Research & Evidence

Reading Apprenticeship SEED Grant

Supporting Effective Teaching with Disciplinary Inquiry

Reading Apprenticeship was awarded a 2018-2021 SEED grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Our goal is to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning at the secondary level by providing evidence-based professional learning to 1500 teachers. Educators will participate in five days of face-to-face learning, as well as facilitated online and on-site team meetings. Teacher Leaders from each participating school will have opportunities for further development. Additionally, a STEM Inquiry Design Group will develop new resources for the field that deepen teaching and learning for science and engineering: topically aligned text-sets and tasks coupled with inquiry teaching guides that are open sourced. The Design Group will enable teachers to orchestrate science and engineering tasks with authentic forms of texts – including graphs, diagrams, visual models, and explanations characteristic of these disciplines – to support the development of discipline-specific reading and reasoning practices for their students.

Project Goals

  1. Increase the number of highly effective middle and high school teachers serving high needs students by engaging 1500 teachers in Reading Apprenticeship professional learning and science/engineering Inquiry Design Groups.
  2. Improve middle and high school students’ reading comprehension and science achievement by increasing opportunities to collaborate and engage with more varied and challenging science and engineering tasks and texts.
  3. Build local capacity for sustained implementation and dissemination through teacher leader development, regional support, and new tools.


  • 1500 teachers will experience evidence-based professional learning and integrate literacy practices into their content area instruction, increasing the learning opportunities of more than 100,000 students.
  • Open source text-inquiries with teacher guides for middle and high school science and engineering teachers will be created and widely disseminated.
  • 380 teacher leaders and regional partners will increase their knowledge of disciplinary literacy and deepen local capacity to sustain instructional improvement.
  • A randomized controlled trial will examine the impact of the professional learning on student learning and achievement in science/engineering.

This project will serve high needs students in schools and districts located in multiple states (CA, MI, NY, TX, WA). Local partners include: Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, New York and The Texas Center for Educator Excellence. External evaluation will be carried out by IMPAQ, International.

Research Questions

The evaluation of the SETDI project will provide rigorous evidence regarding both the implementation of SETDI and its impacts on teacher effectiveness.

Impact Evaluation Questions

  1. What is the impact of SETDI on students’ science literacy among middle and high school students?
  2. What is the impact of SETDI on students’ ELA achievement among middle and high school students?
  3. What is the impact of SETDI on students’ science achievement among middle and high school students?

Formative Evaluation Questions

  1. To what extent do teachers participate in planned SETDI activities, such as face-to-face trainings, online PLCs, and school team meetings?
  2. To what extent do teacher leaders participate in planned SETDI activities, such as regional network meetings, the online leadership course, PLCs, and school team meetings?
  3. To what extent do teachers participating in SETDI implement Reading Apprenticeship practices with fidelity?
  4. What factors are contributing to or hindering teachers’ preparation to implement effective literacy practices in their classrooms?
  5. To what extent do participating science teachers demonstrate high quality of instruction?
  6. What is the relationship between quality of instruction among science teachers participating in SETDI, fidelity of implementation of SETDI, and students’ academic outcomes?