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The history of research on interventions for struggling readers in grades 4 through 12 dates back to 19th century case studies of seemingly intelligent children who were unable to learn to read. Physicians, psychologists, educators, and others were determined to help them. In the process, they launched a century of research on a wide variety of approaches to reading intervention. As shown in this systematic narrative review, much has changed over time in the conceptualization of reading interventions and the methods used to determine their efficacy in improving outcomes for struggling readers. Building on the knowledge gathered over the past 100 years, researchers and practitioners are well-poised to continue to make progress in developing and testing reading interventions over the next 100 years.


Scammacca, N. K., Roberts, G. J., Cho, E., Williams, K. J., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., & Carroll, M. (2016). A century of progress: Reading interventions for students in grades 4–12, 1914–2014. Review of Educational Research. Advance online publication. doi:10.3102/0034654316652942

Related Institute

Related Project

Published Date


Funding Source

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences


Reading Instruction
Special Education/Learning Disabilities

Type of Resource

Journal Article/Book Chapter


General Education Classroom Teacher
School Administrator
Special Education Teacher
Technical Assistance Provider

Grade Level

Middle School
High School