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This study determined the efficacy of a content knowledge and reading comprehension treatment implemented by eighth-grade social studies teachers over 1 school year. We randomly assigned eighth-grade students with reading difficulties to the intervention treatment condition (n = 45) or the business-as-usual comparison condition (n = 33). Students in the treatment condition scored statistically higher than students in the comparison condition on measures of knowledge acquisition (effect size [ES] = 0.35), content reading comprehension (ES = 0.59), and vocabulary recall (ES = 0.65). The small ES on standardized reading comprehension (0.10) favoring the treatment condition was not statistically significant.


Swanson, E., Wanzek, J., Vaughn, S., Fall, A.-M., Roberts, G., Hall, C., & Miller, V. (2017). Middle school reading comprehension and content learning intervention for below-average readers. Reading and Writing Quarterly33(1), 37-53. doi:10.1080/10573569.2015.1072068

Related Institute

Related Project

Published Date


Funding Source

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences


Content Area Instruction
Reading Instruction
Special Education/Learning Disabilities

Type of Resource

Journal Article/Book Chapter


School Administrator

Grade Level

Middle School