The Concept Comparison Routine

"Concept Comparison Routine manual cover photo"

Teachers use the Concept Comparison Routine to help students compare and contrast key concepts by exploring characteristics of each concept and then distinguishing between the concepts that were similar and those that were different.

Students whose teachers used the Concept Comparison Routine had significantly higher overall test scores than students in the comparison condition. Students with LD in the experimental condition scored 14.64% higher and low-achieving students scored 23.72% higher than those in the comparison condition in studies with students in grades 7-12.

Author(s): Janis A. Bulgren, Jean B. Schumaker, and Donald D. Deshler

Publication Info: Edge Enterprises, 1995

This product is published by Edge Enterprises, Inc.  Professional development is recommended, see the SIM Event page for sessions.



  • Schumaker, J.B., Fisher, J.B., & Walsh, L.D. (2010). The effects of a computerized professional development program on teachers and students with and without disabilities in secondary general education classes. Learning Disability Quarterly, 33, 111-131. Two studies indicate a computerized Concept Comparison Routine professional development program was at least as effective as a face-to-face workshop on measures of teacher learning and student results.
  • Bulgren, J.A., Lenz, B.K., Schumaker, J.B., Deshler, D.D., & Marquis, J.G. (2002). The use and effectiveness of a comparison routine in diverse secondary content classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(2), 356-371. This article reports the results of two studies of the Concept Comparison Routine: Study 1 provides evidence that students benefit from use of the routine and graphic organizer device, and Study 2 provides evidence that teachers can learn to use the device quickly.
  • Bulgren. J., & Scanlon, D. (1997). Instructional routines and learning strategies that promote understanding of content area concepts. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 41(4), 292-302. This article provides examples of using content enhancement routines (Concept Diagram, Comparison Table, ORDER) to promote an understanding of middle and secondary school content area concepts.


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