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Put Me In, Coach! How Trained Literacy Coaches Can Improve Student Reading Comprehension

Published: January 25, 2013.
By University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH—The language and reading comprehension skills of low-income upper elementary-school students—especially English-language learners—can improve markedly if trained literacy coaches engage teachers in conducting interactive text discussions with students, according to a three-year University of Pittsburgh study.

The Pitt researchers report in the journal Learning and Instruction that language and reading comprehension showed measurable improvement for young students when their teachers had worked "at-elbow" with content-specific literacy coaches to foster a more interactive learning environment during class reading assignments.

In the study—one of the first of its kind—the coaches were trained using a professional development system designed at Pitt's Institute for Learning called the Content-Focused Coaching Model that has coaches provide teachers with the tools they need to implement rigorous, standards-based lessons. Half of the schools adopted the Content-Focused Coaching Model¬ which entailed highly trained coaches entering schools and providing professional development training to upper elementary school teachers. Soon after, the coaches were placed in schools and began working with teachers on "Questioning the Author," one approach to the Content-Focused Coaching Model in which students answer critical questions about the author and text. "Lindsay and her team retrieved data that clearly show that schools with coaches trained in the Content-Focused Coaching Model improved literacy skills far beyond those where teachers worked with coaches who were not trained in this method.

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Teachers, Students, Achievement, Classroom, Prekindergarten, Learning, Dunlosky, Lindsey, Reading, Al-Yagon, Diemer, Schools, Coaching, Danner, Whitney, Review, Coaches, Acceptance, Emotional, Character, Sleep, Rimm-Kaufman, Strategies, Math, Low-Income, Political, Material, Education, Skills, School, Programs, Support, Parents, Effective, Abuse, Student, Quality, Civics, Pitt, Attachments, Techniques, Protective, Suspensions, Flay, Weiland, Practice, Daily, Issues, Children, Social, …

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