Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith


This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of using a particular cognitive strategy, reciprocal teaching, to foster comprehension in comparison to direct instruction.

Twenty six above average sixth graders between the ages of eleven and twelve from an upstate urban New York school participated in this study. The study involved randomly separating the 26 students into two groups. Both groups examined the same segment of content area text, however, the material was presented differently. The control group was taught by direct instruction and the experimental group used a strategy called reciprocal teaching. A multiple choice test with a short answer question was given to both groups. A t test was used to analyze the data. Also, observations were made based on students' written responses.

Results from the t test indicated that there was no statistically significant mean score difference between the comprehension level of those in the direct instruction group and those in the reciprocal teaching group. However, observations made by the researcher found the written responses of the students in the reciprocal teaching group to be more detailed and descriptive.