ERIC Number: ED346604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Direction with Discretion: Reading Recovery as an Example of Balancing Top-Down Policy and Bottom-Up Decision-Making.
Scharer, Patricia L.; Zajano, Nancy C.
Educational policy analysts have recognized the need for an educational policy that combines the merits of "top-down" mandates with "bottom-up" teacher discretion. This paper describes the Reading Recovery program as an example of an educational program that balances top-down direction and bottom-up discretion by: (1) providing an overall structure and set of goals; (2) requiring teacher decisions in daily pupil interactions; and (3) developing teacher capacity to make those decisions through intensive professional development sessions focused on improving teachers' practical reasoning. The Reading Recovery program is an intervention program for at-risk first graders that supports an accelerated reading process within a one-on-one tutorial setting. Elements of the program--teaching materials, a typical lesson, student/teacher interactions, and professional development--are described in detail. A conclusion is that the program effectively combines four elements of the current educational reform movement: top-down direction; bottom-up discretion; a focus on individual students; and professional development. Success depends upon a serious investment in faculty development and the formation of supportive district and state level policies. (41 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).