Research & Evidence

Other Studies

From our earliest case studies until the first federally funded randomized controlled study of Reading Apprenticeship, foundation support was crucial for testing and refining Reading Apprenticeship professional development and implementation. Teachers, too, were instrumental in helping to develop the promise of our work, as design partners and as study participants. These early and formative studies were the first in our ongoing dedication to evidence-based, continuous improvement.

Quasi-Experimental, Mixed Methods, and Case Studies

Reading Apprenticeship Professional Development in Diverse Subject-Area Classrooms

Carnegie Corporation of New York, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Stuart Foundation • 2001–2004

This case study was designed to learn how teachers who participated in inquiry-based professional development incorporated Reading Apprenticeship approaches into their subject-area instruction, and how these literacy experiences in turn affected student reading achievement and engagement. The study found ongoing mentoring through Reading Apprenticeship improved student conceptions of reading, reading practices, and identities as readers and students. Frequently, these shifts in student conceptions were accompanied by improved course grades, decisions to take additional academic classes, and score increases on standardized tests of reading comprehension.

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Increasing Student Achievement Schoolwide Through Reading Apprenticeship

Carnegie Corporation of New York and Walter S. Johnson Foundation • 2001–2004

This case study reports on Reading Apprenticeship professional development work in two Bay Area schools that implemented Reading Apprenticeship schoolwide. These schools, identified by the California Department of Education as academically underperforming schools, documented rising Academic Performance Indices (API) that they attribute to Reading Apprenticeship. Both of these school-level cases offer powerful models of schoolwide, systemic change that involves both teachers and administrators working together.

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Reading Apprenticeship in Professional Development Networks

Stuart Foundation and Los Angeles Education Partnership • 

The Strategic Literacy Initiative partnered with two networks, Bay Area Coalition of Essential Schools and Los Angeles Unified School District Humanitas Network, to offer Reading Apprenticeship professional development in diverse subject-area classrooms, and to analyze the impact of Reading Apprenticeship on student reading achievement. Research data from both groups showed that students made statistically significant gains in reading scores as measured by their performance on the Degrees of Reading Power standardized test of reading comprehension, with the most rapid increases in achievement occurring in the two lowest-scoring quartiles of students.

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Teacher Learning and Student Outcomes in Reading Apprenticeship

Spencer Foundation and MacArthur Foundation • 1997–2000

In 1997, the Strategic Literacy Initiative began a three-year study of teacher learning, changes in classroom practice, and student achievement. Teachers in this study were cross-disciplinary teams of middle school and high school teachers. During the first two years of the study, they were involved in a professional development network for approximately 40 hours each year. The study found important shifts in teachers’ understanding of reading processes and text demands and the varied sources of difficulty they present for students. In addition, the study documented a richer repertoire of classroom practice among participating teachers related to reading in their content areas. These changes were associated with increased student reading achievement.

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Ninth-Grade Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy Course and Its Impact

Stuart Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and San Francisco Foundation
 • 1996–1999

This set of three linked studies documented the impact of a Reading Apprenticeship academic literacy course for grade 9 students in an urban high school. The course was designed to accelerate students’ engagement and skills in reading and responding to academic texts across disciplines. In addition to significant changes in their attitudes and behaviors related to reading, students across all ethnic groups gained an average of two years growth in seven months as measured by the Degrees of Reading Power standardized reading test.

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Ninth-Grade Student Literacy Case Studies

Stuart Foundation
 • 1995–1997

Strategic Literacy Initiative researchers and teacher colleagues from three San Francisco Unified School District high schools created case studies of 30 9th-grade students to gain a more detailed sense of their reading histories, strengths, and challenges. These case studies served to inform SLI’s future work with teachers learning to support students’ academic literacy development.

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