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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

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.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

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.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2015

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

Our purpose in this chapter is to provide researchers and educators with a model of how the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) can be used with inservice and…

Abstract

Purpose

Our purpose in this chapter is to provide researchers and educators with a model of how the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) can be used with inservice and preservice teachers for professional development when teachers engage in reflective processes through the use of video reflection.

Methodology/approach

In this chapter we provide a brief review of the literature related to video as a learning tool for reflection and a discussion of the Gradual Release of Responsibility and emphasize the role of a teacher educator or more knowledgeable other who scaffolds inservice and preservice teacher reflection across various contexts. Several versions of the GRR model are included. We introduce and explain examples from two class sessions where a combination of inservice and preservice teachers engaged in reflection through video with support from a teacher educator.

Findings

We demonstrate that the teacher educator followed the GRR model as she guided preservice and inservice teachers to reflect on video. Through a contrastive analysis of two different class sessions, we show how the instructor released responsibility to the students and how students began to take up this responsibility to reflect more deeply on their own teaching practices.

Research limitations/implications

The examples within this chapter are from a graduate level teacher education course affiliated with a university literacy center. The course was comprised of both preservice and inservice teachers. The model is applicable in a variety of settings and for teachers who are novices as well as those who are experienced teachers.

Practical implications

This is a valuable model for teacher educators and others in professional development to use with teachers. Many teachers are familiar with the use of the GRR model in considering how to guide children’s literacy practices, and the GRR can easily be introduced to teachers to assist them in video reflection on their own teaching.

Originality/value

This chapter provides significant research-based examples of the GRR model and foregrounds the role of a teacher educator in video reflection. The chapter provides a unique framing for research and teaching related to video reflection. The chapter explicitly links the GRR to teacher reflection and video in contexts of professional development or teacher education.

Details

Video Reflection in Literacy Teacher Education and Development: Lessons from Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-676-8

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Cynthia Greenleaf and Mira-Lisa Katz

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to assist teachers in developing inquiry-based learning environments in secondary and post-secondary subject area classrooms that…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to assist teachers in developing inquiry-based learning environments in secondary and post-secondary subject area classrooms that support their diverse students’ capacities for deep and intellectually engaged reading.

Design – Reading Apprenticeship professional learning has been developed to transform teachers’ understanding of their role in students’ literacy development and to build teachers’ capacity for re-enacting literacy instruction in the academic disciplines, engaging students in text-based inquiry, supporting their ongoing engagement, and gradually turning the work of learning over to students. The model reflects the understanding that for practice to become truly responsive to the needs and varied contexts of teachers’ work, teachers must become adaptive and generative in their use of specific practices. Reading Apprenticeship immerses teachers in experiential learning through patterns of practice that we expect them to recreate in their own classrooms. Teachers participate in inquiries designed to help them become reacquainted with their own disciplinary expertise in relation to literacy. Importantly, teachers collaboratively analyze students work through case studies of student literacy learning and videotaped classroom lessons designed to help teachers to reimagine what they and their own students can accomplish.

Findings – Reading Apprenticeship instructional tools and routines offer multiple opportunities for teachers to hear and respond to student thinking in relation to the text, thereby deepening the student reasoning processes and turning work over to students. The work of gradual release occurs in recursive cycles of reciprocal modeling that respond to students’ particular puzzlements and challenges with specific texts and engage students in shouldering more of the work of learning moment-to-moment, over time. Just as curricular ideas and topics build on one another over the course of a year of study, the challenges of text-based inquiry increase and build on previous accomplishments, constantly extending students’ reach. Engaging learners in taking up the work of text-based inquiry is a continuous cycle of support and graduated release and challenge calibrated to students’ needs and skill levels in the current learning moment.

Practical Implications – Current policies focused on accountability and efficiency in school reform conflict with evidence-based understandings of the learning process. The ongoing nature of learning and development through the gradual release of responsibility require that we not only tolerate, but unreservedly embrace and value learning progressions and their messiness for both students and their teachers. Embracing the ongoing learning journey calls for tolerance and generosity that we often withhold from teachers and students alike – to be in process, to be a learner, and to be en route to accomplishment. Learning entails risk and vulnerability. If we are truly invested in growth for both students and teachers, we must expect to invest continuously in and provide sustained support for their learning. The more opportunities to learn teachers are able to offer students, the more students can do. And the more students can do, the more teachers can give them.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Janice A. Dole, Gerald G. Duffy and P. David Pearson

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

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.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Kathryn H. Au and Taffy E. Raphael

Purpose – This chapter discusses the application of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) to school change and the learning of groups of leaders, teachers, and…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter discusses the application of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) to school change and the learning of groups of leaders, teachers, and students. Specifically, the authors describe the Seven Levels to Success, a model for school change that supports teachers in building their school’s own staircase (coherent) curriculum in literacy. The authors discuss the effectiveness of this model for capacity building – giving schools a “deep bench” of leaders and teachers who can sustain improved student achievement over a period of years.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The theoretical underpinning of this research is provided by the Vygotsky Space, a construct that shows how learning may be understood in terms of the intersections of collective and individual actions, and public and private settings. This construct allows us to understand what drives a school’s advancement through the Seven Levels and how that advancement can be restarted after it has been slowed or interrupted. The authors report findings about school change from 20 years of work in 264 elementary and secondary schools, reflecting a wide range of students and communities across the United States.

