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IES Grant

Title: Writing Instruction for Adolescents with Behavior Disorders: Scaffolding Procedural Learning to Extended Discourse
Center: NCSER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Mason, Linda Awardee: Pennsylvania State University
Program: Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 6/1/2007 to 5/31/2011 Award Amount: $1,795,462
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A070199
Description:

Purpose: Proficiency in reading and writing is essential for academic success. On the 2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 32 percent of eighth-graders without disabilities attending public schools were writing at the proficient or advanced levels. For students with disabilities, only 4 percent of eighth-graders were writing at the proficient or advanced levels. To address the need for more appropriate writing interventions for students with disabilities, researchers propose to develop Writing Instruction for Adolescents with Behavior Disorders: Scaffolding Procedural Learning to Extended Discourse. The purpose of this project is to conduct an initial evaluation of writing strategy and fluency instruction on the written expression and writing fluency performance of 7th- and 8th- grade students with behavior disorders in general education and alternative settings who are struggling with writing.

Project Activities: Participating classroom teachers will be trained in the empirically validated instructional approach, Self-Regulated Strategy Development. The strategies and self-regulation procedures to be taught to students have met the criteria for evidence-based practice (instructional time ranges from 20-25 thirty-minute sessions plus 18 ten- minutes sessions). Participating students will work in groups with their reading/writing teacher. Assessment in the months after instruction, including the following year where possible, will be conducted to evaluate students' maintenance of learning. Study 1 will use a single subject multiple baseline design and visual inspection procedures using achievement and behavioral dependent measures. Study 2 will use a repeated measures multilevel analysis with achievement and behavioral dependent measures.

Products: The products of this project include a fully developed writing strategy and fluency intervention for middle school students with behavior disorders, published reports, and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The schools are located in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Population: Participants are 7th- and 8th- grade students with behavior disorders in general education classrooms and alternative settings who are struggling with writing. Approximately 45 to 60 students will participate in single subject studies investigating the effects of the implementation of the writing intervention. In addition, 87 students will participate in a group trial isolating the effects of fluency within the writing intervention.

Intervention: Students who receive the writing intervention will be taught to use strategies for persuasive writing, following the procedures of the Self-Regulated Strategy Development model. Four procedures for self-regulation are taught: set a goal for learning and sign a learning contract, develop self-instructions, self-monitor performance, and self-reinforce performance.

Some students will also receive a fluency component with the writing intervention. Fluency lessons will occur in 10-minute sessions, three times a week, followed by a 15-minute essay writing period. The 10-minute session will consist of directions for the day, three minutes of writing, counting the number of words written, feedback, and graphing performance.

Research Design and Methods: Both single subject and group designs will be used in the development and initial evaluation of the writing intervention. During the development phase, a multiple baseline design across student groups will be used to examine students' writing performance (expression and fluency) in both general education and alternative education settings. Student and teacher attitudes will also be examined. Modifications to the intervention will be made based on students' performance and behavior. In the group study, researchers will randomly assign students to writing intervention groups and will compare the performance of the writing intervention group to that of the writing intervention plus fluency group and the control condition. Treatment and control group comparisons will also be completed for student and teacher behavior and attitudes.

Control Condition: The control condition will receive standard classroom practice in writing.

Key Measures: Writing measures, behavioral outcomes, demographics, and fidelity of implementation variables will be collected in the initial evaluation of the writing intervention. Writing measures include persuasive essays (number of essay parts, holistic quality, fluency); Oral and Written Language Scales; and Woodcock-Johnson Fluency, Writing subtest. Behavioral outcomes include frequency of absences, frequency of disciplinary referrals, on-task behavior, and attitudes of self-efficacy concerning writing. Demographic information will be drawn from the School Archival Record Search and include sex, race, socioeconomic status (SES), special education status, and referrals to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.

Data Analytic Strategy: Visual analysis (interpretation of level, trend, and variability of performance during baseline, intervention, post-intervention, and fluency phases) will be used to analyze effects of the single subject studies. The primary test for the initial group evaluation will be a series of repeated measures analysis of variance. A secondary analysis will be conducted to assess the long-term effects of the intervention.

