Reading Coherence Initiative


Early Reading logo During Regional Educational Laboratory contract for FY1996-2000, SEDL’s Reading Coherence Initiative (RCI) project assisted educators in examining, understanding, and implementing coherent approaches to teaching and learning that, in turn, resulted in increased student learning. RCI supported coherent approaches to teaching early literacy in grades K–2 and preventing early reading failure. SEDL developed The Cognitive Foundations of Learning to Read: A Framework and other resources to help teachers understand the cognitive requirements of learning to read, determine the degree to which individual beginning readers possess these skills, and select and use instructional techniques and strategies that address the needs of individual children as they acquire reading skills.

Field-based research

The framework is based on a comprehensive review of research and development knowledge on the cognitive foundations of learning to read. It was developed in partnership with 44 classroom teachers in five elementary schools in New Mexico and 18 classroom teachers in three elementary schools in Texas. All eight schools had significant numbers of students who were experiencing difficulties learning to read. When SEDL staff surveyed the teachers who participated in the development and pilot tests, they found that:

  • More than 95 percent of the participating teachers indicated that the resources provided useful information that would influence their approach to reading instruction.
  • More than 85 percent of participating teachers were able to cite specific examples of how they were approaching reading instruction differently.
  • When asked to describe how SEDL’s framework had affected their practice, the most common answers described a more student-centered, individualized approach and a more assessment-driven approach.
  • Most Of the remaining 14 percent indicated that they simply had not had time to incorporate the information into their practice yet.

SEDL products

In addition to The Cognitive Foundations of Learning to Read: A Framework, SEDL resources include: