Studying Successful Approaches to Content-focused Professional Learning

Content-focused professional learning is a common strategy for improving student outcomes, but it isn’t always effective. The National Writing Project has been particularly successful at designing scalable professional learning programs that have a positive impact on student achievement in writing, according to a series of randomized controlled trials.

To generate more evidence, AIR formed a partnership with the National Writing Project to study the implementation and impact of their Coach.Teach.Write program, which uses group and individual coaching in tandem with curriculum supplements. The project will test the impact of the program on teacher and student outcomes.

The project aims to uncover insights about the mechanisms by which content-focused professional learning can work. For example, the project will examine impacts on measures of classroom practice and teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching writing, both of which are potentially important drivers of student writing achievement.

This project is an example of AIR’s work to advance K-12 education through research-and-development partnerships with leading developers and service providers.