Development of the TTS

The Trial Teaching Strategies were initially developed in the late 1940s as “Sample Lessons.”1 These lessons were used to find suitable methods for teaching word recognition and analysis to older students who had failed to learn to read in the early grades. In the 1950s, the concept of sample lessons to supplement test scores was expanded to include other aspects of language, such as reading comprehension and writing, for students who were reading at more advanced levels.2

Over many years, procedures for using the TTS were refined through use in the City College of New York Reading Center and in the Harvard University Reading Laboratory. They were further expanded and refined through the development of Chall and Roswell’s DARTTS program of the early 1990s, when they became the teaching component (TTS) of the single-form first edition of the Diagnostic Assessments of Reading (DAR).

With the publication of the Second Edition of the DAR (Form A in 2005 and Form B in 2006), authors Mary E. Curtis and Gail Kearns revised the TTS. In addition to a web-based delivery mode for the TTS, other changes included the creation of TTS linked to the results of the new Phonological Awareness subtests and new techniques for TTS linked to the results of the Word Recognition, Word Analysis, Oral Reading, Silent Reading Comprehension, Spelling, and Word Meaning subtests of the DAR.

1 A.J. Harris and F. Roswell. “Clinical Diagnosis of Reading Disability.” Journal of Psychology (1953): 323-340.
2 F. Roswell and G. Natchez. Reading Disability: A Human Approach to Evaluation and Treatment of Reading and Writing Difficulties. 4th ed., rev. New York: Basic Books, 1989.