What is it about?

In this classroom study, researchers have discovered a novel way to enhance reading skills in elementary school children. Traditionally, improving reading comprehension required extensive teacher training and close research supervision. However, a team of educators and scientists set out to explore a more practical and scalable approach. The study targeted Grade 3-5 teachers, providing them with training and materials to independently integrate effective reading strategies into their classrooms over a full school year. Instead of rigid scripts, teachers were encouraged to adapt the strategies to their unique teaching styles. Teachers attended workshops to learn about cognitive and metacognitive strategies, like predicting ('What will be this text about?') and summarizing ('What was this text about?'). Weekly reading passages were provided for student practice, and students worked on strategies in small groups, receiving valuable feedback from their peers. The results were astonishingly positive. Students in classrooms where this new "hands-off" approach was implemented showed significant improvements in strategic awareness and outperformed their peers on reading comprehension tests. Even more promising, these benefits were consistent across different grade levels and regardless of students' previous reading abilities. What makes this approach stand out is its low cost and simplicity. Teachers, despite minimal training, successfully implemented the program, showcasing its potential impact on a large number of students. The study suggests that this new method could be a game-changer for improving reading skills in elementary students, offering a feasible and practical solution.

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Why is it important?

The study's emphasis on strategic awareness and reading comprehension improvements is particularly timely, addressing a crucial aspect of education that impacts students' academic success and future opportunities. By providing teachers with the training and resources they need, without overwhelming them with rigid scripts, this research pioneers a more accessible path to enhancing reading skills in our young learners. The simplicity and low cost of this approach make it a game-changer, potentially reaching a larger number of students in diverse educational settings.


Imagine a world where teachers, armed with the right tools, can independently guide their students to become better readers. This study paints that very picture. It's not just about improving test scores; it's about instilling a love for reading and empowering educators to make a lasting impact in their classrooms. The simplicity of the program is what resonates with me. No rigid scripts, no overwhelming training – just practical strategies that teachers can seamlessly integrate into their daily lessons. It's an approach that recognizes the challenges teachers face and provides a solution that's not just effective but also feasible.

Dr. Marek Urban
Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The effect of a distributed metacognitive strategy intervention on reading comprehension, Metacognition and Learning, January 2023, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s11409-023-09334-1.
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