Researched? Yes or No Scientific Research
We often hear from principals and teachers, “We would like to implement your method in our school, but we need to have “scientific, controlled research” you can cite proving its efficacy in order to obtain the grants we need to pay for the materials and training.
We would like to work with you, but sadly, this is our toughest question. We have no such research by that designation, which is now written into almost all funding legislation regarding reading reform efforts. Most of it now further stipulates that such research, with at least one control group, must be overseen by a “disinterested” third party, garner peer review and be published in “juried” journals which are mostly owned by the “reading establishment.” Since 1923, when Dr. Orton first began his research, his work and that of all of his protégés who have written or worked with methods that are derivations of his techniques, have been completely ignored by the research community.
In 1997, the Reading, English and Communications ERIC Clearinghouse made a link directly to this web site, and they have published many of our curriculum materials and education reform position papers, but that is still not enough to qualify for grants. All the “Orton” based programs have hundreds of years of collective “empirical” evidence that proves that they are very effective and perhaps the best methods for academic and cognitive results in the English-speaking world.
It has been suggested that we “buy” our own research, but we think that doing so would make us like any other publisher who buys their own research. It would be tainted with our own “vested interest” which is not the purpose of research. We further believe that those who already have billions in taxpayer financed research funding should be looking around for promising projects; for instance, instead of the NICHD only researching to find deficiencies in the human brain we think they should also be interested to discover what kind of instruction and content produce very high proficiencies.
To answer the question – Is it true that Riggs development is based on only one self-published study with a couple hundred kids from the 1970’s.”
A: Riggs Institute’s Writing and Spelling Road to Reading and Thinking’s development is based on the scientific research that has clearly demonstrated that explicit phonics instruction is the single most effective approach for all students. See, for example, the large-scale study by Barbara Foorman and colleagues from the University of Houston which found that explicit, systematic phonics was by far the most effective approach.)
Riggs development is based on the final findings of Dr. Samuel T. Orton (famous neurologist), on the findings of his research assistant, Romalda Spalding (classroom specialist), on the findings of Dr. Hilde L. Mosse (pediatrician and psychiatrist), on the findings of Dr. Bateman (learning specialist and lawyer), on the findings of Master Teacher Oma Riggs, and on the conclusions of Myrna McCulloch.
The Riggs Institute’s non-discriminatory lessons enable students in every school to master critical subject matter. For example, the lessons in Level 1 lead students to learn the phonetic structure of correct English spelling through multi-sensory, Socratic, and direct instruction. As they focus on hands-on activities that enable them to study the structure of English words and sentences in a systematic, sequential, challenging, productive, powerful, and fun way, they master basic skills. The multi-sensory practice activities at the heart of the Riggs Institute’s time-tested method of educating students ensure success for all.
The Writing and Spelling Road to Reading & Thinking Teacher’s Editions (Levels 1-3) are a research-based method of teaching all students the phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and composition skills they need to succeed in school.
It uses appropriate sequencing, beginning at each student’s speech and oral comprehension levels and allowing all students to build one skill upon another, always moving from the known to the unknown.
Riggs students follow a time-tested course of study and method of education. Language Arts and Phonics Instruction. Students are presented with a limited number of concepts – or information – in a given period of time. They then practice these concepts in a variety of ways until mastery is achieved.
This mastery in reading, writing and spelling will then ensure that students can excel in all subject areas.
The Riggs program provides a strong foundation for students who demonstrate academic progress. It also provides an effective remedial program for students with pre-existing academic problems.
It’s a multi-sensory, brain-based approach that addresses virtually every student’s learning style through four pathways to the brain: sight, sound, voice, and writing. Students see the symbol(s) and hear the teacher say the sound(s); they repeat or say the sound(s) and write the symbol(s) from dictated, oral instructions. Instructional Methodologies
Since the teacher teaches facts and skills through each student’s stronger learning modality (or modalities) while, simultaneously, remedying their weaker ones, all students succeed. This process accelerates the learning process, avoids discrimination against any student’s individual learning style, and provides an optimal learning opportunity for each student.
Riggs began with Dr. Samuel Orton, a neuroscientist who researched the functioning of the human brain in learning language skills. In collaboration with teachers, he combined his multi-sensory techniques with classical and Socratic instructional approaches to teaching.
Riggs is an “explicit” phonics approach as defined and recommended in a Federal Compilation of Reading Research: Becoming a Nation of Readers, 1985. Beyond phonics and for reading, students also learn syllabication, oral vocabulary, and comprehension. For composition, students learn spelling, cursive writing, creative writing, spacing, margins, listening skills, orthography rules, vocabulary, grammar, syntax, punctuation, and capitalization.
Finally, Riggs encourages high expectations. It uses a complete and comprehensive method to teach language arts skills—roots, prefixes, suffixes, homophones and homographs, antonyms, synonyms, and graphic organizers–and it recommends vocabulary-rich literature, such as the classics.
The Riggs Institute’s materials are designed for classroom teachers and should be used both to prevent and correct learning disorders while establishing high literacy levels in virtually all primary children.
© Riggs Institute