Findings – While schools’ typical advancement in the Seven-Level model is neither steady nor linear, it adheres to an overall pattern: Leaders must take ownership first, followed by teachers and then students. To build their school’s staircase curriculum, teachers must see themselves as creators rather than consumers of curriculum. Teachers who see themselves as creators take ownership of their curriculum. Their deep understanding of the curriculum promotes continuous improvements and related success in improving their students’ literacy learning. Four case examples illustrate change in a variety of school settings, providing existence proofs of how the Seven-Level model functions to improve students’ literacy learning.

Research Limitations/Implications – The authors highlight the importance of the school as the unit of analysis in change efforts, and of understanding a school’s progress over time. The authors emphasize considering the role of multiple constituencies, beginning with school leaders and encompassing teachers, students, and families. One implication of this study is that more attention should be paid to the role of school leaders – administrators, curriculum coordinators, and teacher leaders – in setting the stage for sustainable improvement.

Practical Implications – The authors provide guidance to practitioners working on school change within the framework of the Seven Levels to Success and other social constructivist models. Specifically, the authors give examples of relevant actions external consultants and school leaders take at critical junctures in a school’s progress.

Originality/Value of Paper – This chapter breaks new ground in applying the GRR model and the Vygotsky Space to the area of school change in literacy. Summarizing 20 years of work with the Seven-Level model demonstrates potential of teacher-developed curricula for the sustainable improvement of students’ literacy learning.

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Maryam Salehomoum

Purpose– The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the ways in which the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model has been enacted in the research and…

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the ways in which the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model has been enacted in the research and educational practices related to deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) children. While the term GRR is not used in the studies reviewed in this chapter, the interventions described in each study demonstrate core principles of GRR.

Methodology– The chapter provides a brief review of reading comprehension and writing intervention studies with DHH children, adolescents, and young adults. In searching for studies related to the GRR model, key words and phrases included ‘mediated/guided instruction.’

Findings– A critical review of the studies indicates an overall need for improved clarity of the ways in which educators decide when and how to release responsibility to students. In addition, the degree to which students are reported to internalize and independently apply newly learned literacy skills varies significantly. The variation prompts further examination of factors other than the instructional approach, such as intrinsic student characteristics, that might contribute to successful acquisition of skills.

Research limitations– The studies in this review represent educational practice across age/grade levels and educational settings and thus present evidence in support of the potential for implementation of a GRR model in the instructional practices of DHH students. However, because the number of studies is quite limited, we cannot generalize the findings to the diverse population of DHH students and the variety of educational settings within which DHH students are enrolled.

Practical implicationsReleasing the responsibility of learning to DHH students, particularly students with a history of significant language delays and limitations, is a challenging task but certainly a possible outcome. Current educational practices are reported to all too often perpetuate a prolonged reliance of the student on the teacher. Educators are encouraged to reflect on different ways in which DHH students can be encouraged and supported in becoming more agentive in their own learning and development. A careful examination of interventions that have successfully supported students in adopting and applying effective learning strategies is needed to improve current practices.

Value– An initial search for literature related to the GRR model, that specifically addresses the needs of deaf students, produced few results. By making connections between existing reading and writing interventions and the GRR model, this chapter provides a means by which educators of deaf children can begin to frame evidence-based literacy interventions within the GRR model. Such a change may prompt deeper discussions of the need to move beyond explicit and guided instruction present in many interventions to instructional pedagogy that supports DHH students in moving toward independence.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Vicki Collet

Purpose – To provide a model for mentoring teachers through the process of improving instruction and intervention.Design/methodology/approach – The chapter describes the…

Abstract

Purpose – To provide a model for mentoring teachers through the process of improving instruction and intervention.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter describes the Gradual Increase of Responsibility model for coaching, an adaptation of Pearson and Gallagher's (1983) Gradual Release of Responsibility model that can be used by coaches as they support teachers in a clinic or school setting.

Findings – Content describes stages of the coaching model that provide less scaffolding as teachers gain confidence and competence. These stages include modeling, recommending, questioning, affirming, and praising.

Research limitations/implications – The Gradual Increase of Responsibility (GIR) model provides a process that coaches can follow to support instructional improvement. GIR requires that coaches have instructional expertise; it provides them with a guide for their work with teachers to incorporate effective practices.

Practical implications – The GIR model can be applied by coaches in both clinical and school settings, with teachers who instruct students at both elementary and secondary levels.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter provides examples for each stage of the GIR process, clearing indicating how coaches can guide teachers to take on increased responsibility for strong, intentional instruction and intervention.

Details

Advanced Literacy Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-503-6

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