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IES Grant

Title: Can Literacy Professional Development be Improved with Web-based Collaborative Learning Tools: A Randomized Field Trial
Center: NCER Year: 2004
Principal Investigator: Bryk, Anthony Awardee: University of Chicago
Program: Teaching, Teachers, and the Education Workforce      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $3,046,054
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305M040086
Description:

Purpose: In this project, the researchers proposed to test the efficacy of an existent professional development program, the Literacy Collaborative (LC), and whether the efficacy of LC is enhanced through the addition of a web-based collaborative learning environment, the Literacy Coaching toolkit (LCtk). The study examined the interventions' efficacy on the work of school-based literacy coaches, the professional development of teachers whom these coaches support, and kindergarten through third grade students' literacy learning. The researchers proposed to also explore possible mechanisms that might contribute to variability in LC and LCtk effects among schools and among classrooms within schools and for different types of students categorized by race/ethnicity and family income. In addition, the researchers also aimed to develop a new set of web-based tools to support teacher learning.

Structured Abstract

THE FOLLOWING CONTENT DESCRIBES THE PROJECT AT THE TIME OF FUNDING

The goal of the current study is to examine the efficacy of an existent professional development program, the Literacy Collaborative (LC), and whether the efficacy of LC is enhanced through the addition of a web-based collaborative learning environment, the Literacy Coaching toolkit (LCtk). The study examines the efficacy of LC and the supplemental LCtk services on the work of school-based literacy coaches, the professional development of teachers whom these coaches support, and on kindergarten through third grade students' literacy learning. In addition to examining overall efficacy, possible mechanisms that might contribute to variability in LC and LCtk effects among schools and among classrooms within schools, and for different types of students categorized by race/ethnicity and family income, are being explored.

The field trial is being conducted in 18 public elementary schools with significant proportions of African-American, Latino, and low-income students. The effects of adding LCtk to the standard LC program is being assessed with a randomized design in which the 18 schools are matched on the basis of selected student and school characteristics, and one of each pair of schools is randomly assigned to receive the standard LC program, while the second school receives the LC program combined with LCtk. Embedded in this study is also a second, quasi-experimental design for assessing the overall effects of LC programs on both changes in teacher practice and student learning. This aspect of the research employs a "value-added" design where the 3-year trends in student learning gains and teacher practice in each classroom after the introduction of LC are compared to data from the same classroom during a non-treatment baseline period for this study.

Products

ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:

Book chapters

Atteberry, A., and Bryk, A.S. (2010). Centrality, Connection, and Commitment: The Role of Social Networks in a School-Based Literacy Initiative. In A.J. Daly (Ed.), The Ties of Change: Social Network Theory and Application in Education (pp. 51–75). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press.

Journal articles

Atteberry, A., Bryk, A.S., and Walker, L. (2011). Analyzing Teacher Participation in Literacy Coaching Activities. The Elementary School Journal, 112(2): 356–382.

Biancarosa, G., Bryk, A.S., and Dexter, E. (2010). Assessing the Value-Added Effects of Literacy Collaborative Professional Development on Student Learning. The Elementary School Journal, 111(1): 7–34.

Hough, H.J., Kerbow, D., Bryk, A., Pinnell, G.S., Rodgers, E., Dexter, E., ... and Fountas, I. (2013). Assessing Teacher Practice and Development: The Case of Comprehensive Literacy Instruction. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 24(4), 452–485.

** This project was submitted to and funded under Teacher Quality: Reading and Writing in FY 2004.


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