Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 81–113 | Cite as

A cognitive theoretical approach to reading diagnostics

  • James M. Royer
  • Gale M. Sinatra


After a brief review of current reading diagnostic practices, the article presents a cognitive developmental theory and indicates how the theory can be used to identify potential sources of reading problems. Four criteria for a reading diagnostic system based on cognitive developmental theory are then identified: (1) the system must provide reliable and valid assessments, (2) performance on the diagnostic system must be consistent with cognitive developmental theory, (3) the diagnostic procedures must provide specific information about the nature of the reading difficulty the student is experiencing, and (4) diagnoses provided by the procedures must lead to prescriptive procedures that alleviate to a demonstrable degree the reading problems the student is experiencing. The Computer-based Academic Assessment System (CAAS) is then introduced, and evidence from three studies is used to examine the extent to which the CAAS system can satisfy the four requirements for a theory-based reading diagnostic system. The article closes with a discussion of the empirical evidence and with suggestions for future research.

Key Words

reading diagnostics dyslexia reading development cognitive development 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Royer
    • 2
  • Gale M. Sinatra
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UtahUtahUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherst

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