An innovative study of 17 schools across the country suggests that putting literacy coaches in schools can help boost students’ reading skills by as much as 32 percent over three years.
The study, headed by researchers at Stanford University, focused on the Literacy Collaborative, a program that trains teachers to become literacy coaches. The teacher-coaches then work one-on-one with their colleagues on a half-time basis to spread a set of teaching routines drawn from principles of cognitive science.
The researchers tracked the implementation of the program in K-2 classrooms in 17 schools. They found that students’ reading skills grew 16 percent beyond predicted levels the first year, 28 percent more than expected by the second year, and 32 percent more than predicted by the third year.
Teachers and schools that experienced more coaching sessions tended to spur bigger learning gains in their students.
A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2011 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook