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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

Content Enhancement Routines (CER) - Topic 39

What is it?

Content Enhancement Routines, or CERs are one component, along with Learning Strategies, of the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) developed by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. CERs are a type of group accommodation based on four key principles:

1. Content area teachers select key elements of content and adapt it for diverse groups of        learners

2. Instruction addresses group and individual needs

3. Important concepts must not be lost or “watered-down”

4. Teachers must include students in the process

Each of the routines follows the procedure: CUE, DO, REVIEW. In the “CUE” phase, students are introduced to the graphic organizer, the important question is identified, and expectations for student involvement are made explicit. During the “DO” stage, teachers and students work together to strategize how best to find the answers and complete the graphic organizer and make explicit the steps involved to independently answer a question are explained. The purpose of REVIEW is to make sure the student is able to summarize the process used to accomplish the learning objective.

Why is it important?

CERs are important because they have been tested and found to be effective in a variety of secondary inclusive settings, including English, science, and social studies. Students of low, average, and high abilities all made greater gains as compared to controls learning through traditional lecture methods. CERs can be used in RTI in all three Tiers.


Bulgren, Janis, Deshler, Donald D., Lenz, B. Keith. (2007). Engaging adolescents with LD in higher

order thinking about history concepts using integrated Content Enhancement Routines.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40, 121-133.

Gersten, Russell, Okolo, Cynthia M.. (2007). Teaching history—in all its splendid messiness—to

students with LD: Contemporary research. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40, 98 – 99.

Tralli, Rosemary, Colombo, Beverly, Deshler, Donald D., Schumaker, Jean B.. (1996). The Strategies

Intervention Model: A model for supported inclusion at the secondary level. Remedial and

Special Education, 17, 204-216.

Web Links

The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning

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