Graphic organizers and students with learning disabilities: A meta-analysis

Douglas D. Dexter, Charles A. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


This meta-analysis reviews experimental and quasiexperimental studies in which upper-elementary, intermediate, and secondary students with learning disabilities learned from graphic organizers. Following an exhaustive search for studies meeting specified design criteria, 55 standardized mean effect sizes were extracted from 16 articles involving 808 participants. Students at levels ranging from grade 4 to grade 12 used graphic organizers to learn in core-content classes (English/reading, science, social studies, mathematics). Posttests measured near and far transfer. Across several conditions, settings, and features, the use of graphic organizers was associated with increases in vocabulary knowledge, comprehension, and inferential knowledge. Mean effect sizes varied from moderate to large based on type of measure, type of graphic organizer, and subject area. Conclusions, implications for future research, and practical recommendations are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-72
Number of pages22
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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