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Professional Development in the Early Reading First - Essay Example

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The author of this essay "Professional Development in the Early Reading First" introduces a professional development plan in the Early Reading First (ERF) programs within which they had served as project directors. It is stated that the plan led to accelerated growth in children’s vocabulary…
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Professional Development in the Early Reading First

In particular, the teachers in the treatment group gave a specific response to implementing, modifying and extending the PD program. Rochelle and McGee (2011, p. 167) revealed that the treatment group achieved a mean score of 93.8 compared to the control group mean score of 82.3. Further, 67% of students belonging to the treatment group met the Government Performance Reporting Act guidelines of achieving a language rating of at least 85 compared to only 40% for the control group (Dail and McGee, 2011, p. 167). Summarizing the results of their experience as project directors, Dial and McGee (2011, p. 168) concluded that a PD approach in reading is associated with success. Carlisle et al. (2011) compared three models of professional development (PD) in reading among first grades and concluded that supporting teacher through seminars, evaluation, and coaching work best in leading teachers towards effective instructions among first graders. In the process of sharing their results, the authors pointed out that professional development in reading is the best means of improving teachers’ competence in content areas that result into an improvement of instructions (Carlisle et al., 2011, p. 13). According to the authors, effective professional development in reading is characterized by deep subject matter knowledge as well as knowledge on how students learn content, commitment, course coherence and integration, participation and active learning, and institutional and professional support (Carlisle et al., 2011, p. 214). The authors cited several cases that indicate that reading instructions are successful if a professional development approach is used. For instance, according to the authors, the PD initiative among 17 poverty and low-achieving schools in Washington and Houston as carried by B. Foorman and L. Moats has been considered by the authors as very successful. One important argument forwarded by Carlisle et al. (2011, p. 230) is that PD is successful because teachers respond well to the approach. In a commissioned study in 2005-06, one of the research questions which the U.S. Department of Education was to find out the effects of professional development on student reading achievement (NCEERA or National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, 2009, p. 1). The study employed an experimental design in testing the effectiveness of professional development interventions in over 90 schools in six districts involving 270 teachers and 5,500 students (p. 1). The schools were randomly and equally assigned to an institute group, institute plus coaching group, and a control which received the usual professional development implemented in the district (NCEERA, 2009, p. 1). Some of the key findings of the commissioned research are as follows. First, teachers who were randomly assigned to avail professional development form institutes scored significantly higher on teachers’ knowledge compared with those in the control group.  ... Read More
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