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Best Practices - Teacher Preparation
Technology: Connections that Enhance Children's Literacy Acquisition and Reading Achievement
An IERI Research Grant National Science Foundation
Co-Principal Investigators:
Linda D. Labbo, University of Georgia
Charles K. Kinzer, Teachers College, Columbia University
Donald Leu, University of Connecticut
William H. Teale, University of Illinois, Chicago Circle
This project will use knowledge about best practices of early literacy education to target improvements in teacher education and young children's literacy achievement. Case-based, anchored instruction using high speed, streaming video over the Internet and in CD/DVD-ROM will provide a new model for pre-service teacher education, making visible the richness and complexity of best practice instruction to teacher educators, pre-service teachers, and classroom teachers. An extensive set of studies will use the digital, multimedia resources available at our site to study the use of a case-based approach to pre-service teacher education. We plan to accomplish three central objectives: (a) raise pre-service teachers' understanding of best practices of early literacy education; (b) increase pre-service teachers' use of best practices in the classroom when they first begin teaching; and (c) significantly raise young children's reading achievement.
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The project is based on two main assumptions: first, that sufficient research is available about "best practices" to teach reading and writing effectively; and, second, that technology can play a key role in improving reading achievement. Specifically, this project identifies instructional practices which are supported by scientific research and which have "stood the test of time" in exemplary teachers' classrooms. These best practices will be used to enhance pre-service teacher education through cases-based, anchored instruction, and establish guidelines and best practices for use of technology for K-3 classroom reading instruction. This pre-service delivery system and subsequent classroom instruction will be tested through a broad-based research program that assesses effects on teacher candidates as well as on children's literacy achievement, and disseminated through a "Best Practices in Literacy Web Site" and other means. Years 3 - 5 involve widespread experimental intervention studies with collaborating Southeast Literacy Consortium members (70 researcher/teacher educators at institutions in the southeastern U.S.) at 25-30 sites.
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