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Original research article, teaching reading: a case study through mixed methods.

case study in reading

The present study analyzes the relationship between teachers’ beliefs about learning to read, teaching practices, and discourse. To carry out this study, we benefited from the collaboration of six teachers in kindergarten and the first levels of primary education. First, an attribution questionnaire was used to analyze beliefs about learning to read ( Jiménez et al., 2015 ). Secondly, to study teaching practices, an observation tool was used ( Suárez et al., 2018 ). Thirdly, in order to know the opinion of teachers about how to teach reading, we adapted the instrument to assess teaching perspectives elaborated by Clark and Yinger (1979) . Finally, all the information was triangulated and analyzed using mixed methods. The results indicated that the relationship between beliefs, practices, and discourse is not always consistent. In all teachers, a relationship was found between some of their beliefs, practices, and discourse. At the level of beliefs, all teachers presented one predominant attributional profile, although to a lesser extent, their beliefs were also attributable to other learning theories. The results indicated that all the teachers carried out teaching practices associated with the different learning theories. Similarly to their discourse, all teachers showed diverse opinions about the learning processes involved in reading. These results indicate that teachers maintain eclectic approaches, both when they carry out activities in the classroom and when they think about learning to read.


For almost three decades, research has documented the influence of teachers’ beliefs on educational practice ( Berthelsen and Brownlee, 2007 ; Kuzborska, 2011 ; Barrot, 2015 ). Teacher’s beliefs are thoughts, perceptions, and values about their roles as educators, education, and how students learn ( Vartuli, 2005 ). It has even been shown that if teachers are aware of their own beliefs, the repertoire of teaching skills can be increased ( Tracey and Mandel, 2012 ), leading to a change in classroom decision making, and teaching strategies and evaluation. If we want to achieve improvements in teaching, it is necessary to examine the teachers’ beliefs and modify them ( McAlpine and Weston, 2002 ). A great deal of research in this direction has shown that instructional events can be catalysts for changing beliefs ( Stevens, 2002 ; Theurer, 2002 ; Fazio, 2003 ), since beliefs are permeable mental structures susceptible to change ( Thompson, 1992 ), although there appears to be no consensus on this ( Block and Hazelin, 1995 ; Richardson, 1996 ).

More recent studies have provided us with more detailed information on how beliefs and implicit knowledge influence teachers’ instructional practices ( Cunningham and Zibulsky, 2009 ), actions, and strategies that they implement to teach reading in the classroom. The research carried out in this regard has focused on differentiating three traits appearing in the teaching and learning of reading. Thus, Tolchinsky and Ríos (2009) analyzed the relationship between what teachers say and do (2.250), teaching practice ( N = 2), and students’ knowledge ( N = 814). To do this, they used a self-report questionnaire of 30 questions, with high reliability (α = 0.81) and a Likert scale (0–6). Through a cluster analysis, they detected three differentiated profiles: instructional practices focused on teaching the names of letters, letter–sound relationships, as well as the importance of learning products; a situational approach to activities arising from classroom situations, where students look for the means to understand texts that they do not know; and multidimensional activities such as letter knowledge, recognition, and letter–sound association, as well as reading and writing work from situations that arise in the classroom. The results showed the following distribution: instructional (33.87%), situational (37.06%), and multidimensional (29.06%). Also, they found that 30% of the children were able to recognize unknown words and did not seem to have difficulty in mastering the code, and that teachers used explicit, early, and systematic teaching practices.

Also, in Spain, Barragán and Medina (2008) , analyzed the practices teachers use through questionnaires. They found significant differences depending on the profile and educational level. Thus, nursery/kindergarten teachers showed a higher profile of situational practices (50%), compared to elementary school teachers who showed a profile of instructional practices (70%). Subsequently, they analyzed the profile of practices according to geographical area, finding that the teachers who carried out the greatest number of situational practices were those of the Basque country, followed by teachers from Almería, Cantabria, Catalonia, and the Community of Madrid (more than 50%). Catalonia and Cantabria showed a lower frequency of instructional practices (less than 20%); however, the teachers from León and Asturias used these practices more frequently (more than 55%). The same authors also observed six Early Childhood Education classrooms in Almeria. The results showed a relationship between the declared belief profile and its practices in the classroom. In another study, Ríos et al. (2010) demonstrated the relationship between the knowledge learned and the practices in teaching reading of two Infant Education teachers. They found that the contents worked on by the teacher with a situational profile were reading and writing functions, identification of words in reading, and letter names and sound values.

The teacher with an instructional profile used word identification and word reading. In the study carried out by Baccus (2004) , a direct relationship was found between the teachers’ beliefs and the instructional time dedicated to the teaching of reading. In addition, Rapoport et al. (2016) focused on analyzing the beliefs that teachers maintain ( N = 144) regarding the contribution of executive functions in reading performance and their teaching practice. Their results showed a positive relationship between these two variables ( r = 0.512, p < 0.01).

Ethnicity has been another feature highlighted in studies assessing the dyad of beliefs and practices in teaching. The Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement [CIERA] (2001) examined the beliefs and practices of 250 early childhood teachers. Their results showed a relationship between beliefs (based on the importance of the development of alphabetic knowledge, word recognition, stories, and oral language) and practices. Differences in relation to beliefs were found based on the ethnicity of teachers. African American teachers tended to believe that it was more important for the child to learn to read through teaching the alphabet (e.g., naming letters, saying their sounds), while white teachers thought it was more important for children to learn to read from teaching oral language activities (e.g., answering questions about a story or telling a story from a drawing). On the other hand, they found significant differences depending on the academic training received, so teachers with a higher academic level believed that teaching of oral language was more important, while teachers with lower academic levels did not share this belief.

Also, the report presented by the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) ( OCDE, 2009 ) provides detailed information on the development of variables involved in the teaching and learning process. This report analyzed the beliefs of secondary school teachers in several countries. Their results indicated that most countries (Northeastern Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and Korea) showed constructivist positions ( p < 0.05). Humanities teachers presented more structured beliefs and were little oriented toward students ( p < 0.05), also with differences depending on teaching experience, so the teachers with more years of experience thought and performed more structured practices ( p < 0.05). The analyses also revealed a positive correlation between constructivist beliefs and practices in teachers from different countries ( p < 0.05), except in Korea, where a weak relationship was found between beliefs and practices with a direct style. Finally, they found that positioning depended largely on the quality of the learning environment and job satisfaction ( p < 0.05). In subsequent reports ( OCDE, 2013 ), an average 95% of OECD teachers stated that they agree with constructivist practices.

Other lines of research have not found a bidirectional relationship between the teachers’ thinking and their action in the classroom. An example is the study carried out by Miglis et al. (2014) with 90 Norwegian teachers. They used a 130-item questionnaire to measure beliefs (e.g., their role as teachers, the role of teachers in teaching reading, consistency with current research about the importance of early literacy) and teaching practices (e.g., books, book contents, alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, and reading and writing). They found that teachers reported moderately positive beliefs about their role as a teacher in their students’ reading success, and they “agreed” with the idea that research has found that early literacy is necessary. These beliefs were not related to their practices, since the time devoted to this type of instruction was minimal. However, they discovered that the most widely used practice was “shared reading and reading aloud for 10 min a day” (29.3%). There are numerous studies that have not found a relationship between these two variables ( Wilcox-Herzog, 2001 ). Thus, for example, through two teachers’ collaboration, Pérez-Peitx (2013) was able to observe classroom practices and analyze interviews. Their results also indicated that there was no relationship between these two variables. Along the same lines, another recent study ( Utami et al., 2019 ) based on socio-cognitive theory studied teacher beliefs and practices in reading comprehension tasks. They found that the practices were not always consistent with their beliefs.

To our knowledge, there is no research assessing the profile of the teacher and teaching practices, in relation to all the theoretical principles that govern the teaching and learning processes of reading (i.e., innatist, maturationist, corrective, repetition, sociocultural, constructivist, psycholinguistic approaches).

The objective of this study is to find out whether or not there is a relationship between the beliefs, practices, and discourse used in teaching reading in the classroom, in order to propose more effective teaching strategies.

Materials and Methods

The study was carried out from a mixed methods perspective, integrating qualitative and quantitative sources of information through “merge” ( Creswell and Plano-Clark, 2007 ). The proposed design was triangulation ( Morse, 2003 ; Creswell and Plano-Clark, 2007 ; Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2010 ; Anguera et al., 2012 , 2018 ; Creswell, 2014 ), which was found suitable for the aims. A direct observation of teaching reading practices was carried out. The observational study was configured based on three criteria: study’s units, temporality, and dimensionality ( Anguera et al., 2011 ). The observational design can be classified as Nomothetic/Follow-up/Multidimensional (N/F/M) ( Sánchez-Algarra and Anguera, 2013 ; Portell et al., 2015 ). Frequency was analyzed. In order to analyze the relationship between teacher’s beliefs, practices, and discourse, a Pearson’s correlation was carried out.


Six teachers with an age between 25 and 50 years participated. The teachers’ years of experience ranged from 10 to 35 years. They belonged to different Infant and Primary Education units on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). The selection criteria were based mainly on the fact that the staff member taught the subject Spanish Language and Literature, devoting an average time period of 1 h a day to the teaching of reading.

To carry out this study, three fundamental tools were used: a questionnaire to know the teachers’ beliefs, an observation tool to analyze their practices, and a semi-structured interview to analyze the teachers’ speech about teaching and learning to read.

– Questionnaire on Beliefs about Learning and Teaching Reading , composed of 60 items (see Suárez et al., 2013 ; Jiménez et al., 2014 , 2015 ) corresponding to the basic postulates of each learning theory: innatist, maturationist, sociocultural, constructivist, corrective, repetition, and psycholinguistic (see for review Tracey and Mandel, 2012 ). Teachers had to respond according to their degree of agreement or disagreement using a Likert scale of 0–10, where 0 means strongly disagree, and 10, strongly agree. Cronbach’s Alpha was 0.88.

