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IES Grant

Title: Identifying Key Components of Effective Professional Development in Reading for First-Grade Teachers and Their Students
Center: NCER Year: 2003
Principal Investigator: Carlisle, Joanne Awardee: University of Michigan
Program: Teaching, Teachers, and the Education Workforce      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,638,912
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305M030090

Purpose: In this project, the research team proposed to compare the efficacy of three models of professional development for first grade reading teachers. The researchers’ goal for this project was to produce evidence to help school districts select effective, affordable models. In the early 2000s, finding such professional development models was important because of the Reading First Initiative of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This initiative was designed to improve students' reading skills by requiring professional development for teachers who teach reading. The success of this initiative depended on being able to choose professional development models that successfully increase teaching skills and student reading achievement.

Structured Abstract


The researchers are comparing the efficacy of a three-component professional development delivery model currently used by Michigan Reading First schools to two alternative models. One model focuses entirely on teacher knowledge, and the other model focuses on teacher knowledge combined with student assessment training. The three components of Michigan's Reading First model are

  1. teachers' language and their literacy content and reading pedagogical knowledge
  2. teachers' ability to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching through the assessment of student progress
  3. teachers' participation in sustained collegial discussions about reading

In schools that are eligible for Reading First but not yet funded, the researchers are randomly assigning the teachers to a teacher knowledge model or to a teacher knowledge and student assessment training model. The research team is examining those aspects of teachers' knowledge and background experience that best predict students' first grade progress in reading. The researchers are following the teachers for 2 years in order to study changes in their practices with two successive groups of children that may be due to the professional development. The study sample includes 40 school districts, 100 schools, 200 teachers and 6,000 students. Participating schools serve large numbers of struggling readers.

Products and Publications

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

Select Publications:

Journal articles

Carlisle, J.F., and Berebitsky, D. (2011). Literacy Coaching as a Component of Professional Development. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 24(7): 773–800.

Carlisle, J.F., Cortina, K.S., and Katz, L.A. (2011). First-Grade Teachers Response to Three Models of Professional Development in Reading.

** This project was submitted to and funded under Teacher Quality: Reading and Writing in FY 2003.