Publications

Book chapter

Agrawal, J., Bronaugh, D.A., and Mastropieri, M.A. (2011). A Comparison of Observational Techniques for Assessing Students' Social Behavior. In T.E. Scruggs, and M.A. Mastropieri (Eds.), Assessment and Intervention (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities) (pp. 93–110). Bingley, England: Emerald Group Publishing Limited? doi:10.1108/S0735–004X(2011)0000024007

Mason, L.H., and Kubina, R.M. (2011). Developing Writing Fluency for Adolescents With Disabilities. In T. E. Scruggs & M. A. Mastropieri (Ed.), Intervention and Assessment: Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (pp. 296–319). Bingley, England: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. doi:10.1108/S0735–004X(2011)0000024013

Mastropieri, M.A., Scruggs, T.E., Cuenca-Sanchez, Y., Irby, N., Mills, S., Mason, L., and Kubina, R. (2010). Persuading Students With Emotional Disabilities to Write: A Design Study. In T.E. Scruggs, and M.A. Mastropieri (Eds.), Literacy and Learning: Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (pp. 237–268). Oxford, England: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. doi:10.1108/S0735–004X(2010)0000023011

Book chapter, edition specified

Mastropieri, M.A., and Scruggs, T.E. (in press). Research Highlight: Academic Instruction for Students With Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities. The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Differentiated Instruction (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Hoover, T., Kubina, R., and Mason, L.H. (2012). Effects of Self-Regulated Strategy Development for POW+TREE on High School Students With Learning Disabilities. Exceptionality, 20(1): 20–38. doi:10.1080/09362835.2012.640903

Kubina, R.M., Mason, L.H., Vostal, B.R., and Taft, R.A. (2011). Self-Regulated Strategy Development Instruction: Effects of Lesson Structure on a Teacher's Behaviors. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 17(3): 131–138.

Mason, L.H., Benedek-Wood, E., & Valasa, L. (2009). Quick writing for students who struggle with writing. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 53, 313–322.

Mason, L.H., Benedek-Wood, E., and Valasa, L. (2009). Teaching Low-Achieving Students to Self-Regulate Persuasive Quick Write Responses. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 53(4): 303–312. doi:10.1598/JAAL.53.4.4

Mason, L.H., Kubina, R., and Hoover, T. (2013). Effects of Quick Writing Instruction for High School Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 21(3): 163–175. doi:10.1177/1063426611410429

Mason, L.H., Kubina, R., and Taft, R. (2011). Developing Quick Writing Skills of Middle School Students With Disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 44(4): 205–220. doi:10.1177/0022466909350780

Mason, L.H., Kubina, R., Valasa, L.L., and Cramer, A. (2010). Evaluating Effective Writing Instruction for Adolescent Students in an Emotional and Behavior Support Setting. Behavioral Disorders, 35(2): 140–156.

Mason, L.H., Kubina, R.M., Kostewicz, D., Mong Cramer, A., and Datchuk, S. (2013). Improving Quick Writing Performance of Middle School Struggling Learners. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 38(3): 236–246. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2013.04.002

Mastropieri, M.A., Scruggs, T.E., Cerar, N.I., Allen-Bronaugh, D., Thompson, C., Guckert, M., Leins, P., Hauth, C., and Cuenca-Sanchez, Y. (2014). Fluent Persuasive Writing With Counterarguments for Students With Emotional Disturbance. Journal of Special Education, 48(1): 17–31. doi:10.1177/0022466912440456

Mastropieri, M.A., Scruggs, T.E., Mills, S., Irby, N., Cuenca-Sanchez, Y., Bronaugh, D.A., Thompson, C., Guckert, M., and Regan, K. (2009). Persuading Students With Emotional Disabilities to Write Fluently. Behavioral Disorders, 35(1): 19–40.

Mong-Cramer, A.M., and Mason, L.H. (in press). The Effects of Strategy Instruction for Writing and Revising Persuasive Quick Writes for Middle School Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Behavior Disorders.

Proceeding

Mastropieri, M.A., and Scruggs, T.E. (2012). Persuasive Writing Instruction: A Field-Based Investigation. In Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities (pp. 177–181). Padua, Italy: International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities.


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