Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to consider the historical context of the gradual release model as it emerged following the early twentieth century emphasis on behaviorism as psychologists (and reading researchers) increasingly focused on cognition in the reading process. This “cognitive turn” in educational psychology was followed closely by a “social turn” with its focus on the socially constructed nature of texts, learning, and reading, particularly influenced by Vygotsky and work on scaffolding.
Design/methodology/approach – This chapter uses literature from the field to contextualize the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model and to discuss research or practice chapters included in this edited volume.
Findings – This chapter described the transition from behaviorism to cognition to social construction as it applies to the reading process generally and to GRR in particular. It noted that this transition has required teachers to be more nimble and flexible than ever before, cautioned that the complexity of classroom life and the pressures on teachers can cause techniques such as GRR to be misused, and suggested ways to manage the group work which is central to social cultural approaches to literacy. And along the way it spotlighted the ever-widening range of applications of the GRR documented in the earlier chapters of the book.
Practical implications – The section in this chapter with most immediate practical implication is clearly the section on misuses of the GRR model. This section discusses some misuses of the model: neglecting explicit teaching; missing the middle (i.e., jump from explicit teaching directly to independent practice); and applying in an overly rigid manner.
Originality/value of paper – This chapter makes an original contribution to the field in providing a historical context for the gradual release model and for addressing the chapters in this edited collection. The authors also point to some areas for next steps forward as reminders to those applying the model.
Dole, J.A., Duffy, G.G. and Pearson, P.D. (2019), "Epilogue: Reflections on the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going", McVee, M.B., Ortlieb, E., Reichenberg, J.S. and Pearson, P.D. (Ed.) The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 245-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820190000010016
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