Margie Gillis, Haskins Laboratories
Susan Brady, University of Rhode Island
Abstract: Since 2004, we have been implementing Mastering Reading Instruction: A Professional Development Project for First Grade Teachers (MRIn). This project, still underway, has been designed to build teacher knowledge, to evaluate the effect of having expert mentors assist teachers in developing their knowledge and teaching skills, and ultimately to test the associations among teacher knowledge, teacher practices, and student reading achievement.
The starting point of the MRIn project entailed a deliberative process in which we set out to specify the central teacher knowledge and skills required for first grade literacy instruction. The resulting document then provided the framework for the content of our professional development goals and workshops, as well as for our instrument to assess teacher knowledge. In addition, we also created a teacher attitude survey to allow exploration of correspondences between teachers' knowledge and their sense of self-efficacy regarding reading instruction, as well as of their attitudes regarding professional development.
In the poster session we want to share information both about the Teacher Knowledge and Skills framework and the teacher knowledge and attitude instruments developed for the project. Next, because the project is presently at mid-point, we will present results on gains in teacher knowledge for the initial cohort of 65 teachers who received the first year of PD (i.e., targeting phonological awareness, code instruction and fluency), investigating specificity of gains to the areas of PD that were provided. Finally, we will consider the associations between teachers' attitudes and teachers' knowledge prior to and after professional development.