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NCSET Resources

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR): Improving Secondary Students’ Reading Comprehension Skills
(July 2002)

NCSET Research to Practice Brief
Reading comprehension is a critical skill for secondary students with disabilities as it facilitates participation in mainstream content-area classes. Unfortunately, many secondary educators are not adequately equipped to provide such supplemental reading instruction. This brief introduces Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR), a research-based practice, developed by Janette K. Klingner and Sharon Vaughn (1998).

Enhancing Academic Achievement and Transition Outcomes Using Technology (September 2005)
NCSET Information Brief  
It is critical that innovative curricula emerge that combine standards-based academics with transition planning to facilitate access to general education, including multiple-outcome measures and learning supports. In response to this challenge, the Nisonger Center at Ohio State University (OSU) developed a standards-driven, computer-based curriculum for students with disabilities in grades 8 through 10. This brief describes the curriculum and the principles behind it.

Improving Word Identification Skills Using Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) Strategies (December 2002)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief
Students with learning disabilities often move into secondary education with elementary-level reading skills, including an inability to readily decode unfamiliar words. As a result, they have difficulty with content-area classes, such as history and science, in which grade-level reading is required. This brief focuses on the Word Identification Strategy component of the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) (Deshler & Schumaker, 1988), and reviews research showing the effectiveness of this strategy for secondary students with disabilities.

Never Too Late: Approaches to Reading Instruction for Secondary Students with Disabilities (March 2002)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief
Too many children, including students with learning disabilities, do not learn to read proficiently in the primary grades. This brief provides an overview of two approaches to reading instruction for secondary students with disabilities: Collaborative Strategic Reading and the Strategic Instruction Model.

Teaching for Understanding (November 2003)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief
While traditional lectures, exercises, and drills may help students memorize facts and formulas and get the right answers on tests, this time-honored style of teaching does not help students achieve the depth of understanding they need to understand complex ideas and apply knowledge in new settings or situations. This Research to Practice Brief outlines research regarding an approach called “teaching for understanding,” which strives to engender in students a depth of understanding on academic topics that enables them to apply the knowledge in various settings. Suggestions and resources for application of this approach are also provided.

What Algebra and Biology Students Have to Say About Universal Design for Learning (October 2005)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief
This brief outlines the findings of a study of whether universal design for learning (UDL) improves how students with mild disabilities perform in general education. The study's findings illustrate how students perceive individual interventions anchored by three key UDL principles--multiple ways of representing course content, multiple options for student expression and control, and multiple options for engagement and motivation. These individual interventions were used in standard-track high school algebra and biology classes.

Related NCSET Web Topics

Instructional Strategies
NCSET Web topic
This Web topic outlines instructional strategies that have helped a range of students with disabilities gain access to the general curriculum.

Student Learning Strategies
NCSET Web topic
Student Learning Strategies are tools and techniques used by students so they can successfully approach new learning situations and complete school assignments independently.

Universal Design
NCSET Web topic
Universal design is an approach to designing products and environments for maximum usability. In educational settings, universal design provides a way to offer flexible curriculum and learning environments so that students with widely varying abilities have the opportunity to access the general curriculum and achieve the academic content standards that have been established for all students in their school, district, or state.


The following references were cited in the Additional Resources page.

Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (1988). An instructional model for teaching students how to learn. In J. L. Graden, J. E. Zins, & M. J. Curtis (Eds.), Alternative educational delivery systems: Enhancing instructional options for all students (pp. 391-411). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.

Klingner, J. K., & Vaughn, S. (1998). Using Collaborative Strategic Reading. Teaching Exceptional Children, 30(6), 32-37. Retrieved from

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This document was published by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET). NCSET is supported through a cooperative agreement #H326J000005 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education Programs, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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