Do boys need different remedial reading instruction from girls?

Lisa Limbrick, Kevin Wheldall, Alison Madelaine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Recent inquiries into the underachievement of boys in reading have called into question whether they require different forms of reading instruction from girls. A number of reading programs and initiatives have been developed to address this issue, including programs based on increasing boys' motivation, improving behaviour, embracing the use of computers, and so forth. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that effective remedial reading instruction is equally effective for boys as well as girls. The sample comprised 398 low-progress students (239 boys, 159 girls) in Years 5 and 6, who attended an off-site tutorial centre for two school terms between the years 2005 and 2010. All boys and girls in the sample participated in the Schoolwise Program, a non-categorical, empirically-based reading program, for three hours daily. Participants were assessed pre- and post- intervention on five reading and related measures. Both boys and girls made substantial gains, analyses of covariance confirming that their rates of progress were very similar. Small effect sizes were also reported. It is concluded that boys and girls do not require different forms of reading instruction if both are provided with effective systematic remedial reading instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Learning Difficulties
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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