This project is designed to test the efficacy of a professional development model that features Strategies for Reading Information and Vocabulary Effectively (STRIVE), a fully developed set of evidence-based practices for content area instruction with upper-elementary students. MCPER researchers and Central Texas teachers jointly developed the 18-week STRIVE lessons based on several years of experimental pilot studies with approximately 50 teachers and 900 students. The STRIVE curriculum was designed to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards for vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and social studies content. The STRIVE intervention will be supported through an ongoing professional development model.
"I feel very grateful that our campus has been selected to participate in this program. It is everything we have always wanted out of teaching reading through expository text. Having them learn about social studies is just an amazing plus!"
— Participating teacher
We will use a randomized controlled study design. Participating fourth-grade schools will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) STRIVE professional development or (2) typical instruction. Schools randomized to the typical instruction condition are guaranteed to receive STRIVE professional development at the end of the school year or the beginning of the following school year. STRIVE instruction will be provided for 90 minutes a week for 18 weeks.
Several assessments of student learning and teacher efficacy will be employed, including (a) standardized measures of reading comprehension and vocabulary and (b) researcher-developed measures of content knowledge, reading strategy use, and instructional quality.
A series of hierarchical linear models will be estimated to investigate the effect of treatment on student learning outcomes.