Observation Tool on Reading Teaching Practices. This tool used here was developed by Suárez et al. (2018) and combines a field format and systems of categories. This consists of 14 criteria—alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, use of teaching resources, prior knowledge of children, reinforcement, feedback, modeling, direct instruction, guided oral instruction, extracurricular tasks, reading and writing, psychomotor skills, functional reading skills, and vocabulary—and 77 categories on practices in teaching reading. For the measurement plan, the results showed that the absolute and relative generalizability measures were acceptable (at 0.970 and 0.989) at 30 sessions and that 40 sessions were needed to reach 0.977 and 0.992, respectively. For the generalizability indexes to measure inter- and intraobserver reliability, a four-faceted SRC/O (Session, Criterion, Category/Observer) design was used, and analysis showed the greatest percentage of variability to be related to the Criterion facet (33%), while the Observer facet showed no variability at all. The absolute generalizability coefficient was 0.999, and the relative coefficient was also 0.999. With respect to the intra-rater reliability, using a four-faceted SRC/M (Session, Criterion, Category/Moment) design, analysis showed that 32% of variability corresponded to the Session facet and 33% corresponded to Criterion, while Moment showed no variability. The absolute and relative generalizability coefficients obtained for Observer 1 were both 0.999. The absolute and relative coefficients for Observer 2 were both 0.997, facet showed no variability at all. The absolute generalizability validity using a two-faceted model [Observation (2) and Criterion (74)] showed a value of 0.000 (absolute and relative validity).

– Four digital video cameras and Match Vision 3.0 software ( Perea et al., 2006 ) were used for the sessions to record teaching practices. Data quality was analyzed using the Generalizability Study (GT) version 2.0.E program ( Ysewijn, 1996 ) and the SAS 9.1 statistical package. Teacher discourse was analyzed using Atlas.ti 6.0 ( Friese, 2011 ).

– Structured Teacher Interview on Teaching Practices . We adapted the interview on teaching perspectives elaborated by Clark and Yinger (1979) , composed of 28 questions on aspects related to teaching and learning: general questions about teaching, daily classes, teaching and learning, curriculum, time, and teachers’ “philosophy.” Changes were included in the nomenclature of the subjects of the curriculum and in the section on teacher philosophy (F), where the questions were guided toward the field of reading (see Table 1 ).


Table 1. Interview adapted from Clark and Yinger (1979) .

– For the interviews, a video camera and two Panasonic recorders, model RR-US455 (with 66 h of recording capacity), were used to ensure safe information storage.

– To transcribe information, the program Naturally Dragon Speaking ( Baker, 1975 ), version 12 was employed, and Atlas.ti, version 6, for information analysis ( Friese, 2011 ).

Before the recordings were made, authorization was obtained from both the teachers and the pupils’ parents. All participants provided written informed consent prior to their participation. Likewise, a schedule was agreed on for when the study would be carried out. On the day indicated, the belief questionnaire was applied to the participating teachers, their doubts in this regard were clarified, and approximately an hour was spent to complete it. Seven recording sessions per teacher (twice a week for 1 h each day) led to total of 42 h of recording (see Suárez et al., 2018 ). The interviews were held with the participating teachers and recorded in classrooms devoid of noise. Cameras were located in front of each teacher, and the furniture was arranged in an interview layout. The interviews of the six teachers were recorded, each lasting approximately 1 h. The audio was later transferred to the computer for the literal transcription of the interviews. Subsequently, the available information was collated and all the material subject to data processing organized. To conclude this phase, each interview was reviewed to gain an overall impression of the information provided by each teacher.

In the next phase, the document was segmented and coded through the Atlas.ti 6.0 program. The data were processed using the thematic analysis technique, according to the proposal of Braun and Clarke (2006) . Initially, the hermeneutic units were defined according to the interview questions, taking into account the theories about learning to read. Subsequently, the primary documents were worked on and information segmented. In this case, we focused on words as well as phrases/sentences and texts. The relevant information was then selected, and these units were encoded. Later, we established code families composed of the different variables affecting teaching and its context. Teachers’ opinions about learning to read were categorized. The code families structured the relationship between the previously identified categories and theories on the learning of reading (e.g., innatist, maturationist, sociocultural, constructivist, corrective, repetitive, and psycholinguistic).

In order to classify each teacher according to his/her attributional profile, factor scores for each theoretical approach defined the teachers’ beliefs according to the percentiles (see Table 2 ).


Table 2. Teachers’ profiles in each theory in percentiles.

To determine which theory should be attributed most to each teacher, the score was set around the percentile ≥75, and to determine which theories fitted less, around percentile ≥50 (see Figure 1 ).


Figure 1. Example teacher F. profile.

Although all teachers were characterized by a predominant attributional profile that defined their particular beliefs, we found that their reading teaching behavior could also be attributed to any of the other theories to a lesser extent (see Table 3 ).


Table 3. Summary of teachers’ profiles.

Regarding teaching reading practices, it was found that the most used was feedback (praising or correcting the student), followed by the use of teaching resources (e.g., stories, songs, or poetry), direct instruction (e.g., individual–group reading, aloud or silent, with or without intonation, and fluency) and functional knowledge of reading (e.g., summary, questions, comprehension exercises). To a lesser extent, they used literacy activities, reinforcement through praise (e.g., tangible or verbal), reading and writing, and work on alphabetic knowledge.

The latter strategy indicated that teachers mostly referred to constructivist theory, except teacher M.C., who chose to position herself in psycholinguistic theory. Similarly, teacher F. emphasized that students should build their learning and that teachers should function as a guide. To a lesser extent, she commented on aspects of the maturation and behaviorist theory (see Figure 2 ). Teacher M. also focused on the foundations of constructivism (e.g., prior knowledge, children discover their learning). She also talked about the importance of psychomotor skills, correctness in reading, as well as the involvement of parents. Teacher C. commented that students learn through construction and must discover reading autonomously through the support offered by the teacher. She also emphasized the role that parents play in reading, the importance of resources, oral language work, phonological awareness, as well as maturity in the development of reading. Teacher M.C. placed greater emphasis on the development of phonological awareness and oral language to teach reading. However, teacher S. focused more on student autonomy in the learning process and to a lesser extent on oral language, use of resources, and correction during reading (feedback). Teacher I. focused mostly on the construction of learning and less so on the role of oral language and the use of resources (library).


Figure 2. Teacher F. Network summarizing key concepts associated with the teaching process.

Subsequently, the information was triangulated after analyzing the beliefs, practices, and discourse of the teachers. For this, several researchers who are experts in the learning and teaching of reading skills agreed on the following relationship, in accordance with the basic postulates of each of the theories considered (see Table 4 ).


Table 4. Triangulation between theoretical profile, teaching practices, and teacher discourse.

Then the teachers’ scores were compared in relation to their beliefs, teaching practices (in terms of frequency), as well as teacher discourse, previously analyzed through its categorization into teaching–learning processes and their context (see Table 5 ). Finally, the results were interpreted according to Pearson’s correlation analysis. The results showed a high correlation ( r = 0.72, p < 0.05) in teacher F. and in teacher I. ( r = 0.71, p < 0.05) and a negative and high correlation in teacher M. ( r = −0.81, p < 0.05) between beliefs and practices. Moreover, they showed a moderate correlation in teacher C. ( r = 0.52) and in teacher M. ( r = 0.45) between beliefs and discourse. Finally, the results showed a negative and high correlation in teacher I. ( r = −0.74, p < 0.05) and in teacher M.C. ( r = −0.76, p < 0.05) between practices and discourse.


Table 5. Percentages of teachers’ beliefs, reading practices, and discourse.

Teacher F. showed links between his theoretical profile and his practices. A relationship between corrective beliefs (27.8%) and practices (29.2%) was found. On the other hand, we observed that in his practices, he used activities associated with other theories: repetition (23.5%), constructivism (19.9%), and psycholinguistic (16%). This also happened when he thought about how children learn to read, since he considered that the construction of learning (77.8%), maturation (11.1%), and providing feedback (11.1%) were fundamental. Other discourse makers, teacher M. did not show a link between her sociocultural (22%) and maturationist (23.4%) theoretical profile and her practices (5.7% and 0.6%). However, the results indicated that her maturationist (23.4%), sociocultural (22%) beliefs were related only to her discourse. So, she thought that the use of psychomotor skills (21.4%), teaching resources such as stories, stories, poems, and texts (14.3%), and teaching previous knowledge (50%) were important. However, practices based on other currents were observed: corrective reading (32.6%) and repeated reading (25.2%), as well as constructivism (19.1%), such as working previous knowledge or reading and writing and psycholinguistic skills (16.6%) [e.g., alphabetic knowledge: teaching letter names and sounds, rules with support rhymes, etc.; phonological awareness: stimulating children to become aware of letter sounds, saying words that begin with a certain sound, separating words into syllables, playing the game veo-veo (I spy.); vocabulary: teaching the meaning of words]. During the interview, opinions related to other theories were also found (i.e., corrective).

As for teacher C., there was a bidirectional relationship between her sociocultural theoretical profile (39.6%) (e.g., use of teaching resources such as stories, songs, writings from different sources, etc.) and her discourse (33.3%). Also, it was found that her psycholinguistic profile (28.9%) was related to her discourse (11.1%) (e.g., oral language or phonological awareness). However, the results indicated that this teacher carried out other practices not related to her theoretical beliefs, such as: feedback (50.8%) and repetition (16.9%). The same occurred with her discourse; she thought that maturation was also important (22.3%).

Regarding teacher M.C., a negative relationship was found between her psycholinguistic discourse (59.3%) and her teaching practices (4.1%). The same happened with her corrective practices (37.6%) and her discourse (14.8%) (e.g., correct when the child is wrong, point out, provide examples, deny). However, when we analyzed her practices, we found activities justified by other theories, such as functional knowledge of reading or use of teaching resources (13%) or repetition (19.6%) and constructivism (13%) (e.g., previous reading and writing, and likewise when we asked her opinion about how children learn to read (e.g., constructivism).

Regarding teacher S., she showed a corrective (17.6%), innatist (17.6%), sociocultural (17.6%), maturationist (16.6%), and constructivism (15.3%) profile. Then, she carried out corrective (35.1%) practices (e.g., feedback, direct instruction). During her discourse, opinions were also found that were constructivist (47.9%) and psycholinguistic (20%). Nevertheless, repetition practices (36%) were observed that had nothing to do with her expressed beliefs.

A relationship was found between the constructivism profile (23%) of teacher I. and her practices (19.3%). Then the result showed a relationship between corrective (12.6%) and repetitive (12.6%) beliefs and practices. Furthermore, this teacher used other practices unrelated to any of her attributed beliefs, such as: sociocultural (10.6%). No relationship between corrective (23%) and repetition (25.3%) practices and discourse were found. In the same way, she referred to the implication of other (e.g., sociocultural and psycholinguistic) theories in infant readers’ learning. The innatist profile of teacher I. was not related to her practices or discourse.

The results of the present study are congruent with previous study results that showed that teachers hold eclectic positions ( Clemente, 2008 ; Jiménez and O’Shanahan, 2008 ; Clemente et al., 2010 ; Rodríguez and Clemente, 2013 ). Other research has shown quite different results, from studies finding a relationship between beliefs and teaching practices in reading learning ( Cunningham and Zibulsky, 2009 ; Tolchinsky and Ríos, 2009 ; Rapoport et al., 2016 ) to studies which indicated a moderate correlation ( Baumann et al., 1998 ). On the opposite side, other authors found no such relationship ( Pérez-Peitx, 2013 ; Miglis et al., 2014 ; Enyew and Melesse, 2018 ; Utami et al., 2019 ).

The data extracted from the belief questionnaires have been complemented with the analysis of teaching practices and each teacher’s interviews, which allowed us to provide additional information ( Castañer et al., 2013 ). In our case, the interview helped us complete the teacher’s profile. We found that the teaching and learning processes are mediated by multiple contextual variables that were not identified by the questionnaire or recorded observations.

Analysis of the practices allowed us to identify not only what activities the teachers performed in their real teaching context but also how their sequence of instruction was oriented in all cases toward the use of their own multiple resources, applying other theories. The relationship found between some beliefs and practices in this study suggests that if teachers are aware of their own beliefs, the repertoire of teaching practices can be increased ( Tracey and Mandel, 2012 ), causing changes in decision making in the classroom and in teaching and evaluation strategies. In addition, as all teachers used many activities characteristic of other theories they did not explicitly hold, we focused on the opposite process, modifying their practices to cause a change in their beliefs ( Fazio, 2003 ), since these are permeable mental structures that can be modified ( Thompson, 1992 ). But how can we achieve this? Some studies confirm that people form their implicit theories through the knowledge they acquire ( Suárez and Jiménez, 2014 ).

The first step is to achieve the teacher’s predisposition to change, always through invitation ( Baena, 2000 ), by encouraging reflection. To do this, they should become aware how their own beliefs are involved in their teaching practice and how they influence student performance. In addition, the false myths about learning to read and teaching practices should be recognized, as prescribed by the National Reading Panel [NRP] (2000) . The question remains whether teachers have received training based on the latest advances in scientific research on the teaching of reading, in order to provide young students (who may or may not have difficulties) with the tools necessary for their learning to proceed optimally.

Online training offers teachers the opportunity to recycle their knowledge ( Costi et al., 2005 ; Jiménez, 2015 ; Jiménez et al., 2015 ; Jiménez and O’Shanahan, 2016 ), which generates an important pillar supporting success, integration, and sustainability in education ( Haydon and Barton, 2007 ; Somekh, 2008 ). It is also an alternative solution to the lack of time and difficulties in reconciling work and family life. It has been found that experience with these resources plays a fundamental role, since it favors a positive attitude of teachers and also confidence in the use of these tools for education ( BECTA, 2009 ). Joshi et al. (2009) found that the training teachers receive is inadequate because textbooks and courses in education reflect superstitions, anecdotes, and beliefs that are not based on scientific evidence. Research has also found that teachers do not properly use the practices that are based on scientific evidence ( Moats, 2009 ). If the learning environment is effective, it can even happen that only a small percentage of students present difficulties in learning to read ( Cunningham and Zibulsky, 2009 ).

The updating of knowledge according to research conclusions is proposed as an alternative for teachers who specialize in teaching reading, since teaching quality is one of the main factors determining the academic success of students ( European Council, 2008 ). For teachers to learn good practices, it is important that they have the following knowledge at their disposal: (1) fundamental research and theories about the development of language and reading; (2) strategies for use in the classroom to teach word recognition, vocabulary, text comprehension, and fluency; (3) tools to work on reading and writing at the same time; (4) the best strategies to teach reading and the materials to use; (5) different techniques for student evaluation; (6) how to maintain a good balance between theory, practice, and information technologies; (7) knowledge of dyslexia and other learning disorders ( IRA, 2007 ); and (8) how to interpret and administer assessment tests to plan teaching ( IDA, 2010 ). In addition, they must learn to ask more complex questions to help students make inferences and more elaborate reflections, as well as work with students’ prior knowledge ( RAND, 2002 ). However, the teacher alone should not be responsible for this process, because we have confirmed that in the teaching environment, there are other strong factors such as society or culture ( Quintana, 2001 ). The challenge now consists of achieving a change in the ways of thinking of those responsible for educational administration. The necessary means should also be provided to facilitate refresher courses and ongoing e-learning for teachers, with training programs that include content based on scientific evidence. One limitation is that the study consisted of six teachers and is not generalizable to a greater audience.

In general terms, we can conclude that the relationship between beliefs, practices, and discourse varies according to certain nuances. Thus, of the two beliefs attributed to teacher F., only one (corrective) was related to his form of instruction and his opinion. Among the four beliefs attributed to teacher M. (sociocultural, maturationist, repetition, and psycholinguistic), a relationship was found only between her maturationist and sociocultural profile and her discourse. Both beliefs attributed to teacher C. (sociocultural and psycholinguistic) were related to the discourse content. Of the two beliefs attributed to teacher M.C. (corrective and psycholinguistic), neither of them was related to her actions and reflections. Among the five beliefs attributed to teacher S. (sociocultural, innatist, corrective, maturationist, and constructivist) only two (corrective and sociocultural) were related to her active practices and discourse comments. Finally, of the two beliefs of teacher I. (innatist and constructivist), only constructivism was related to her practices or her opinion.

Although it is true that a relationship was found in all the teachers between some of their beliefs, practices, and discourse, as revealed in their discursive talks, all the teachers thought that learning to read depended on factors underlying other theories not related to their attributional profile. Therefore, despite attributing to them certain beliefs when they teach children to read and when they think of learning to read, it can be concluded that all teachers maintain an eclectic approach.

Data Availability Statement

All datasets generated for this study are included in the article/supplementary material.

Ethics Statement

Ethical review and approval was not required for the study on human participants in accordance with the local legislation and institutional requirements. Written informed consent to participate in this study was provided by the participants’ legal guardian/next of kin.

Author Contributions

NS: this author’s grant was used to run the project Integrando creencias y prácticas de enseñanza de la lectura (Integrating beliefs and practices about teaching reading), ref: PSI2009-11662. She participated actively in the research, analyzed the teaching practices and discourse, and was responsible for the literature review and drafting of this manuscript. JJ: supervised the project and the preparation of the study, offered theoretical guidance, and was responsible for reviewing the manuscript. CS: supervised the design and preparation of the study, offered guidance on methodology, and helped review the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of this article.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

This research has been funded through the Plan Nacional I + D + i (R+D+i National Research Plan of the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness), project ref: PSI2009-11662 and project ref: PSI2015-65009-R, with the second author as the principal investigator. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of a Spanish Government subproject, Integration ways between qualitative and quantitative data, multiple case development, and synthesis review as main axis for an innovative future in physical activity and sports research (PGC2018-098742-B-C31) (2019–2021) (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación, y Universidades/Agencia Estatal de Investigación/Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo regional), that is part of the coordinated project New approach to research in physical activity and sport from a mixed methods perspective (NARPAS_MM) (SPGC201800 × 098742CV0).

Key Concepts


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Keywords : beliefs, teaching practices, reading, teacher discourse, triangulation, mixed methods

Citation: Suárez N, Jiménez JE and Sánchez CR (2020) Teaching Reading: A Case Study Through Mixed Methods. Front. Psychol. 11:1083. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01083

Received: 30 November 2019; Accepted: 28 April 2020; Published: 10 June 2020.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2020 Suárez, Jiménez and Sánchez. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Natalia Suárez, [email protected]

This article is part of the Research Topic

Best Practice Approaches for Mixed Methods Research in Psychological Science

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  • What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on January 30, 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .

Table of contents

When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.

You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.

Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:

  • Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
  • Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
  • Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
  • Open up new directions for future research

Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.

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case study in reading

While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:

  • Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
  • Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
  • Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions

To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.

There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.

How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .

Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).

In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.

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What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

  • Nitin Nohria

case study in reading

Seven meta-skills that stick even if the cases fade from memory.

It’s been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study method excels in instilling meta-skills in students. This article explains the importance of seven such skills: preparation, discernment, bias recognition, judgement, collaboration, curiosity, and self-confidence.

During my decade as dean of Harvard Business School, I spent hundreds of hours talking with our alumni. To enliven these conversations, I relied on a favorite question: “What was the most important thing you learned from your time in our MBA program?”

Alumni responses varied but tended to follow a pattern. Almost no one referred to a specific business concept they learned. Many mentioned close friendships or the classmate who became a business or life partner. Most often, though, alumni highlighted a personal quality or skill like “increased self-confidence” or “the ability to advocate for a point of view” or “knowing how to work closely with others to solve problems.” And when I asked how they developed these capabilities, they inevitably mentioned the magic of the case method.

Harvard Business School pioneered the use of case studies to teach management in 1921. As we commemorate 100 years of case teaching, much has been  written  about the effectiveness of this method. I agree with many of these observations. Cases expose students to real business dilemmas and decisions. Cases teach students to size up business problems quickly while considering the broader organizational, industry, and societal context. Students recall concepts better when they are set in a case, much as people remember words better when used in context. Cases teach students how to apply theory in practice and how to induce theory from practice. The case method cultivates the capacity for critical analysis, judgment, decision-making, and action.

There is a word that aptly captures the broader set of capabilities our alumni reported they learned from the case method. That word is meta-skills, and these meta-skills are a benefit of case study instruction that those who’ve never been exposed to the method may undervalue.

Educators define meta-skills as a group of long-lasting abilities that allow someone to learn new things more quickly. When parents encourage a child to learn to play a musical instrument, for instance, beyond the hope of instilling musical skills (which some children will master and others may not), they may also appreciate the benefit the child derives from deliberate, consistent practice. This meta-skill is valuable for learning many other things beyond music.

In the same vein, let me suggest seven vital meta-skills students gain from the case method:

1. Preparation

There is no place for students to hide in the moments before the famed “cold call”— when the teacher can ask any student at random to open the case discussion. Decades after they graduate, students will vividly remember cold calls when they, or someone else, froze with fear, or when they rose to nail the case even in the face of a fierce grilling by the professor.

The case method creates high-powered incentives for students to prepare. Students typically spend several hours reading, highlighting, and debating cases before class, sometimes alone and sometimes in groups. The number of cases to be prepared can be overwhelming by design.

