Response to Intervention, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Reading Difficulty


Response to intervention (RTI) has increased in popularity in schools recently as a means of helping students according to their responsiveness to 3 different tiers of intervention: general classroom instruction, small group instruction, and individual instruction. Using a PsychInfo search, we examined articles to determine the how well the current RTI model fulfills its intended purpose in providing remedial reading instruction to struggling children, teacher perceptions of the system, and what changes could improve the model in coming years. For elementary aged students, we found that RTI has helped students achieve grade-level benchmarks. For secondary school students, there is much less available research, although research does indicate that intervention can be helpful for these students. On both levels, RTI seems to struggle to reach nonresponsive students. We also gathered 5 qualitative studies on teacher perceptions of RTI, finding that at an elementary school and middle school level, teachers were optimistic about implementation but needed more support in training, data collection, collaboration, and time management. At a high school level, teachers demonstrated more pessimism about RTI, suggesting a more urgent need for support and training for these teachers. Overall, RTI seems to be helpful to students struggling with reading and providing intervention early on, but it seems to have difficulty helping students with more severe difficulties. More research and support from those in power is needed in order to increase RTI efficiency.