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Jennifer Sharples Reichenberg

Purpose – This study explored agentive and sustainable teacher development as part of literacy coaching that employed a reflective framework and video with an…

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Purpose – This study explored agentive and sustainable teacher development as part of literacy coaching that employed a reflective framework and video with an apprenticeship stance. This chapter examines principles of apprenticeship and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model to analyze the transition of responsibility for reflection from coach to teacher.

Design/methodology/approach – An earlier seven-month multiple case study of literacy coaching with four secondary level teachers revealed seven joint actions (i.e., revoice, build, ask questions to develop understanding, ask dissonant questions, suggest, disagree, reconceptualize) and four categories of joint action (i.e., directive/consonant, directive/dissonant, responsive/consonant, and responsive/dissonant) within a model of joint action for literacy coaching (Reichenberg, 2018). This analysis mapped those joint actions onto the GRR model (McVee, Shanahan, Hayden, Boyd, & Pearson, 2018; Pearson & Gallagher, 1983). This chapter explicates reasoning for variability in responsibility and the potential relationship between variability and the development of teachers’ thinking and action through in-depth analysis of a single coaching session. Examples from other teachers’ coaching sessions are included.

Findings – Synthesis of the two models shows that joint actions initiated by the coach that were directive/dissonant fell on the left side of the GRR model with primary coach responsibility. Actions initiated by the coach that were classified as directive/consonant came next on the journey toward the middle, followed by responsive/dissonant actions. Responsive/consonant actions encompassed the middle region of shared responsibility. The same actions initiated by the teacher mirrored this progression. Principles of apprenticeship in this gradual release of responsibility highlight the bi-directionality of expertise in situated action informed by historical and dynamic context (Mercer, 2008). Evidence of teachers’ growing agency and sustainability were present in joint actions they initiated within the context of literacy coaching.

Research limitations/implications – Analysis of the actions of a literacy coach and teacher as directive, responsive, consonant, and dissonant add complexity to the discussion about how to transfer responsibility for reflection from coaches to teachers. Awareness of how joint actions map onto the GRR model can inform coaches’ and teachers’ decisions as they thoughtfully move toward greater teacher agency within coaching interaction.

Practical implications – The reflective framework employed in this study is applicable to a variety of settings such as instructional coaching across the disciplines, coaching by in-service literacy specialists, and the preparation of pre-service literacy coaches. The model of joint action for analyzing coaching interaction could be used by in-service literacy coaches, pre-service literacy coaches, and teachers who are being coached.

Originality/value – This chapter analyzes the transition of responsibility for reflection from coach to teacher. Principles of both the GRR model and apprenticeship theory provide a theoretical explanation for how these teachers achieved greater agency and sustainable development of a reflective stance.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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P. David Pearson, Mary B. McVee and Lynn E. Shanahan

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the conceptual and historical genesis of the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the conceptual and historical genesis of the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983) which has become one of the most commonly used instructional frameworks for research and professional development in the field of reading and literacy.

Design/Methodology/Approach – This chapter uses a narrative, historical approach to describe the emergence of the model in the work taking place in the late 1970s and early 1980s in reading research and educational theory, particularly at the Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana as carried out by David Pearson, Meg Gallagher, and their colleagues.

Findings – The GRR Model began, in part, in response to the startling findings of Dolores Durkin’s (1978/1979) study of reading comprehension instruction in classrooms which found that little instruction was occurring even while students were completing numerous assignments and question-response activities. Pearson and Gallagher were among those researchers who took seriously the task of developing an instructional model and approach for comprehension strategy instruction that included explicit instruction. They recognized a need for teachers to be responsible for leading and scaffolding instruction, even as they supported learners in moving toward independent application of strategies and independence in reading. Based in the current research in the reading field and the rediscovery of the work of Vygotsky (1978) and the descriptions of scaffolding as coined by Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976), Pearson and Gallagher developed the model of gradual release. Over time, the model has been adapted by many literacy scholars, applied to curriculum planning, used with teachers for professional development, reprinted numerous times, and with the advent of the Internet, proliferated even further as teachers and educators share their own versions of the model. This chapter introduces readers to the original model and multiple additional representations/iterations of the model that emerged over the past few decades. This chapter also attends to important nuances in the model and to some misconceptions of the instructional model.

