Taylor, B., Pearson, P.D., Peterson, D., Rodriguez, M. (2005). The CIERA school change framework: An evidence-based approach to professional development and school reading improvement. Reading Research Quarterly, 40(1), 40-69.
Author: Taylor, B., Pearson, P.D., Peterson, D., Rodriguez, M.
This is an important research study for literacy coaches, teachers, principals, and district administrators to consider as they try to improve literacy instruction. Each of the 13 schools in the study agreed to study group meetings where school data, student data, and evidence-based reading practices were discussed. An external facilitator spent a minimum of eight hours a week in each school, and was, in a sense, the literacy coach. Even reading just the overall discussion of this research article is well worth the effort. Schools in which the CIERA model was well-implemented saw improvements especially over a two-year period. In these buildings principals were behind the effort and strong teacher leaders emerged. The researchers found that in schools where the model was less well implemented, significant gains were not made. Often the lack of good implementation was in spite of teacher agreement and commitment at the outset to engage in the program. There seemed to be insufficient backing by the principal and no emerging teacher leadership. The research study shows that if evidence-based practices are understood and used by teachers, then gains in students' literacy learning are possible. While there is much excellent information to think about in this study, one wishes that the roles of the external facilitators, who performed most like coaches, had been more fully explained. The research design and methods in this study may have applications to other studies of coaches and coaching practices.
Date Added: 10/01/2006
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