Comparing Brief Experimental Analysis and Teacher Judgement for Selecting Early Reading Interventions

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The purpose of this study was to examine the use of brief experimental analysis (BEA) to identify early reading interventions for students in the primary grades and to compare teachers’ judgments about their students’ early reading intervention needs to BEA results. In addition, the research was conducted to explore how teachers make decisions regarding early reading intervention selection and evaluation. Three teachers and three elementary students (two kindergarten and one second grade) participated in the study. A BEA using a multielement design with mini-reversals was used to test the effects of four different interventions. Each teacher selected an intervention that she judged to be the most promising for her student. An extended analysis using an alternating treatments design compared the relative effects of the BEA-identified intervention and the teacher-identified intervention across time. The teachers were interviewed before and after selecting and implementing the interventions. The extended analysis results showed that the BEA-identified intervention was more effective than the teacher-identified intervention for all participants. Initial and final interview findings revealed that the teachers reported using data to make intervention decisions, but with limited specificity and in some cases, misjudgments. The results are discussed in regard to limitations and future research.


Special Education

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Journal of Behavioral Education