Research Limitations/Implications – Despite the popularity of the original GRR model developed by Pearson and Gallagher and the many adaptations of the model by many collaborators and colleagues in literacy – and even beyond – there have been very few publications that have explored the historical and conceptual origins of the model and its staying power.

Practical Implications – This chapter will speak to researchers, teachers, and other educators who use the GRR model to help guide thinking about instruction in reading, writing, and other content areas with children, youth, pre-service teachers, and in-service teachers. This chapter provides a thoughtful discussion of multiple representations of the gradual release process and the nuances of the model in ways that will help to dispel misuse of the model while recognizing its long-standing and sound foundation on established socio-cognitive principles and instructional theories such as those espoused by Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky, Anne Brown, and others.

Originality/Value of Paper – This chapter makes an original contribution to the field in explaining the historical development and theoretical origins of the GRR model by Pearson and Gallagher (1983) and in presenting multiple iterations of the model developed by Pearson and his colleagues in the field.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Jennifer D. Turner and Chrystine Mitchell

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model as an instructional framework for enacting culturally relevant…

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Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model as an instructional framework for enacting culturally relevant literacy pedagogy in K-8 classrooms.

Approach – First, the authors frame a discussion on culturally relevant pedagogy via three central tenets and its significance for promoting equity and access in literacy education. Next, culturally relevant pedagogy is linked with the GRR model. Finally, authentic literacy practices that help bridge culturally relevant learning throughout the segments of the GRR model are delineated.

Findings – The authors believe that GRR models infused with culturally relevant pedagogical practices make literacy learning more equitable and accessible to students of Color. Toward that end, the authors provide multiple research-based instructional strategies that illustrate how the GRR model can incorporate culturally relevant pedagogical practices. These practical examples serve as models for the ways in which teachers can connect with students’ cultural backgrounds and understandings while expanding their literacy learning.

Practical implications – By demonstrating how K-8 teachers scaffold and promote literacy learning in ways that leverage diverse students’ cultural experiences, the authors aim to help teachers sustain students’ cultural identities and nurture their socio-critical consciousness.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Evan Ortlieb and Susan Schatz

Purpose – The gradual release of responsibility (GRR) framework has long been used as a model to provide explicit and scaffolded literacy instruction (Pearson & Gallagher

Abstract

Purpose – The gradual release of responsibility (GRR) framework has long been used as a model to provide explicit and scaffolded literacy instruction (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983), but has seen far less application within the teaching of writing. As such, a framework for further incorporating the GRR model into comprehensive writing instruction is presented.

Design – This chapter describes a recursive writing process that includes four iterative and connected steps: we study, we write, we share, and we react and revise. From direct modeling needed to build efficacy (Bloomberg & Pitchford, 2017), prompting in the “we do it together phase” (Fisher & Frey, 2016), and peer collaboration offering students the opportunity to move from the solve it together to the self-regulated stage of learning, the GRR model of writing supports students as they move recursively between the phases of learning.

Findings – The recursive nature of the GRR model of writing offers scaffolded support calibrated to each student’s phase of learning. The gradual release model of recursive writing provides an opportunity for students and teachers to engage in a feedback cycle and permit teachers to pass the pen to students at an ideal time, often encompassing many opportunities to write, react, and revise with their peers serving as an authentic audience.

Practical implications – Writing proficiency is linked to relationship building and social networks (Swan & Shih, 2005) as well as academic and career success (Cormier, Bulut, McGrew, & Frison, 2016). The GRR model of writing offers a new model of a flexible, social, and recursive writing process needed in professional development and teacher education programs.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Lynn E. Shanahan, Andrea L. Tochelli-Ward and Tyler W. Rinker

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explain the importance of thinking flexibly about the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) during the implementation of an…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explain the importance of thinking flexibly about the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) during the implementation of an explicit strategy instruction model, Critical Elements of Strategy Instruction (CESI). When the GRR model is typically used to inform teachers’ pedagogical practices, each phase of the scaffolding in the gradual release is usually represented as being a straight line of progression from modeling to guided practice, and then to independence. Scaffolding is often viewed as being a more static progression needed by all students. The authors explore the ebb and flow of scaffolding necessary in the GRR model when teaching the CESI framework to elementary aged students who demonstrated different degrees of competence in applying reading strategies.

Design/Methodology – The findings presented are the result of a two-year longitudinal professional development study with nine in-service elementary school teachers (one male and eight female), with masters’ degrees who ranged in experience from six to 18 years. The teachers used the Pedagogy of Video Reflection (Shanahan et al., 2013) to reflect on their implementation of the CESI, which draws upon the GRR model.

Findings – The authors use examples from their two-year explicit strategy instruction research to illustrate how their experienced in-service teachers learned to think more flexibly about scaffolding in the GRR model. Teachers explored their misconceptions about explicit strategy instruction and the gradual release. Two major shifts in their thinking were the GRR model was not the static model they interpreted it to be and they also realized that they had to use a gradual release when teaching readers the conditional knowledge so readers could use strategies independently.

Research Limitations/Implications – A two-dimensional representation of a complex concept, like the GRR can result in a less nuanced understanding of a complex concept, even when many of these issues are previously discussed in research and practitioner publications.

Practical Implications – Classroom teachers are provided with a more complex understanding of GRR model, where they need to interpret student responses to know when to and not release learners.

Originality/Value of Chapter – This chapter captures in-service teachers’ perspectives of the GRR model as being flexible instead of static and also reveals how student responses can be used to gauge how to make adaptations to ­scaffolding.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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H. Emily Hayden

Purpose – This chapter explores the work of one expert seventh-grade science teacher, Ann, as she used the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to develop students…

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Purpose – This chapter explores the work of one expert seventh-grade science teacher, Ann, as she used the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to develop students’ knowledge and use of science language and conceptual knowledge. Ann’s use of scaffolds such as thoughtful definition, classroom discussion, and writing frameworks is explored, as well as her methods of incorporating language into science inquiry, and the evidence she gathered as proof of learning. Her instructional decision-making and specific instructional actions are analyzed to describe the ways she gradually guided students from heavily scaffolded learning opportunities, through guided practice with extensive modeling, and ultimately to independent and accurate use of science language and conceptual knowledge in spoken and written discourse.

Design/methodology/approach – In a researcher/teacher partnership modeled on the practice embedded educational research (PEER) framework (Snow, 2015) the author worked with Ann over four school years, collecting data that included interviews, Ann’s teaching journal, student artifacts, and vocabulary pre/post-assessments. The initial task of the partnership was review of science standards and curricular documents and analysis of disciplinary language in seventh-grade science in order to construct a classroom science vocabulary assessment that incorporated a scaffolded format to build incremental knowledge of science words. Results of 126 students’ pre/post scores on the vocabulary assessment were analyzed using quantitative methods, and interviews and the teaching journal were analyzed using qualitative techniques. Student artifacts support and triangulate the quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Findings – Analysis of students’ pre/post-scores on the vocabulary assessment supported the incremental nature of vocabulary learning and the value of a scaffolded assessment. Improvement in ability to choose a one-word definition and choose a sentence-length definition had significant and positive effect on students’ ability to write a sentence using a focus science word correctly to demonstrate science conceptual knowledge. Female students performed just as well as male students: a finding that differs from other vocabulary intervention research. Additionally, Ann’s use of scaffolded, collaborative methods during classroom discussion and writing led to improved student knowledge of science language and the concepts it labels, as evident in students’ responses during discussion and their writing in science inquiry reports and science journals.

Research limitations – These data were collected from students in one science teacher’s classroom, limiting generalization. However, the expertise of this teacher renders her judgments useful to other teachers and teacher trainers, despite the limited context of this research.

