Gradual Release of Responsibility in Teaching and Learning

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Pearson and Gallagher's seminal article (The Instruction of Reading Comprehension, 1983) on comprehension became the basis of the theory of the gradual release of responsibility in teaching and learning. Their review of the research in comprehension proposed a model of guided and independent practice with feedback.

This is a scaffolded approach to teaching and learning that begins with the teacher modeling a particular strategy and then using the strategy in a group setting with the teacher directly and explicitly participating. This follows with the students using the strategy in small group and partner settings with the teacher stepping back somewhat in order to monitor the use of the strategy. Eventually, each student to use the strategy independently while the teacher is monitoring by observing students and by reviewing student work.