Learning to be prepared — to read materials in advance, prioritize, identify the key issues, and have an initial point of view — is a meta-skill that helps people succeed in a broad range of professions and work situations. We have all seen how the prepared person, who knows what they are talking about, can gain the trust and confidence of others in a business meeting. The habits of preparing for a case discussion can transform a student into that person.

2. Discernment

Many cases are long. A typical case may include history, industry background, a cast of characters, dialogue, financial statements, source documents, or other exhibits. Some material may be digressive or inessential. Cases often have holes — critical pieces of information that are missing.

The case method forces students to identify and focus on what’s essential, ignore the noise, skim when possible, and concentrate on what matters, meta-skills required for every busy executive confronted with the paradox of simultaneous information overload and information paucity. As one alumnus pithily put it, “The case method helped me learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff.”

3. Bias Recognition

Students often have an initial reaction to a case stemming from their background or earlier work and life experiences. For instance, people who have worked in finance may be biased to view cases through a financial lens. However, effective general managers must understand and empathize with various stakeholders, and if someone has a natural tendency to favor one viewpoint over another, discussing dozens of cases will help reveal that bias. Armed with this self-understanding, students can correct that bias or learn to listen more carefully to classmates whose different viewpoints may help them see beyond their own biases.

Recognizing and correcting personal bias can be an invaluable meta-skill in business settings when leaders inevitably have to work with people from different functions, backgrounds, and perspectives.

4. Judgment

Cases put students into the role of the case protagonist and force them to make and defend a decision. The format leaves room for nuanced discussion, but not for waffling: Teachers push students to choose an option, knowing full well that there is rarely one correct answer.

Indeed, most cases are meant to stimulate a discussion rather than highlight effective or ineffective management practice. Across the cases they study, students get feedback from their classmates and their teachers about when their decisions are more or less compelling. It enables them to develop the judgment of making decisions under uncertainty, communicating that decision to others, and gaining their buy-in — all essential leadership skills. Leaders earn respect for their judgment. It is something students in the case method get lots of practice honing.

5. Collaboration

It is better to make business decisions after extended give-and-take, debate, and deliberation. As in any team sport, people get better at working collaboratively with practice. Discussing cases in small study groups, and then in the classroom, helps students practice the meta-skill of collaborating with others. Our alumni often say they came away from the case method with better skills to participate in meetings and lead them.

Orchestrating a good collaborative discussion in which everyone contributes, every viewpoint is carefully considered, yet a thoughtful decision is made in the end is the arc of any good case discussion. Although teachers play the primary role in this collaborative process during their time at the school, it is an art that students of the case method internalize and get better at when they get to lead discussions.

6. Curiosity

Cases expose students to lots of different situations and roles. Across cases, they get to assume the role of entrepreneur, investor, functional leader, or CEO, in a range of different industries and sectors. Each case offers an opportunity for students to see what resonates with them, what excites them, what bores them, which role they could imagine inhabiting in their careers.

Cases stimulate curiosity about the range of opportunities in the world and the many ways that students can make a difference as leaders. This curiosity serves them well throughout their lives. It makes them more agile, more adaptive, and more open to doing a wider range of things in their careers.

7. Self-Confidence

Students must inhabit roles during a case study that far outstrip their prior experience or capability, often as leaders of teams or entire organizations in unfamiliar settings. “What would you do if you were the case protagonist?” is the most common question in a case discussion. Even though they are imaginary and temporary, these “stretch” assignments increase students’ self-confidence that they can rise to the challenge.

In our program, students can study 500 cases over two years, and the range of roles they are asked to assume increases the range of situations they believe they can tackle. Speaking up in front of 90 classmates feels risky at first, but students become more comfortable taking that risk over time. Knowing that they can hold their own in a highly curated group of competitive peers enhances student confidence. Often, alumni describe how discussing cases made them feel prepared for much bigger roles or challenges than they’d imagined they could handle before their MBA studies. Self-confidence is difficult to teach or coach, but the case study method seems to instill it in people.

There may well be other ways of learning these meta-skills, such as the repeated experience gained through practice or guidance from a gifted coach. However, under the direction of a masterful teacher, the case method can engage students and help them develop powerful meta-skills like no other form of teaching. This quickly became apparent when case teaching was introduced in 1921 — and it’s even truer today.

For educators and students, recognizing the value of these meta-skills can offer perspective on the broader goals of their work together. Returning to the example of piano lessons, it may be natural for a music teacher or their students to judge success by a simple measure: Does the student learn to play the instrument well? But when everyone involved recognizes the broader meta-skills that instrumental instruction can instill — and that even those who bumble their way through Bach may still derive lifelong benefits from their instruction — it may lead to a deeper appreciation of this work.

For recruiters and employers, recognizing the long-lasting set of benefits that accrue from studying via the case method can be a valuable perspective in assessing candidates and plotting their potential career trajectories.

And while we must certainly use the case method’s centennial to imagine yet more powerful ways of educating students in the future, let us be sure to assess these innovations for the meta-skills they might instill, as much as the subject matter mastery they might enable.

  • Nitin Nohria is a professor at Harvard Business School and the chairman of Thrive Capital, a venture capital firm based in New York.

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Reading in Europe—Challenges and lessons learned from the case studies of the READ-IT project

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Francesca Benatti and others , Reading in Europe—Challenges and lessons learned from the case studies of the READ-IT project, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities , Volume 38, Issue 2, June 2023, Pages 477–481, https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqac071

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This article reflects on the challenges of combining humanistic and computational research perspectives within the framework of a multicultural and multilingual Digital Humanities project. It analyses the approach of Reading Europe Advanced Data Investigation Tool, a European project funded by JPI-CH, to the framing of its case studies within a wider perspective of interdisciplinary collaboration between humanities, digital humanities, and data science scholars. The analysis of sources ranging chronologically from the 18th century to the present and technologically from manuscript diaries to social media defines a new framework for the history of reading focused on the centrality of the human experience of the reader, and on the evolution of the medium through which reading is conducted. The interdisciplinary collaboration of the project develops a shared laboratory space where practices, languages, and research cultures converge to address both microscope and macroscope questions on the history of reading.

The importance of books and reading is unquestionable in modern society, but unaddressed questions still remain. Up to now, scholars have studied the circulation of books and the ideas they convey, identified the factors that facilitate or impede the reception of such ideas in different cultural groups, but have not yet succeeded in delineating the impact of reading on the history and society of Europe. Knowledge has significantly increased over the last 40 years regarding what, where, and when people read, with focus shifting from implied or model readers to historical and empirical evidence of reading practices ( Iser, 1974 ; Eco, 1979 ; Murray, 2018 ; Fuller and Rehberg Sedo, 2019 ; Ouvry-Vial, 2019 ; Price, 2019 ). Nevertheless, two major questions remain unanswered: why and how do people read? The increasing availability of digitized historical sources and the proliferation of born-digital media are multiplying the sources of possible evidence, though issues are emerging about the ownership and reliability of such large-scale datasets ( Rowberry, 2019 ). New challenges are opening up that can only be addressed through collaboration between the disciplines of the Humanities, Digital Humanities, and Data Science.

Up to now, we have lacked a systematic and integrative approach and the tools to study the experience of reading, the effects on readers and their lives, the outcomes of reading, and what affects the reading experience of the general public within this new research paradigm. Furthermore, there are still gaps between in-depth studies and computational studies, the conceptualizations of reading in different disciplines, and the interrelation between the results of micro-scale disciplinary and macroscopic scale interdisciplinary studies ( Hitchcock, 2014 ).

In this scenario, the questions of why and how people read should be instantiated into a set of operational challenges bridging disciplines, studies of different sources, and studies at different geographical and enquiry scales:

What kind of transaction exists between a reader and a text?

What role does the environment play in this transaction?

Have emotions related to reading changed throughout time and space in Europe?

Is it possible to sketch out the portrait of something resembling the ‘European reader’?

The Reading Europe Advanced Data Investigation Tool (READ-IT) 1 project addressed these questions through a unique large-scale, user-friendly, open access, semantically enriched investigation tool to identify and share groundbreaking evidence about 18th–21st century Cultural Heritage of reading in Europe. It was a three-year (2018–21) transnational, interdisciplinary R&D project funded by the Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage. READ-IT consists of a robust consortium of five academic partners from four European countries (Institute of Czech Literature, Academy of Sciences, Prague; The Open University, UK, including the SME IN2; Utrecht University-DH Lab, Netherlands; CNRS-IRISA, Rennes and Le Mans Université-3LAM, France).

Within the work plan of READ-IT, the collection of case studies was the first significant milestone. Use cases collected in READ-IT are challenging the previous approaches adopted in projects such as the UK-Reading Experience Database (UK RED, 1996–2018), 2 the ANR-funded ‘Reading in Europe: Contemporary Issues in Historical and Comparative Perspectives’ project (2014–17), 3 and the Listening Experience Database project (2012 to present) 4 by going beyond the current state of the art of use cases and by requiring a significantly deeper analysis of sources.

The interdisciplinary collaboration between digital humanists, human and social sciences scholars, and computer scientists investigated innovative ways of gathering new resources through crowdsourcing and web-crawling as well as linking and reusing pre-existing datasets. READ-IT thus aims to ensure the sustainable and reusable aggregation of qualitative data, allowing an in-depth analysis of the Cultural Heritage of reading.

Case studies occupy a central place in the definition of the READ-IT data model and tools, guiding the identification of common issues, dimensions of analysis, and sources for validating and testing both the conceptual framework and the database. Case studies also configure a common research agenda for a multidisciplinary community of researchers on reading, built combining different approaches and sources spanning from social media, students’ diaries, and letters, from the 18th century up to today, in Czech, French, German, Italian, and Dutch. Current case studies include: ‘Digital Reading Experiences Through Social Media’, ‘Self-reflection’, ‘The places where we read’, ‘Reading in school diaries’, ‘Multilingual reading and sources’, ‘Reading and the reception of Romanticism’, and ‘Reading and censorship’ ( Vignale et al. , 2019 ).

The set of case studies encompasses a rich ‘human archive’ in multiple media and languages depicting a transaction between reading subjects and reading materials from the 18th century to the present, including web scraping and social media crowdsourced evidence of reading experiences. In this regard, the case studies define a significant corpus of approaches and questions concerning the phenomenon of reading. Specifically, the significance of the case studies depends on the breadth of periods and locations and most importantly to the different perspectives concerning situations of reading, lasting emotions and memories, immediate responses, or changes in readers’ habits.

This article presents and discusses the outcomes of the interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge creation arising from the READ-IT case studies. It highlights the lesson learned from collecting, discussing, and addressing this variety of sources, research questions, and methods, the development of interoperability and the bridging of people, disciplines, and results.

The outcome of READ-IT is not a database of reading experiences, but a toolbox that can be adopted in a wide range of studies and that can support interoperability of research data to facilitate collaborations. The information value of the corpora of case studies derives from the opportunity to address a complex system of needs concerning different research questions, sources, and activities through a dialogue between the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Digital Humanities (DH) scholars who created the underlying data model and the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) researchers who adopted it ( Flanders, 2013 ).

The analysis of the case studies followed three main directions: (a) research questions and focus (i.e. the aspects of reading that are the subject of the research), (b) the type of source of reading experience and the scale of the study (i.e. depth and quantity), (c) research practices and interoperability of data (i.e. expected generated data, competency questions, and issues related to the reuse of data outside the specific case study). The analysis of the case studies produced a set of requirements that were used in the development of a data model ( Antonini et al. , 2019 ) and a Reading Experience Ontology ( Vignale et al. , 2020 ; Antonini et al. , 2021 ). The resulting model shifted the focus beyond the factual aspects of experience that were addressed in previous projects (who, where, when, and what), to the phenomenological aspects of reading, such as the reader’s state of mind (habits, aims, emotions, and achievements) and the articulation of reading in terms of sessions and key turning points (experiences).

The outcome of the analysis and of iterative engagement with research partners highlighted a number of major issues as a direct result of the integrative approach to the READ-IT case studies:

‘The centrality of the human experience’ emerging from the corpora of case studies and leading towards the new approach based on a phenomenological analysis of reading. This change of focus directed the modelling efforts in a new direction: from collaborative analysis of sources and contextual factual information of reading towards a phenomenology of the human reading experience. The emphasis on the human aspects of the experience highlighted, for instance, the importance of addressing reading as a diachronic process structured in interconnected phases and dependent on changes affecting reader, medium, and society ( Antonini et al. , 2019 ).

‘The challenge of legacy data and the human legacy of projects’ emerging from the need to incorporate data collected by the UK RED project, highlighting the need to define a strategy based on the restoration or repurposing of legacy data ( Antonini et al. , 2020 ).

‘The role of the medium’ requiring broadening the scope of READ-IT from reading printed books to addressing new media. Firstly, this change opened up a question about which medium qualifies an experience as reading (e.g. is experiencing audiobooks or reading aloud still reading?). Secondly, it developed a reflection on how medium technologies ‘mediate’ the reader/author relationship, providing a variety of new configurations (e.g. interactive media, collective augmentation of text, and profile-based recommendations). In this frame, the medium as a technology acquires a central role in the modalities and effects of reading and challenges the duality of relation reader/author (e.g. does automatic tagging and interlinking of contents qualify as an authorial contribution?). This strand of research has produced so far a study on social media ‘stalking’ ( Antonini et al. , 2019 ), a framework of technology-driven re-mediation of the author–reader relation ( Antonini and Brooker, 2020 ), and a comprehensive study of the lifecycle and socio-technological ecosystem of webcomics ( Antonini et al. , 2020 ).

‘Design of tools for multidisciplinarity’ requiring the definition of a meta-language of reading ( Antonini and Lupi, 2019 ), a novel approach to an agile ontology development ( Antonini et al. , 2021 ), a contribution ecosystem including paper postcards, a digital contribution portal 5 and a chatbot, 6 an ontology design pattern for experiential studies, 7 and an annotation tool for textual sources.

‘Integrating the READ-IT data model in existing standards’ for cultural heritage and web contents such as CIDOC CRM requiring a re-engineering of the model under the light of the different ontological framework of CIDOC CRM. 8

Reading is an immaterial activity that leaves only indirect traces, which are difficult to retrieve. Nonetheless, the fast-paced transformation of book technologies is configuring reading as the central activity in the new open digital culture ( Ouvry-Vial, 2019 ). READ-IT is advancing research on the history and current practices of reading by developing a framework that allows scholars to address both ‘macroscope’ and ‘microscope’ questions ( Hitchcock, 2014 ).

In the realization of this vision, the main challenge is how to extract evidence from historical sources so that it can be interpreted by multidisciplinary researchers both at scale and in detail ( Gibbs and Cohen, 2011 ; Towheed et al. , 2015 ). The work conducted within READ-IT is moving beyond the development of specific case studies to the reconfiguration of the project as a laboratory to rethink, revise, and improve research on reading. The interdisciplinary collaboration powering READ-IT is a source of innovation, outcomes, and opportunities for unveiling new issues in a constant dialogue between the formal, deterministic, repeatable, disambiguated system required by computation and the probabilistic, unresolvable relation with cultural artefacts, objects, and conditions that are the foundation of humanistic methods ( Drucker, 2019 ).

Further research in READ-IT focused on issues emerging from the project, including:

‘Integrating multilingual DH studies’ by connecting the language-agnostic ontology with language-specific NLP resources ( Bienvenu et al. , 2021 ).

‘Furthering the conceptualization of the state of mind of the reader’, which is one of the major innovations and central issues of the project ( Antonini et al. , 2020 ).

‘Using the READ-IT model’ through the annotation tools, which are being tested through in-depth annotation campaigns in several languages and through research creating multi-lingual and diachronic glossaries of reading concepts ( Vignale et al. , 2021 ).

‘Connecting reading with other aesthetic experiences’ by finding a common ground between READ-IT and conceptualizations developed by other projects on experiencing music and art, to be investigated in a follow-on project. 9

‘Engaging the general public’ through the long-term infrastructure created by the project (contribution portal, postcards, and chatbot), and through events such as European Researchers’ Night 10 and the Being Human Festival 11 to reach a variety of user communities.

A final take-away from the READ-IT project is a clear need for cross-disciplinary collaboration to address the challenges of the project, which are neither strictly within the field of HSS nor ICT. The current scale of Humanities research on reading is based largely on small teams collaborating occasionally with ICT research. In order to develop further, Digital Humanities approaches to the history of reading require systematic, sustained dialogue, resources, and commitment to transform the personal efforts of single individuals into a research community. READ-IT has developed a shared laboratory space where researchers can experience the tangible results produced by an ideal balance of competencies and a shared Digital Humanities agenda.

This work was partially supported by the Reading Europe—Advanced Data Investigation Tool (READ-IT), which is funded by the Joint Programming Initiative Cultural Heritage (JPI CH) project under the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme [grant agreement No. 699523]. This research work has also been partially funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche [ANR-17-JPCH-00001-01].








Ontology (V1.0) in CIDOC CRM available at https://github.com/eureadit/reading-experience-ontology




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Antonini A. , Benatti F. , King E. ( 2020 ). Restoration and Repurposing of DH Legacy Projects: the UK-RED Case , Book of Abstracts of DH2020 — Digital Humanities Conference 2020 , Ottawa, Canada. https://dh2020.adho.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/138_RestorationandRepurposingofDHLegacyProjects.html (accessed 16 October 2020).

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What Is a Case Study?

An in-depth study of one person, group, or event

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

case study in reading

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

case study in reading

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Benefits and Limitations

Types of case studies, how to write a case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .  

A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

  • Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information
  • Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases
  • Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research

On the negative side, a case study:

  • Cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
  • Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
  • May not be scientifically rigorous
  • Can lead to bias

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

  • Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
  • Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
  • Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language could be taught even after critical periods for language development had been missed. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:

  • Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those living there.
  • Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
  • Explanatory case studies : These   are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
  • Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
  • Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
  • Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic cast study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.

There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.

Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.

Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.

Where to Find Data

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

  • Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
  • Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
  • Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
  • Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
  • Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
  • Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

  • Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
  • Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
  • Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
  • Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

  • Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, their name or a pseudonym.
  • Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
  • Remember to use APA format when citing references .

A Word From Verywell

Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Home » Resources » Case study of Amelia, a five-year-old reader who enjoys reading at home

Case study of Amelia, a five-year-old reader who enjoys reading at home

Felicity holt-goldsmith.

  • Case Studies of young readers / 

Amelia* is a middle ability pupil in a mixed ability class of thirty one children, with a ratio of eighteen boys and eleven girls. The school is average size for a primary school and most of the pupils are drawn from the immediate neighbourhood. When I met Amelia she was graded at Level 1c for her reading, slightly below average for the class. The school endeavours to provide an atmosphere where the enjoyment of reading is promoted and nurtured. Children have reading books from the Oxford Reading Scheme which they take home every day and home and school links are made through reading journals. There is also a selection of books in the classroom and the school is in the process of renovating the library.


To try and gain an understanding of Amelia as a reader I undertook a reading conference and made observations of her reading in a range of different contexts. However, the limited amount of time spent at the placement means that only a speculative analysis can be made. Amelia was still learning to decode but she was able to utilise higher order reading skills such as comprehension. She was an able meaning maker and engaged with a variety of texts. In terms of The Simple View of Reading (Rose, 2006: 40) she would be placed in the section of ‘poor word recognition; good comprehension’ although her skills of decoding words improved quite significantly even during the short time I was at the school. Cain (2010) argues that to understand a text’s meaning a reader needs to establish local and global coherence. Local coherence is described as the ability to make links between adjacent sentences and global coherence is described as the ability to make sense of a text as a whole and relate this to personal experiences (p. 52). Amelia was able to understand the narrative of a story and could relate stories to her own life and other texts. During the reading conference I asked her about a book that she had read a few weeks ago; she was able to retell the story in great detail and described which parts were her favourite. There was also evidence that Amelia was able to engage with the meanings of individual words. For example, when reading aloud to me she read the word ‘buggy’ and said that ‘pram’ could be used as an alternative. It would be important to encourage this interest in the meanings of words in order for Amelia to progress with her comprehension skills. As Cain (2010) suggests, vocabulary knowledge is strongly associated with good reading comprehension.

Phonics and other strategies

Amelia was still learning to decode and used a number of different strategies. She used her knowledge of phonics as one way to decode words. She would split a word up into individual phonemes and then blend these together to read the word aloud. She often used her finger to cover up parts of the word in order to try and make this process easier. However, for some words she did not use this strategy. She struggled to read the word ‘children’ and said that it was too difficult to sound out because it was too long. However, when we read a different book the week after she did not have any trouble reading this word. She explained that she was able to read it because she recognised it and not because she sounded it out, suggesting that she read it from sight. Amelia did use her knowledge of phonics to read although this strategy was used in addition to others. On several occasions she looked at the pictures before attempting to read the text and would subsequently make predictions of what was going to happen in the story. She was also receptive to learning new reading strategies. When she struggled to read the word ‘snowball’ I suggested she split it into two words that she may recognise: ‘snow’ and ‘ball’. The next week we read the same book again and she used the same strategy. Amelia’s use of different reading strategies appeared to be effective and it would be important to encourage her to continue to use a variety of strategies in order for her reading to progress.

