Note: This WestEd project was completed in 2017.
How do expert teachers make their own expertise more visible so their students can read, write, and think like historians and scientists?
Reading Apprenticeship: Writing Connections is a teacher professional learning project designed to improve the effectiveness of secondary school teachers by helping them integrate effective reading, writing, and subject area instruction for their students.
This project builds on the Reading Apprenticeship program of professional development — shown to boost students’ reading comprehension and subject area learning — by adding an increased focus on the synergy between deep subject area reading and writing.
WestEd staff are working with literacy leaders in California, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to provide professional learning to 1,000 teachers and build local capacity through Teacher Leader networks to continue the work long after the project grant ends in 2017.
Participating teachers are gaining knowledge, experience, and practical strategies for making their discipline-specific ways of reading, writing, and thinking more explicit, thus apprenticing their students into college- and career-ready literacy practices. At the same time, teachers learn that with the right supports, even students who are struggling to read their textbooks can participate in challenging problem solving and make significant gains in their learning and achievement.
We are improving the project’s outcomes by conducting an ongoing formative evaluation. We also are assessing the project’s impact on teacher practice and student learning through an external evaluation conducted by IMPAQ, Int., which includes a randomized controlled trial at a subset of 28 schools.