Karin GehrerLena Nusser

Adaptive instruction in German classes and its effect on reading competence development in secondary school

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Adaptive teaching in class is a didactical challenge in increasingly heterogeneous learning groups. However, although adaptive teaching has been a pedagogical demand for heterogeneous groups since the 1970s, there still has been a predominance of teacher-directed instruction in Germany. In the light of limited time resources, implementation in practice seems difficult. This paper examines a) the extent to which adaptive instruction is implemented at secondary level and b) the extent to which teacher’s practices in German class has an influence on the development of reading competence and c) how heterogeneity regarding reading competence effects the implementation and the influence of adaptive instruction. Using data from Starting Cohort 3 of the National Educational Panel Study, the longitudinal development of reading competence from Grades 5 to 9 (Ngrade 5 = 5283) is modelled and the infl uence of adaptive teaching within German classes (NGT_grade5 = 226) is examined within the framework of latent-changescore-models. The results show that a) adaptive teaching on average declines in the course of lower secondary school, b) a positive impact of adaptive instruction is found at the beginning of secondary school and c) class heterogeneity does not influence the implementation of adaptive instruction.

Adaptive teaching; Performance variance; Reading competence; Secondary school; Longitudinal