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ERIC Number: ED506575
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Focus Group Reactions to Three Definitions of Reading (As Originally Developed in Support of NARAP Goal 1)
Cline, Frederick; Johnstone, Christopher; King, Teresa
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects
The National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects (NARAP) is a collaborative effort that is conducting research to make large-scale assessments of reading proficiency more accessible for students who have disabilities that affect reading. There are two projects that comprise the NARAP partnership, Designing Accessible Reading Assessments (DARA) and the Partnership for Accessible Reading Assessment (PARA). DARA and PARA are working together and independently on research studies in support of the NARAP goals. NARAP's Goal 1, which the two projects worked on together, was to craft a definition of reading to support the development of a valid reading assessment for all students, including those with disabilities that affect reading. To this end NARAP formed a Definition Panel that included 15 national experts who had served on previous reviews or reading definition panels or who were experts in special education and various areas of disabilities research and education. The charge given to the panel of experts was to draw on the existing research base and five national reports to craft a definition of reading and reading proficiency that would press previous definitions and serve as the basis for the development of high quality reading assessments that are accessible for all students. The three definition statements that were drafted are: (1) Reading is decoding and understanding written text; (2) Reading is decoding and understanding text for particular reader purposes; and (3) Reading is the process of deriving meaning from text. Most people preferred having the main emphasis in the definitions be placed on understanding and did not think that it was appropriate to have decoding appear equal to understanding in importance, as was implied when both were listed in the overarching statement. The teachers and measurement experts generally thought that understanding was the ultimate goal, and decoding was secondary to it, and consequently responded more favorably when decoding was not in the lead sentence. Reading researchers were more likely to view decoding as equally important and many appreciated its inclusion, although even this population viewed understanding as the more important outcome.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects. 150 Pillsbury Drive SE 207 Pattee Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Tel: 612-626-1530; Fax: 612-624-0875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Center for Special Education Research (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects (ED/OSEP)
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: H324F040001