Reading and Literacy
Literacy is a fundamental skill that unlocks learning and provides individuals with the means to pursue knowledge and enjoyment independently. Literacy skills need to grow and mature over the course of every person’s life, giving each individual the reading, writing and thinking skills needed for success in academic, workforce and personal situations. Unfortunately for many people, literacy skills never develop in the necessary ways. Insufficient literacy skills exclude far too many children, adolescents, and adults from pursuing their academic, career, and life goals.
AIR's reading and literacy work spans all ages and grades, from early childhood to adulthood, and focuses on literacy in school and in the workplace, both in the U.S. and abroad. Our methodologies include experimental and qualitative analyses, cognitive laboratory interviews, and critical incident exercises. Our domestic and international technical assistance reflects the best evidence and responds to participants’ needs.
Using sound theoretical principles, scientifically based evidence and rigorous methodology, AIR provides services in
- investigating teachers’ knowledge of beginning reading instruction;
- studying the effectiveness of computer-based reading interventions;
- guiding instruction for adult struggling readers; and
- evaluating literacy programs.
Validation of an Assessment of Teacher Knowledge of Beginning Reading Instruction, Teacher Quality – Reading and Writing
Teachers of children in kindergarten through grade three need a knowledge base in reading acquisition, pedagogy and child development to teach early reading effectively. This assessment of teacher knowledge investigates the relationship between teacher knowledge and student achievement.
Evaluation of the Children’s Literacy Initiative Investing in Innovation
This randomized control trial gauges the effectiveness of a coaching and professional development program to enhance teachers’ success teaching reading to kindergarteners and first and second graders in inner-city schools.
Scholastic Phonics Inventory Norming Study
AIR conducted a national norming study of an online inventory of diagnostic information, providing teachers in grades three through 12 with diagnostic information they can use to rapidly determine their students’ needs related to phonics instruction.
Development of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress Framework for Reading
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a national indicator of what American students know and can do, and regularly collects achievement information on representative samples of students in grades four, eight, and 12. Each NAEP assessment is built around an organizing framework, which guides the development of the assessment instrument and determines the content that will be assessed. AIR convened experts, developed literature reviews of policy and research, and crafted a framework and specifications to guide test development and reporting related to a game-changing revision—cognitive benchmarking—of the framework for this national assessment.
Study of Pre-Service Teacher Training in Beginning Reading
Using a nationally representative sample of 99 teacher-training programs, AIR developed a survey and knowledge assessment to investigate the extent to which pre-service teachers had acquired the content knowledge deemed necessary for success as a beginning in-service teacher.
Facilitating Reading Acquisition in Multilingual Environments
AIR is identifying significant predictors of reading success in multilingual, low-income urban centers and villages in South India and is assisting with developing reading and language tests, building local capacity in data collection, and disseminating findings to make curriculum for multilingual children more effective.
AIR has designed, developed, field-tested and refined professional development materials on research-based instructional approaches that work in formative assessment, differentiated instruction, self-regulated learning, lesson planning, strategy instruction, student-centered learning, questioning strategies, and universal design for learning.