Internet-Based Reading Apprenticeship Improving Science Education (iRAISE)

Research & Evidence

Internet-Based Reading Apprenticeship Improving Science Education (iRAISE)

Online Professional Learning: Improving High School Science Education Through Literacy Support

iRAISE – Internet-Based Reading Apprenticeship Improving Science Education – was awarded a three-year Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop and test an online version of the rigorously researched face-to-face Reading Apprenticeship Improving Secondary Education (RAISE) model of Reading Apprenticeship professional development.

The overall goal of the three-year effort was to provide an online, cost-effective professional learning alternative to the large numbers of high school biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics teachers who may not otherwise have the opportunity to bring Reading Apprenticeship practices to their classrooms.

The second goal of the course was to help science teachers change the way they teach by increasing students’ engagement in subject area reading—science in this case—and their comprehension of complex science texts.

The final goal was to give students the “power to figure things out” more easily, and to enable students to embrace the content of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Please note that the iRAISE project has concluded, but educators looking for an online learning experience with Reading Apprenticeship can find information about our online courses on the Professional Development page of this site.

iRAISE By the Numbers

iRAISE By the Numbers: Blended Professional Learning for Middle School Teachers

  • 3 years: 2012-2015
  • 20,250 high school students
  • 131 teachers
  • 87 high schools
  • 2 states: Michigan, Pennsylvania
  • 4 science subject areas: biology, chemistry, earth science, physics

Praise from iRAISE participants


“I am seeing some completely new behavior in my classroom lately.  Students are looking up things they are curious about in the Chemistry book without being told to do so.  I am hearing statements like “I remember reading about that in the book…”

Stephen Hall
Chemistry teacher
Hamady High School


“My kids are WILLINGLY looking for info in their textbooks.  Its so cool to watch!”

Terri Kelsey
Physics teacher
Mountain View High School


“I think that we all have learned so much about how to increase literacy, as well as changing (improving) how we teach. This course has provided so much useful information and techniques.”

Rebecca Georgia-Emiliani
Science teacher
West Scranton High School