Speech-language pathologists' reactions to response to intervention: A qualitative study Academic Article uri icon


  • Qualitative methods were used to explore reactions of 300 speech-language pathologists (SLPs) on Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI is a system approach to serving struggling learners. This study was part of a larger research project that surveyed 2000 SLPs across the U.S. on their opinions about RTI. From 583 questionnaires returned, 300 (51.46%) responded to one open-ended question. Participants were asked, "What are your primary comments and/or concerns regarding RTI services for children and adolescents who struggle to learn?" Qualitative data analysis yielded 657 meaning units/codes and four themes emerged: (a) challenges and concerns, (b) support for the model, (c) implementation issues, and (d) role of SLPs. Challenges reflected in their reactions included: (a) the need for sufficient training, (b) SLPs' already heavy workloads, (c) concerns over students who may be "stuck in the tiers of RTI instruction" and the delay in timely referrals of students who need language services, and (d) having educational leaders that support RTI as well as the need for everyone to be "on board". RTI findings provide helpful considerations for SLPs and educators planning to implement the model.


  • Sanger, D
  • Snow, PC
  • Colburn, C
  • Gergen, M
  • Ruf, M

publication date

  • 2012

has subject area