Hough, H., Bryk, A., Pinnell, G., Kerbow, D., Fountas, I., Scharer, P. (2008). Measuring change in the practice of teachers engaged in Literacy Collaborative professional development: Preliminary results from a four year study.

Author: Hough, H., Bryk, A., Pinnell, G., Kerbow, D., Fountas, I., Scharer, P.



In this manuscript, the theoretical concepts based on activity theory that the Literacy Collaborative (LC) research team is trying to test are well articulated. The purpose of this particular study was to determine whether there had been change in teacher instruction in use of elements of the LC model after two years of implementation and what factors best predicted this outcome. The Literacy Collaborative builds upon 30 years of research and development grounded in the reading theories of Marie Clary and elaborated by Fountas and Pinnell. The overall goal is to improve the reading and writing achievement of all children in a school. A key component of LC is the training and support of school-based literacy coaches who provide extensive school-based professional development activities, including individual coaching to individual building teachers.

Coaches used an observational tool developed by the researchers to measure teacher practice along the 8 components of the Literacy Collaborative model. In addition to these 8 components classroom organization was measured. The tool is available at the project website.

Other instruments were used to measure teacher attitudes toward innovation, the climate of their school, and prior use of the components of the Literacy Collaborative model. Information on coaches’ prior experiences doing professional development were also collected.

Three-and four-level hierarchical linear models were used to analyze longitudinal data from teachers nested within schools. The statistical analysis is well described in this study. The results indicate that teacher’s professional dispositions and strong school commitment, assessed at the start of the LC intervention, were highly predictive of high, final status on both frequency of implementation and expertise in enactment of the LC model. In addition, those teachers who had prior experience using comprehensive literacy practices implemented the LC practices more frequently. The amount of individual teachers’ exposure to LC professional development, done by the building coach, was the strongest teacher-level predictor of frequency of implementation. Additionally, coaches frequency of implementation of coaching sessions was higher if they had had previous experience as a PD provider. The researchers point out that it is the combining of both coach and teachers factors that can make effects that are quite substantial.

Date Added: 11/14/2008


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