Reading Recovery Method

Reading Recovery offers daily half-hour one-on-one tutorial sessions for students who have trouble learning to read after one year of formal instruction. The program is supplementary and short-term, with most students needing from 12 to 16 weeks of instruction before they can be successfully discontinued from the program. A combination of teacher judgment and systematic evaluation procedures identify those lowest-achieving children for whom Reading Recovery was designed. The program's goal is to bring students up to the level of their peers and to give students the assistance they need to develop independent reading strategies. Once students are reading at a level equivalent to that of their peers, they are discontinued from the program.

Reading Recovery is designed to provide the social interaction that supports the students' ability to work in their "zone of proximal development"—just beyond their level of actual development—with a supportive adult who helps them solve problems and to perform. Clay's theory of learning to read is based on the idea that children construct cognitive systems to understand the world and language. These cognitive systems develop as self-extending systems that generate further learning through the use of multiple sources of information.