Taking it further

Amelia is an enthusiastic reader and enjoys reading at home. She reads to her mother and father on a daily basis and explained that her father reads to her and her sister every night before bed. It appeared that her home life fosters a positive attitude to reading and this was arguably beneficial to her reading progress. Clark (2011) has found that there is a positive relationship between the number of books a child has at home and their reading attainment level. Goouch and Lambirth (2011) also suggest that children who read at home would have a head start at school ‘with their knowledge of how stories work, patterns and tunes in stories, the relationship between illustration and print as well as some clear information about print drawn from reading and re-reading favourite tales’ (p. 8). As previously discussed Amelia seemed to be an able meaning maker and this could partly be due to the fact that reading is a part of her daily routine at home.

It would be crucial to encourage Amelia’s enthusiasm and enjoyment of reading in order for her reading to progress further. Ofsted reports have consistently argued for a greater emphasis on reading for pleasure within the taught curriculum in both primary and secondary schools (Ofsted, 2012: 42). Amelia enjoys reading books about animals and it would be important to consider her interests and try and incorporate this when suggesting reading books. Lockwood (2008) argues that it is important to discuss children’s reading choices and reflect this when updating book stocks. This would be a way of promoting reading for pleasure not only for Amelia but for all the children in the class.

In conclusion, Amelia appeared to have good comprehension skills and her ability to decode was developing. She engaged with texts and was able to express opinions on books that she had read. She used her knowledge of phonics to decode words but did not rely on this strategy alone. Amelia enjoys reading and reads in a variety of different contexts. It would be crucial to encourage this positive attitude to reading in order for her reading to develop further. This could be done in various ways, including ensuring that her interests were reflected in the books that were available to read in the classroom. It would also be important to provide choice and to demonstrate the joy of reading by reading stories together as a class. Trying to promote reading for pleasure would be beneficial not only for Amelia but for all the children in the class.

* A pseudonym

Cain, K. (2010) Reading Development and Difficulties West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Clark, C. (2011) Setting the Baseline: The National Literacy Trust’s first annual survey into reading London: National Literacy Trust.

Goouch, K. and Lambirth, A. (2011) Teaching Early Reading and Phonics London: Sage.

Lockwood, M. (2008) Promoting reading for pleasure in the primary school London: Sage.

Ofsted (2012) Moving English Forward. Available at:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/moving-english-forward  (Accessed: 3rd March 2014).

Rose, J. (2006) Independent review of the teaching of early reading. Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401…

https://www. education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderi… (Accessed: 5th March 2014) 

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How to Write a Case Study

This guide explains how to write a descriptive case study. A descriptive case study describes how an organization handled a specific issue. Case studies can vary in length and the amount of details provided. They can be fictional or based on true events.

Why should you write one? Case studies can help others (e.g., students, other organizations, employees) learn about

  • new concepts,
  • best practices, and
  • situations they might face.

Writing a case study also allows you to critically examine your organizational practices.

The following pages provide examples of different types of case study formats. As you read them, think about what stands out to you. Which format best matches your needs? You can make similar stylistic choices when you write your own case study.

ACF Case Studies of Community Economic Development external icon This page contains links to nine case studies that describe how different organizations performed economic development activities in their communities.

National Asthma Control Program Wee Wheezers This case study describes a public health program.

CDC Epidemiologic Case Studies This page contains links to five classroom-style case studies on foodborne diseases.

ATSDR Environmental Health and Medicine This page contains links to approximately 20 classroom-style case studies focused on exposures to environmental hazards.

What are your goals ? What should your intended readers understand or learn after reading your case? Pick 1–5 realistic goals. The more goals you include, the more complex your case study might need to be.

Who is your audience? You need to write with them in mind.

What kind of background knowledge do they have? Very little, moderate, or a lot of knowledge. Be sure to explain special terms and jargon so that readers with little to moderate knowledge can understand and enjoy your case study.

What format do you need to use? Will your case study be published in a journal, online, or printed as part of a handout? Think about how word minimums or maximums will shape what you can talk about and how you talk about it. For example, you may be allowed fewer words for a case study written for a print textbook than for a webpage.

What narrative perspective will you use? A first-person perspective uses words such as “I” and” “we” to tell a story. A third-person perspective uses pronouns and names such as “they” or “CDC”. Be consistent throughout your case study.

Depending on your writing style, you might prefer to write everything that comes to your mind first, then organize and edit it later. Some of you might prefer to use headings or be more structured and methodical in your approach. Any writing style is fine, just be sure to write! Later, after you have included all the necessary information, you can go back and find more appropriate words, ensure your writing is clear, and edit your punctuation and grammar.

  • Use clear writing principles, sometimes called plain language. More information can be found in the CDC’s Guide to Clear Writing pdf icon [PDF – 5 MB] or on the Federal Plain Language website external icon .
  • Use active voice instead of passive voice. If you are unfamiliar with active voice, review resources such as NCEH/ATSDR’s Training on Active Voice , The National Archive’s Active Voice Tips external icon , and USCIS’ Video on Active Voice external icon .
  • Word choice is important. If you use jargon or special terminology, define it for readers.
  • CDC has developed many resources to help writers choose better words. These include the NCEH/ATSDR Environmental Health Thesaurus , CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communicators pdf icon [PDF – 565 KB] external icon , CDC’s Everyday Words for Public Health Communication pdf icon [PDF – 282 KB] , and the NCEH/ATSDR’s Clear Writing Hub .

After writing a draft, the case study writer or team should have 2–3 people, unfamiliar with the draft, read it over. These people should highlight any words or sentences they find confusing. They can also write down one or two questions that they still have after reading the draft. The case study writer or team can use those notes make edits.

  • Review your goals for the case study. Have you met each goal? Make any necessary edits.
  • Check your sentence length. If your sentence has more than 20 words, it might be too long. Limit each sentence to one main idea.
  • Use common words and phrases. Review a list of commonly misused words and phrases.
  • Be sure you have been consistent with your verb tenses throughout.

Finally, the writer/team should have someone with a good eye for detail review the case study for grammar and formatting issues. You can review the CDC Style Guide pdf icon [PDF – 1.36 MB] external icon  for clarification on the use of punctuation, spelling, tables, etc.

Green BN, Johnson CD. How to write a case report for publication. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2006;5(2):72-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60137-2

Scholz RW, Tietje O. Types of case studies. In: Embedded Case Study Methods . Thousand Oaks (CA): SAGE Publications, Inc.; 2002. P. 9-14. doi:10.4135/9781412984027

Warner C. How to Write a Case Study [online]. 2009. Available from URL: https://www.asec.purdue.edu/lct/HBCU/documents/HOWTOWRITEACASESTUDY.pdf pdf icon [PDF – 14.5 KB] external icon

Title: Organization: Author(s):

Goals: After reading this case study, readers should

Introduction Who is your organization? What is your expertise? Provide your audience with some background information, such as your expertise. This provides context to help them understand your decisions. (How much should you write? A few sentences to 1 paragraph)

What problem did you address? Who identified the problem? Provide some background on who noticed the problem and how it was reported. Were multiple organizations or people involved in identifying and addressing the problem? This will help the reader understand how and why decisions were made. (1 paragraph)

Case Details Provide more information about the community. What factors affected your decisions? Describe the community. The context, or setting, is very important to readers. What are some of the unique characteristics that affected your decisions? (1 paragraph)

How did you address the problem? Start at the beginning. Summarize what happened, in chronological order. If you know which section of the publication your case study is likely to be put in, you can specify how your actions addressed one or more of the main points of the publication/lesson.

What challenge(s) did you encounter? Address them now if you have not already.

What was the outcome? What were your notable achievements? Explain how your actions or the outcomes satisfy your learning goals for the reader. Be clear about the main point. For example, if you wanted readers to understand how your organization dealt with a major organizational change, include a few sentences that reiterate how you encountered and dealt with the organizational change. (A few sentences to 1 paragraph)

Conclusion Summarize lessons learned. Reiterate your main point(s) for the reader by explaining how your actions, or the outcomes, meet your goals for the reader.

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IMSE Journal

The Latest in Science of Reading Research

  • #Expert Insight

The Science of Reading (SoR) is a comprehensive body of research that encompasses years of scientific knowledge and spans across many languages.

There have been thousands of studies and scholarly articles that have been published over the last few decades. In this article, we will summarize some of the latest findings and entries surrounding the Science of Reading.

The Four Pillars To Reading Success (June, 2020)

In June 2020, the National Council for Teacher Quality released an action guide for states looking to boost their reading scores. The purveying message is that reading does not come naturally and lays out the four components that states can have a direct impact on.

These four pillars are:

  • Insisting that prep programs build teacher candidate knowledge
  • Recommending to districts the best tools for assessing their students’ reading proficiency
  • Evaluating and recommending instructional materials
  • Giving resources to districts so they can provide external supports for classroom teachers

When it comes to prep programs, the report states that teachers should avoid any program that includes drawing shapes around words, making alphabetic word walls, teaching the “cueing systems” approach of appealing to context to guess at unknown words, or that does not follow a clear scope and sequence where one skill is built upon another.

SOLAR: The Science of Language and Reading (2020)

Science of Reading Research

This study cites research that indicates we should be successfully teaching 95% of children to read, yet, in reality, high rates of reading failure are common in western, industrialized nations. 

The author suggests the Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) framework as a way of positioning oral language as the main factor in reading comprehension. The SOLAR framework is illustrated via the Language House schema, which considers the social-emotional contexts for language acquisition and reading instruction, alongside the ongoing development of prosocial interpersonal skills and mastery of sufficient language and reading skills by early adulthood to be able to function as part of the social and economic mainstream. 

  • Solid ground: The emotional and interpersonal experience of infancy
  • Strong foundations: Oral language development in the preschool years
  • First wall: The prosocial interpersonal skills and the home language and literacy environment
  • Second wall: The reading, writing, and spelling and instructional environment
  • A structural beam to support the roof: Social-emotional and behavioral wellbeing
  • The roof: Access to the social and economic mainstream through marketable employment skills

The author argues that speech-language therapy has much to offer to the promotion of evidence-based early reading and writing instruction and support, given the linguistic nature of reading and the high comorbidity between language and reading difficulties and social-emotional disturbances in childhood and adolescence.

Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science (2020)

Dr. Louisa Moats states that much of the research surrounding the science of reading is not yet included in teacher preparation programs, widely used curricula, or professional development. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that typical classroom practices often deviate substantially from what is recommended by our most credible sources.

She states the professional development and teacher preparation courses should ensure teachers should have knowledge of all the following subjects and how they can be applied in the classroom.

  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Orthography
  • Syntax and Text Structure

As a whole, Moats identifies seven steps that states and schools need to take to make noticeable and lasting improvements. 

  • Use research to guide the profession
  • Establish core professional standards, curricula, and entry-level assessments for new teachers.
  • Align teacher education curricula, standards for students, and licensing requirements for teachers.
  • Create professional development institutes for professors and masters teachers
  • Press the developers of textbooks and instructional materials to improve their products
  • Promote high-quality professional development for teachers.
  • Invest in teaching

How the Science of Reading Informs 21st‐Century Education (2020)

This study dives into the history of science of reading research and why it is such a contested topic. It compares approaches such as the whole language approach or three-cueing system to that of observational research, but states, “observational research devoid of rigorous methodology, testing, and replication produces spurious results and leads to biased inferences.”

While identifying research that has ample evidence, the authors state that teaching children to decode words using systematic and explicit phonics instruction results in improved word-decoding skills. 

Such instruction is effective both for monolingual English-speaking children and children whose home language is other than English (i.e., dual-language learners; Baker et al., 2014; Gersten et al., 2007) as well as children who are having difficulties learning to read or who have an identified reading disability (Ehri, Nunes, Stahl et al., 2001; Gersten et al., 2008). 

The article also touches on how important building knowledge in other areas is vital to reading comprehension. 

Compelling evidence is available to guide understanding of how reading develops and identify proven instructional practices that impact both decoding and linguistic comprehension.

The scientific literature on reading is ever-expanding through contributions from education, psychology, linguistics, communication science, neuroscience, and computational sciences. 

Phonological Awareness Materials in Utah Kindergartens: A Case Study in the Science of Reading (April, 2021)

This study looked into the instruction and materials that were being used in Utah kindergarten classrooms. While many classrooms are incorporating phonemic awareness and phonics into their instruction, much of it is still inconsistent with the science of reading research.

In this instance, the current study found that the most widely used materials in the state did not incorporate explicit, direct instruction that was sequential and structured. Moreover, orthographic mapping was not taken into sufficient account when teaching literacy to their students. 

Additionally, the materials did not use letters and did not limit focus to one or two skills. With all of these findings, the state’s most widely used materials do not align with the science of reading.

We will leave you with the words of Dr. Louisa Moats, published in “Teaching Reading is Rocket Science”.

 “The fact that teachers need better training to carry out deliberate instruction in reading, spelling, and writing should prompt action rather than criticism. It should highlight the chronic gap between what teachers need and what they have been given. It should underscore the obligation of licensing programs to combine coursework with practice on a range of predefined skills and knowledge. The deficiencies in teacher preparation represent both a misunderstanding of what reading instruction demands and a mistaken notion that any literate person should be able to teach children to read. We do not expect that anyone who appreciates music can teach music appreciation, or that anyone who can balance a check- book can teach math,” Moats writes. 

“Just about all children can be taught to read and deserve no less from their teachers. Teachers, in turn, deserve no less than the knowledge, skills, and supported practice that will enable their teaching to succeed. There is no more important challenge for education to undertake.”

Sign up for our  LIVE virtual Orton-Gillingham training ! We are now offering half-day, evening, and weekend options to best fit your schedule. 

The IMSE approach allows teachers to incorporate the five components essential to an effective reading program into their daily lessons: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. 

The approach is based on the Orton-Gillingham methodology and focuses on explicit, direct instruction that is sequential, structured, and multi-sensory.

It is IMSE’s mission that all children must have the ability to read to fully realize their potential. We are committed to providing teachers with the knowledge and tools to prepare future minds.

Please connect with us on  Facebook ,  Twitter , and  Pinterest  to get tips and tricks from your peers and us. Read the  IMSE Journal  to hear success stories from other schools and districts, and be sure to read the OG Weekly email series for refreshers and tips.

case study in reading

Case Study Hub | Samples, Examples and Writing Tips

Reading comprehension case study, case study on reading comprehension:.

Reading comprehension is a set of techniques which define the person’s level of reading and understanding of the text. It is obvious that reading is a very important skill, but it is not enough just to read, but one should be able to read quickly and understand a great percent of the text he has read, because the majority of the beginners require to read the text a few times before they remember something. The process of reading comprehension starts already in the kindergarten, because the experts believe that even if the child can not read yet, it can perceive information and reproduce it successfully training for the process of reading in future. The child listens to the text, remembers facts and trains his memory, which is very important for reading. Being already at school the student is expected to be able to read quickly and reproduce the text in detail. In order to train this skill, the teachers use various techniques.

We can write a Custom Case Study on Reading Comprehension for you!

To begin with, the student is asked to answer a few questions after reading the text, fulfil several tests, which check the student’s attention towards the slight details of the text, etc. Years ago in order to develop student’s memory and understanding of the text teachers asked students to read portions of the text and reproduce them. Today teachers focus on the development of the numerous reading techniques which enable students cover more text in the shorter time periods.

For example, while reading the student should define the logical parts of the text himself and remember the text with the help of the self-create images and associations.

Reading comprehension is the basic school subject, which is aimed at the development of the student’s reading skills. A good case study on reading comprehension is supposed to present a direct case about a certain student or a reading technique and analyze it in detail. The success of the paper depends on the quantity of the facts available for the analysis, so the student should devote enough time to collect the evidence and material for the research. One is expected to find out about the cause and effect of the problem on reading comprehension and suggest the most appropriate solutions to the problem illustrating his professional skills and knowledge on the discipline.

The most effective way to defeat all the problems related with case study writing is to use the Internet and its numerous advantages. A free reading comprehension case study example is helpful to organize the process of writing correctly. While reading a free reading comprehension case study sample the student learns about the format, the structure and the manner of the analysis of the problem.

At EssayLib.com writing service you can buy a custom case study on Reading Comprehension topics. Your case study will be written from scratch. We hire top-rated Ph.D. and Master’s writers only to provide students with professional case study help at affordable rates. Each customer will get a non-plagiarized paper with timely delivery. Just visit our website and fill in the order form with all paper details:

Custom Case Study on Reading Comprehension

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A Hair Stylist and Salon’s Legal Battle: A Noncompete Case Study

By Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz

This week on Uncommon Law : the second episode in our podcast series about the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed nationwide ban on noncompete agreements. We’ll look at one Minnesota hair salon and see how noncompete agreements often play out in the real world. And we’ll find out what happens when employees left the hair salon and tried to strike out on their own.

PODCAST: The second episode in our series exploring the FTC’s proposal for a near-total ban on noncompete agreements.

  • Heidi Hautala, a hair stylist in Minnesota
  • Evan Starr, professor at University of Maryland
  • Emily Olson, a hair stylist in Minnesota
  • Kylee Simonson, owner of Simonson’s Salon & Spa
  • Chris Penwell, attorney at Siegel Brill

The case discussed in this episode is Simonson’s Salon and Spa vs. Heidi Hautala , Docket No. 27-CV-15-5647 (Minn. Dist. Ct. Apr 03, 2015)

Listen and subscribe to UnCommon Law on Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify , Megaphone , or Audible . To comment on this episode, tag @BLaw on Twitter!

case study in reading

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew S. Schwartz at [email protected]

To contact the executive producer responsible for this story: Josh Block at [email protected]

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ChatGPT and large language model bias

March 5, 2023 / 7:00 PM / CBS News

ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that can make users think they are talking to a human, is the newest technology taking the internet by storm. It is also the latest example of the potential for bias inherent in some AI. 

Developed by the company OpenAI, ChatGPT—a generative pre-trained transformer (GPT)—is one application of a large language model. These models are fed massive amounts of text and data on the internet, which they use to predict the most likely sequence of words in response to a prompt. ChatGPT can answer questions, explain complex topics, and even help write code, emails, and essays.

However, the answers given by tools like ChatGPT may not be as neutral as many users might expect. OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, admitted last month that  ChatGPT has "shortcomings around bias."

Systems like ChatGPT have produced outputs that are nonsensical, factually incorrect—even sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive. These negative outputs have not shocked Timnit Gebru, the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute. 

  • The new world of AI chatbots like ChatGPT

Gebru's research has pointed to the pitfalls of training artificial intelligence applications with mountains of indiscriminate data from the internet. In 2020, she co-authored a paper highlighting the risks of certain AI systems. This publication, she said, led her to being forced out as the co-head of Google's AI ethics team.

As Gebru explained, people can assume that, because the internet is replete with text and data, systems trained on this data must therefore be encoding various viewpoints. 

"And what we argue is that size doesn't guarantee diversity," Gebru said. 

Instead, she contends, there are many ways data on the internet can enforce bias—beginning with who has access to the internet and who does not. Furthermore, women and people in underrepresented groups are more likely to be harassed and bullied online, leading them to spend less time on the internet, Gebru said. In turn, these perspectives are less represented in the data that large language models encode. 

"The text that you're using from the internet to train these models is going to be encoding the people who remain online, who are not bullied off—all of the sexist and racist things that are on the internet, all of the hegemonic views that are on the internet," Gebru said. "So, we were not surprised to see racist, and sexist, and homophobic, and ableist, et cetera, outputs."

To combat this, Gebru said companies and research groups are building toxicity detectors that are similar to social media platforms that do content moderation. That task ultimately falls to humans who train the system on which content is harmful. 

To Gebru, this piecemeal approach—removing harmful content as it happens—is like playing whack-a-mole. She thinks the way to handle artificial intelligence systems like these going forward is to build in oversight and regulation. 

"I do think that there should be an agency that is helping us make sure that some of these systems are safe, that they're not harming us, that it is actually beneficial, you know?" Gebru said. "There should be some sort of oversight. I don't see any reason why this one industry is being treated so differently from everything else."

In the months since ChatGPT's debut last November, conservatives have also accused the chatbot of being biased—against conservatives. In January, a National Review article said the chatbot had gone "woke." It pointed to examples, including a user asking the bot to generate a story in which former President Donald Trump beat President Joe Biden in a presidential debate, and the bot's refusal to write a story about why drag queen story hour is bad for children. 

