Meets WWC standards with reservations
because it is a cluster randomized controlled trial with a risk of bias from individuals who entered clusters after random assignment, but the analytic intervention and comparison groups satisfy the baseline equivalence requirement.
This review may not reflect the full body of research evidence for this intervention.
Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.
Please see the WWC summary of evidence for Reading Apprenticeship®.
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
English language learners
Rural, Suburban, Town, Urban
| Other or unknown
| Not Hispanic or Latino
Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
| Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)
| No FRPL
The study took place in 26 high schools in Michigan and Pennsylvania in urban, suburban, and rural school districts. The intervention was delivered in science classrooms in grades 9–12.
The researchers randomly assigned 41 teachers to the intervention group and 41 teachers to the comparison group. A total of 1,315 students in grades 9–12 were included in the study. The 1,315 students were in 26 high schools. Approximately 50% of the students were male, 52% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 2% were English learners, and 16% were reported as having a disability or receiving special education services. Seventy-three percent were White, 16% were Black, 1% were Asian, and 10% did not report race. Eight percent were Hispanic or Latino.
Internet-based Reading Apprenticeship Improving Science Education (iRAISE) is a learning community in which high school science teachers learn about, practice, and refine ways to improve student engagement and comprehension of scientific texts. iRAISE is a year-long, virtual adaptation of the face-to-face RAISE professional development program, both of which are versions of the Reading Apprenticeship program. Participating teachers receive a total of 65 hours of professional development. During the summer before the classroom implementation teachers receive a foundations training for 5 days (about 20 hours). Training continues throughout the school year with monthly meetings in two forms: 2-hour whole group meetings for introducing new learning and 1-hour small group meetings for collaboration and discussion. During the school year, teachers incorporate specific pedological practices into their science instruction that are intended to engage students in metacognitive conversations that build their knowledge about science.
Teachers in the comparison group delivered business-as-usual science instruction in their respective grade levels. Comparison teachers may have participated in other business-as-usual training and professional development offered by their schools or school districts.
Support for implementation
During the school year prior to the study, the study team piloted the iRAISE program with a group of 25 teachers in Michigan and Pennsylvania, several of whom had previously attended the face-to-face RAISE training. The pilot included a formative evaluation to provide feedback on program components. During the study, the study team observed all five days of the iRAISE foundations training; following the training, they administered online surveys to participants asking about the initial training. They also observed one Ignite session per month, chosen at random, from September through May. Following each observation, study staff coded the professional development content for adherence to the program model.
In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.
Schellinger, Adam M.; Toby, Megan; Jaciw, Andrew P.; Zacamy, Jenna. (2015). Comparative Effectiveness of WestEd's iRAISE Professional Development: An Interim Report of a Randomized Experiment in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Empirical Education Inc.