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IES Grant

Title: Enhancing Knowledge Related to Research-Based Early Literacy Instruction Among Pre-Service Teachers
Center: NCER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Scanlon, Donna Awardee: State University of New York (SUNY), Albany
Program: Effective Instruction      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,440,551
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305W060024
Description:

Purpose: Research suggests that good early literacy instruction can dramatically improve student achievement. Despite the acknowledged importance of teachers, little research has directly focused on pre-service teacher education, or on ways to enhance teacher's problem-solving skills as they relate to the needs of children who struggle with literacy acquisition. In the current project, the researchers plan to develop a set of multimedia materials that can be used in the context of pre-service language arts methods courses to enhance pre-service teacher preparation.

Project Activities: The researchers will: (1) develop instructional procedures and materials that can be integrated into literacy methods courses offered to pre-service teachers, in the interest of increasing their exposure to and understanding of scientifically-based reading instruction; and (2) pilot the materials developed, in collaboration with pre-service teacher educators at a variety of institutions. The researchers will also gather preliminary data on the impact of the instructional materials in enhancing pre-service teachers' knowledge of teaching practices for early literacy development. The intervention that the researchers will use is based on the Interactive Strategies Approach, which emphasizes phonetic instruction and decoding in teaching children to read.

Products: Products from this project include evidence regarding the impact of a literacy instruction program for pre-service teachers, and published papers.

Setting: The research will take place in New York State.

Population: Participants will be pre-service teacher educators and their undergraduate students at Schools of Education.

Intervention: The researchers will: (1) develop instructional procedures and materials that can be integrated into literacy methods courses offered to pre-service teachers, in the interest of increasing their exposure to and understanding of scientifically-based reading instruction; and (2) pilot the materials developed, in collaboration with pre-service teacher educators at a variety of institutions. The researchers will also gather preliminary data on the impact of the instructional materials in enhancing pre-service teachers' knowledge of teaching practices for early literacy development. The intervention that the researchers will use is based on the Interactive Strategies Approach, which emphasizes phonetic instruction and decoding in teaching children to read.

Research Design and Methods: In Year 1, 50 expert early literacy teachers will be compared on the Knowledge of Literacy Instruction measure with 50 undergraduate pre-service teachers (novices) in order to calibrate items and to insure the validity of this instrument (semester 1). The instrument will then be used to collect baseline data on pre-service teachers (semester 2). During Year 2, a first trial of the Interactive Strategies Approach Pre-Service Components will be implemented, in pre-service courses taught by the 10 Teacher Educator Collaborators. To examine the potential effect of the Interactive Strategies Approach on Knowledge of Literacy Instruction among pre-service teachers, teachers' Knowledge of Literacy Instruction will be evaluated before and after exposure to the intervention program, and compared to their baseline scores and scores of the comparison group subjects.

Control Condition: Pre-service teachers in the control condition will receive the existing teachers' education curriculum on literacy instruction.

Key Measures: The researchers will develop a measure of teacher Knowledge of Literacy Instruction. This instrument will assess declarative knowledge (e.g., components of literacy instruction), procedural knowledge (e.g. instructional strategies), and conditional knowledge (e.g., understanding under what conditions certain instructional "moves" are likely to be most effective). Pre-service teachers' Knowledge of Literacy Instruction scores will be measured before and after exposure to the program, in comparison to scores of baseline subjects and comparison group subjects.

Data Analytic Strategy: Hierarchical linear modeling analytic techniques will be employed.

Publications

Book

Scanlon, D.M., Anderson, K.L., and Sweeney, J.M. (2010). Early Intervention for Reading Difficulties: The Interactive Strategies Approach.New York: Guilford Press.

** This project was submitted to and funded under Teacher Quality: Reading and Writing in FY 2006.


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