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A-122: Teacher Quality Research Grant: First Grade Reading Instruction
(Susan Brady, PI)

Research Goals. This research project is designed to investigate effective strategies for improving the preparation of classroom teachers to teach reading in the first grade. The premise of the research is that, in order to make effective decisions about the instructional needs of children, teachers must have sufficient knowledge of the structure of language, of reading development, and of critical factors influencing reading acquisition. In addition, teachers must master skills and strategies that enable them to provide direct instruction at the appropriate levels to the children in their classes. Informed instructional decisions hinge on this knowledge base and on setting sufficiently high expectations for reading achievement in the early grades. The primary goals of the research are to: (1) test the associations among teacher knowledge, teacher practices, and student reading achievement; (2) evaluate the effect of having expert mentors available to assist teachers in developing their knowledge and teaching skills; and (3) investigate the extent to which teacher knowledge and practices change over one and two year periods as a function of professional development.

Current Status. The proposal was funded beginning September 15, 2003 for four years.

[This project is supported by the U. S. Department of Education (ED Grant).]