Practical implications – Science knowledge is enhanced when language and science inquiry coexist, but the language of science often presents a barrier to learning science, and there are significant student achievement gaps in science learning across race, ethnicity, and gender. Researchers have described ways to make explicit connections between science language, concepts, and knowledge, transcending the gaps and leveling the playing field for all students. Analysis of Ann’s teaching practice, drawn from four years of teacher and student data, provides specific and practical ways of doing this in a real science classroom. Scaffolding, modeling, and co-construction of learning are key.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter details the methods one expert teacher used to make her own learning the object of inquiry, simultaneously developing the insights and the strategies she needed to mentor students. It describes how Ann infused the GRR into planning and instruction to create learning experiences that insured student success, even if only at incremental levels. Ann’s methods can thus become a model for other teachers who wish to enhance their students’ learning of science language and concepts through infusion of literacy activity.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Molly K. Ness

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore an application of the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to the reading comprehension of students in kindergarten…

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Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore an application of the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to the reading comprehension of students in kindergarten to grade five.

Findings – In this chapter, the author provides a brief review of think-alouds as a way for proficient readers to model the comprehension strategies that they apply to a text. The author introduces a three-step process in which students gradually take ownership for such strategies through think-alouds, think-alongs, and think alones. The author demonstrates that when students in kindergarten through grade five have strong models of comprehension through think-alouds, they are able to apply these strategies to their own independent reading. Though a case study of one English language arts teacher, the author shows how the teacher released responsibility to students through think-alouds.

Research limitations/implications – The examples within this chapter are from a second-grade classroom in an urban charter school.

Practical implications – This three-step process is applicable to all content areas as well as text genre and reading levels. This approach is a valuable model for teachers to understand how to gradually release comprehension strategies to students across grade levels.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter provides research-based examples of using the GRR model to build students’ ability to inference. Additionally, the chapter provides “I” language and sentence starters to help students internalize comprehension strategies and apply them to independent reading.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Georgia Earnest García and Christina Passos DeNicolo

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to share empirical research with educators and researchers to show how the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model can support…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to share empirical research with educators and researchers to show how the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model can support bilingual teachers’ implementation of dialogic reading comprehension instruction in student-led small groups and linguistically responsive literacy instruction with emergent bilingual students (Spanish–English) in grades one through four.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The authors provide brief literature reviews on the literacy instruction that bilingual students in low-resourced schools typically receive, on dialogic reading comprehension instruction, and on linguistically responsive literacy instruction. Then, the authors show how teacher educators utilized the GRR framework and process to support bilingual teachers’ movement from whole-class, teacher-directed instruction to dialogic reading comprehension instruction in student-led small groups. Next, the authors illustrate how a third-grade dual-language teacher employed the GRR to teach her students how to use Spanish–English cognates. Lastly, the authors share three vignettes from a first-grade bilingual teacher’s use of the GRR to facilitate her students’ comprehension of teacher read-alouds of narrative and informational texts and English writing.

Findings – When the teacher educators employed the GRR model in combination with socio-constructivist professional staff development, the teachers revealed their concerns about small-group instruction. The teacher educators adjusted their instruction and support to address the teachers’ concerns, helping them to implement small-group instruction. The third-grade bilingual teacher employed the GRR to teach her students how to use a translanguaging strategy, cognates, when writing, spelling, and reading. The first-grade bilingual teacher’s use of the GRR during teacher read-alouds in Spanish and English provided space for her and her students’ translanguaging, and facilitated the students’ comprehension of narrative and informational texts and completion of an English writing assignment.

Research Limitations/Implications – The findings were brief vignettes of effective instruction in bilingual settings that employed the GRR model. Although the authors discussed the limitations of scripted instruction, they did not test it. Additional research needs to investigate how other teacher educators and teachers use the GRR model to develop and implement instructional innovations that tap into the unique language practices of bilingual students.

Practical Implications – The empirical examples should help other teacher educators and bilingual teachers to implement the GRR model to support the improved literacy instruction of bilingual students in grades one through four. The chapter defines linguistically responsive instruction, and shows how translanguaging can be used by bilingual teachers and students to improve the students’ literacy performance.

Originality/Value of Chapter – This chapter provides significant research-based examples of the use of the GRR model with bilingual teachers and students at the elementary level. It shows how employment of the model can provide bilingual teachers and students with the support needed to implement instructional literacy innovations and linguistically responsive instruction.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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