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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Enhancing the Quality of Social Studies Instruction and Comprehension through Content- and Case-Situated Professional Development

Deborah Simmons, Texas A & M University
Angie Hairrell, Texas A & M University
Bill Rupley, Texas A & M University
Sharon Vaughn, University of Texas
Meaghan Edmonds, University of Texas

Abstract: This collaborative project between Texas A&M University and the University of Texas was funded under the Teacher Quality Reading/Writing IES Goal 2 competition and is in its first year of development. The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate the efficacy of context-situated professional development on teacher practices and students' ability to learn vocabulary and comprehend informational text. In this poster presentation, we outline the development of vocabulary and comprehension cases as applied to 4th grade social studies content. Cases will include (a) intervention materials, (b) instructional delivery structures, (c) professional development methods, and (c) assessment tools to evaluate the efficacy of six, 6-week content-area cases designed to improve teacher practices and student outcomes. The process of developing and integrating single strategies into multi-strategy routines will be reviewed along with the role of school-based teacher researchers in case development. From this program of development research, we expect the following contributions: (a) a professional development model that integrates case-situated modules to enhance teachers' knowledge and instruction of informational (e.g., social studies) text, (b) a virtual coaching system illustrating evidence-based practices in real classrooms with project teachers, and (c) emerging evidence of the potential efficacy of the model to improve students' reading comprehension of social studies text.