwhelmingly positive attitudes by teachers and teaching assistants. It showed ability to be universally implemented and had good adherence to planned implementation in all, but one school. A larger study is warranted to ascertain whether effects generalise to a larger population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101626
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Early online date21 Oct 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Oct 2020


  • cooperative learning, reading, comprehension, reciprocal reading


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