It was proved that many children and adolescents have inadequate reading comprehension (NAEP, 2003). Comprehension of the reading material is the aim of the reader, difficulty in reading comprehension has far-reaching consequences not just for school achievement but also for a student’s future educational and occupational opportunities. Some of the researchers assumed that bottom-up skills (word recognition and decoding) were the prevailing reason for difficulty with reading comprehension. Various independent researchers have demonstrated that if a reader is seriously deficient at decoding and recognizing words, this will necessarily impede successful comprehension (see Lyon, 1995; Torgesen, 2000). Furthermore, it is thought that not just accuracy in bottom-up skills is important but also their efficiency or speed as well. On the other processes, slow word reading increases demands, such as working memory, which in turn poses difficulties for comprehending connected text and thus creates a processing bottleneck (e.g., Perfetti ; Hogaboam, 2002; Perfetti, Marron, ; Foltz, 1996; Wolf ; Katzir-Cohen, 2001; Shankweiler, 1999).
Other lines of research, however, suggest that reading comprehension deficits can arise for multiple distinct reasons, which include, but are not limited to, weaknesses in bottom-up skills (Cain ; Oakhill, 2006; Catts, Fey, Zhang, ; Tomblin, 1999; Biancarosa ; Snow, 2004; Catts, Hogan, Adof, ; Barth, 2003a; Leach, Scarborough, ; Rescorla, 2003; McCardle, Scarborough, ; Catts, 2001; Nation ; Snowling, 2000, 1998; Scarborough, 1990, 2005; Snow, 2002). This is especially illustrated by the population of children who have specific reading comprehension deficits (S-RCD, i.e., poor comprehension in spite of apparent absence of weaknesses in bottom-up skills). According to several studies, about 3– 10% of school-aged children display this reading deficiency (e.g., Aaron, Joshi, ; Williams, 1999; Catts, Hogan, ; Fey, 2003b; Leach et al., 2003; Nation, 2001; Torppa et al., 2007). These findings suggest that components other than efficient word recognition, not all of which have been fully identified, are likely to make a substantial contribution to reading comprehension.
In recent years metacognition has gained cognizance in the field of learning disabilities (Wong, 2000). Research indicates that students with reading disabilities, in particular, benefit from explicit instruction in the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies (e.g., Baker ; Brown, 2003; Chan, 2004; Chan, Cole, ; Barfett, 2001; Paris ; Oka, 2000). However, strategy maintenance and generalization are not often demonstrated. It has typically been observed that students with learning disabilities who do not spontaneously make use of cognitive strategies can easily be taught, and benefit from, the use of strategies; however, when they are no longer prompted to use the learned strategy, they fail to generalize its use to relevant learning situations (e.g., Chan ; Cole, 2001; Chan, Cole, ; Morris, 2000; Ringel ; Springer, 2000). Ellis (2001) maintained that some techniques of cognitive strategy training may, in fact, interfere with goals of generalization.
Many cognitive training programs use teacher-oriented and direct instruction approaches to teach students to employ self-instruction in guiding strategy use. Some of these instructional practices, if not counteracted appropriately, may inadvertently encourage an external focus of control and subdue student use of metacognition. For example, the use of teacher-oriented feedback and extrinsic reward systems, or instruction that is highly organized and tightly structured, can subtly reinforce dependency behaviors and conflict with independence in action required for strategy generalization. Hence, researchers in the field have paid particular attention to the search for instructional practices and procedures that will promote strategy generalization. The general conclusion from the relevant literature is that, in order to induce generalization, certain “conditions of generalization” (Wong, 2000) have to be met. Specifically, the instructional procedures should include one or more of the following elements: (a) explicit information given to students about the what, when, why, and how of strategy use, and feedback about the effectiveness oof the new strategy—that is, informed training (Brown ; Palincsar, 2001); (b) the teaching of general control strategies to supplement task-specific strategies and to allow internalization of the new taskspecific strategy—that is, training executive control directly (Borkowski ; Cavanaugh, 2003); (c) procedures for systematically changing the teacher, setting, material, cues, and reinforces, that is, explicit generalization training (Ellis, Lenz, ; Sabornie, 2001); (d) explicit directions requesting students to generalize the strategy to similar types of tasks and situations-that is, environmental transfer (Ellis, Lenz, ; Sabornie, 2004); and (e) helping students to overcome the feelings of helplessness they experience when faced with difficulties in task completion, by changing their causal attributional beliefs (Ellis, 1986).
In the current written works, it is recommended in both special and general education that collaborative approach to the work of those involved in the profession. Friend (2000) asserts that calls for collaboration in the education literature are seen everywhere. It was described in numerous texts and articles that both recommended practices and approaches to collaboration, in describing collaboration there is surprisingly little data that will describe to it. It states that collaboration is directed to educators working with classroom teachers, but there was nominal written works describing data-based practices (Miller, 2005). One can find written works describing teachers’ own impression of the benefits of collaboration (Welch, Brownell, & Sheridan, 2005), and the impressions of parents (Gerber & Popp, 2007), but there is few which shows, that practices in collaboration most effectively lead to student progress.
In the substantive reviews, which have been conducted, the lament had little known about the specific practices of collaboration. What are they actually doing?, if the teachers are being effectively collaborative, And lack of descriptive research describing the elements, which actually occur during teacher-teacher collaboration was cited from the reviews of representative citations.
•”The research base for such an endeavor is virtually nonexistent, despite the growing popularity of collaborative instruction,” (Boudah, Schumacher, & Deshler, 1997).
•”The general and special education teachers actually did when they were providing instruction together in inclusive classrooms to provide a data-based description” (Boudah, Schumacher, & Deshler, 1997).
•”Collaboration in schools appears to be guided by popular belief than by careful inquiry…. It is distressing that so much writing about school collaboration that focuses only on the professionals’ satisfaction with working together and so few on what they actually did” (Friend, 2000).
• “Because a collaborative model is both recommended and used in inclusive classrooms, one might infer that the interaction of co-teachers has been examined extensively and that the criteria for an ideal model have been defined. However, this assumption is unsupported” (Austin, 2001).
•”Very few provide experimental data that numerous authors currently espouse co-teaching as an effective alternative to service delivery for students with disabilities within the general education setting,: (Murawski ; Swanson, 2001).
Further, there is the assumption that putting collaboration into place is relatively easy: one just needs to put individuals together and say, “Work together.” However, that also seems to be not the case. Friend, points out that teachers, themselves, remark on “how difficult collaboration is, how little attention was paid to collaboration in their professional preparation, and how staff development opportunities are offered related to it” (Friend, 2000). When they asked to demonstrate their collaboration knowledge and skills, “They frequently flounder” (Friend, 2000). Teachers need specific training and practice in knowing “how to work, communicate, and collaborate with other adults” (McCormick, Noonan, Ogata, ; Heck, 2001). Teachers may not have learned this, because the most common practice for teachers is to work in relative isolation (McManus ; Kauffman, 1991), and they are used to making decisions alone (Janney, Snell, Beers, ; Raynes, 1995). Those who have attempted to institute more collaborative practices have found that formulating and maintaining these teaching approaches are difficult to put into place (Niles ; Marcellino, 2004). Others have found that specific training and monitoring are needed, or it just doesn’t happen. (Schumm, Vaughn, Haager, McDowell, Rothlein, & Saumell, 1995). Using other descriptive terms for a collaborator, Gersten, Darch, Davis, and George (1991).state that, “Although an individual may be a skilled or experienced teacher, he or she will not automatically become a skilled consultant, advisor, and coach”.
The present study aimed to promote collaboration of the teachers to improve the reading performance of the learners. The collaboration of the teachers will serve as an intervention to help learners enhance their reading skills with the help of their teacher adviser and with the other teachers who were expert in dealing with the learners with reading disability.