ChatGPT's maker, OpenAI, has said they are working to reduce the chatbot's biases and will allow users to customize its behavior. 

"We're always working to improve the clarity of these guidelines [about political and controversial topics]," the company wrote in a blog post last month , "and based on what we've learned from the ChatGPT launch so far, we're going to provide clearer instructions to reviewers about potential pitfalls and challenges tied to bias, as well as controversial figures and themes."

The video above was produced by Brit McCandless Farmer and Will Croxton. It was edited by Will Croxton. 

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Emergency workers at the site of the three-train collision about  125 miles from Bhubaneswar in the eastern state of Odisha

Indian train crash: police open criminal negligence case

Ministers accused of trying to shift blame for Friday’s disaster in which 275 people died

Police in the Indian state of Odisha have registered a criminal case of “death by negligence” relating to the train crash on Friday that killed 275 people , as critics accused the government of trying to shift blame for the disaster.

The report filed by police did not name any specific person as being responsible but stated that “culpability of specific railway employees has not been ascertained, which will be unearthed during the investigation”.

According to preliminary reports, a signal failure led the Coromandel Express train to switch tracks from the main line on to the loop line on Friday evening, where a stationary freight train was filled with heavy iron ore.

The trains collided at such force that carriages from the express, which was carrying more than 1,200 passengers, flipped on to the opposite tracks and derailed the oncoming Howrah superfast express train, with devastating consequences.

A rescue operation involving the national disaster response force and hundreds of volunteers spent two days pulling survivors and bodies from the wreckage. Since then, relatives have struggled to locate the bodies of their loved ones, many of whom were badly disfigured. More than 100 bodies have yet to be identified.

There were fears the death toll could continue to rise, with more than 300 of the 1,175 injured still in hospital, some in a serious condition.

By Monday, passenger and freight trains had resumed service along the route where the collision occurred, one of the oldest and busiest lines in India , with netting placed over the mangled carriages still lying by the tracks to shield them from the view of passengers.

The railways minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, and members of the railway board said the investigation was focusing on a failure of the track management system, which automatically coordinates and controls the signals for oncoming trains and is meant to ensure they are always directed to empty tracks.

A woman kisses a photograph of her son who died in Friday’s train crash, after receiving his body from the mortuary in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

It appeared this automatic “interlocking system” had malfunctioned on Friday, sending the Coromandel Express train down the loop track. Vaishnaw, who is facing calls to resign, said the “root cause and the people responsible for the criminal act” had been determined but he would not say if the failure was caused by a technical fault, human error or sabotage.

The signalling system is used across India’s entire 40,000-mile network. On Monday, the railway board ordered a widespread examination of the system, with all 19 zones across the country required to submit safety reports by next week.

The government also requested that the central bureau of investigation (CBI), a government agency, begin a criminal investigation into the collision, an indication that arrests could be made. A CBI team travelled to the site on Monday evening, seeking to establish if any criminal tampering was involved in the signal failure.

Visiting the site on Saturday, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, said: “Those found guilty will be severely punished”.

The commissioner of railway safety has also launched an investigation, and a report is expected within two weeks. The chair of the railway board will brief the prime minister and top officials on developments in the investigation on Tuesday.

Political opponents accused the Modi government of trying to shift focus on to an investigation into criminal negligence by an individual, rather than shouldering responsibility for the disaster and examining endemic safety issues on the railway network.

It emerged that a similar incident, involving a failure of the interlocking system, had taken place in the state of Karnataka in February but the driver had noticed in time and stopped the train before it was sent down the wrong track, narrowly avoiding a crash.

The principal chief operations manager of south western railway had raised concerns over the failure at the time. In an internal letter sent to the railways minister, he warned there were “serious flaws in the system” and said “immediate corrective measures are required to rectify the system faults and sensitising the staff for not venturing into shortcuts leading to major mishap”.

The railways continue to be a lifeline in India, carrying around 13 million passengers a day. In recent years, the government has spent billions modernising India’s colonial-era railways, including introducing of superfast trains, but spending on maintenance and basic safety measures and upgrades has been falling, and a lack of staff has meant allocated funds for track upgrades have not been spent.

On Monday morning, another freight train, carrying limestone, derailed in Odisha, though no one was injured.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the opposition Congress party, accused the government of “apathy and negligence” over rail safety, alleging that “red flags” were ignored, and questioning why a criminal investigation agency was looking into the incident. “The CBI is meant to investigate crimes, not railway accidents,” said Kharge.

King Charles sent a letter to the Indian president, Droupadi Murmu, on Monday offering his condolences over the disaster. “Both my wife and I have been most profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of such a dreadful accident outside Balasore,” he wrote. “I have particularly fond memories of visiting Odisha in 1980 and meeting some of its people on that occasion.”

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Trump-funded studies disputing election fraud are focus in two probes

The then-president’s campaign hired two firms to prove voter fraud, but none was ever found.

A decision by then-President Donald Trump’s campaign to spend more than $1 million for two firms to study whether electoral fraud occurred in the 2020 election has become an increasing focus of federal and state investigators in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent days, the district attorney in Georgia’s Fulton County has asked both firms to provide research and data as investigators intensify their probe into Trump’s attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Not only has the office asked for information and data about Georgia, three people familiar with the inquiries said, but it also is seeking other communications with Trump officials and detailed information about the campaign’s activities in other states. The research is likely to be used as the prosecutors try to build a broader case, alleging racketeering, according to the three people.

In addition, on the federal level, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith is questioning witnesses about the companies’ work and has obtained hundreds of pages of emails and research, two people familiar with the matter said.

Both firms, Berkeley Research Group and Simpatico Software Systems, are said to be cooperating with the inquiries. The two companies declined to comment for this article. Four other people familiar with one or both of the probes spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal details.

Earlier this spring, federal prosecutors obtained evidence from Berkeley employees that in late 2020, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows berated employees at the firm after they said there was not enough evidence to overturn the election results and encouraged them to find fraud, people with knowledge of the testimony said.

Federal investigators have extensively questioned witnesses about any pressure put on the firms to produce work that would give Trump results he wanted, two people with knowledge of the questioning said.

Additionally, federal authorities have obtained extensive email records from Ken Block, the president of Simpatico Software Systems, according to people familiar with the matter. The emails from Block to Trump’s campaign show in detail that many of the theories — more than a dozen in total — being pushed by Trump’s team were erroneous, and Block explains the research he conducted, the people said.

A person with knowledge of dozens of the emails said that Block at times seemed to be amazed at the theories he was being asked to pursue, along with the shoddiness of the methodology that others had used.

“It’s not appropriate at this time for me to say what I have shared with the grand jury,” Block said, referring to the federal probe.

It is unclear whether charges will be brought by the special counsel’s office or Georgia authorities, and if so, whether the firms’ work would be a large part of any prosecutions. But it has been an increasing focus for prosecutors, who have repeatedly quizzed Trump aides about the work and whether they were familiar with the findings.

The hiring of the firms — which were paid about $1.5 million in total and whose work spanned November and December 2020 — originated from senior White House advisers and campaign officials who wanted to know whether any of the claims of electoral wrongdoing could be verified.

The findings were never released to the public as Trump and a coterie of allies continued to say there was fraud. For example, the reports were not turned over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 , 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Trump advisers said. The reports were not reviewed by investigators until after The Washington Post reported on their existence, two people familiar with subpoenas in the case said.

Knowledge of the reports in recent months has given prosecutors new witnesses who have described exactly how theories about electoral fraud were debunked in writing, and have said that many campaign and White House advisers knew of the research. The 29-page report from Berkeley and Block’s research show that some of the claims had been debunked even before Trump’s advisers made them publicly.

What prosecutors have sought to show, according to people who have been questioned, is that Trump and aides willfully ignored evidence in their push to raise money and overturn the election, and that a panoply of advisers had access to the data. The evidence is compelling to prosecutors because it is not neutral or third-party groups saying that Trump lost, but instead analysts whose work Trump’s own team commissioned and funded.

Investigators have asked other witnesses about what briefings and information were provided to the White House about the election being fair and secure, and what attacks officials experienced from Trump for saying the election was not stolen. Prosecutors also have focused on conversations between Trump and his own advisers about whether there was fraud in the election; at least two Trump advisers say they told prosecutors that they conveyed to Trump that they believed he had lost the election.

Some of the accounts from people involved in the work have provided additional details for the period.

When analysts from Berkeley briefed Meadows, presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other senior Trump advisers on their work in late 2020, Meadows told the group there clearly was fraud in the election, these people said. Many of the Berkeley employees were on the phone, while Meadows, Trump and others were in the White House for the meeting, the people said.

Meadows said during the meeting that Berkeley researchers — some of whom were highly trained econometricians — were not looking hard enough for electoral fraud or potentially had an agenda against Trump, even though the firm was being paid by the campaign, and that they should look harder, according to the accounts.

A Meadows spokesman declined to comment.

The firm’s work was disseminated among some of Trump’s senior campaign advisers and White House aides, Trump advisers have testified to the grand jury.

Through a Trump lawyer, Meadows later sent new claims to the group to study, people familiar with the matter said. “It was like playing whack-a-mole,” said one person with direct knowledge of the process.

What prosecutors have focused on is whether Trump or his aides pressured anyone — and how widely Trump advisers knew about such efforts.

Giuliani and Trump also questioned the firm’s research in the meeting, which grew “rancorous,” as one attendee described it.

Some Berkeley employees were frustrated by the meeting, which they feared showed Trump and his team were not interested in the truth, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The relationship between Berkeley and the campaign soon soured. Researchers from the firm decided to put together one final report with their findings and labeled it “confidential” before sending it to a Trump lawyer.

In the days leading up to Jan. 6, Trump campaign officials wanted to release some of Berkeley Research Group’s work to members of Congress, according to people familiar with the matter. Berkeley included in the report some anomalies that did not show fraud but that Trump officials thought might be of interest to members of Congress.

But Berkeley executives believed the election was over — and that their work was commissioned for lawsuits that were unsuccessful.

After the Jan. 6 attack, executives from the Trump campaign said they might ask for a refund on Berkeley’s work. The demand was sent by email, people familiar with the matter said.

Instead of seeking a final payment from the campaign that it was owed, Berkeley decided to drop the matter, these people said. A refund was not given.

Berkeley executives were said to be unhappy later when their work on behalf of Trump emerged publicly, according to people familiar with the matter.


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