Readers' Theatre: A Viable Reading Strategy?, Guy Trainin and Nancy Andrzejczak
A series of designed experiments analyzed the impact of Readers Theatre as an instructional strategy to improve oral reading fluency and comprehension. Study research designs progressed from a pull-out intervention with a single expert delivering instruction to a scaled-up model with multiple grade levels and teachers. Throughout the three studies, Readers Theatre demonstrated a significant impact on student achievement. The scaling up process not only investigated the efficacy of the approach, but also began to come to grips with the ever increasing issues of professional development and implementation fidelity. These issues of scalability are essential for the translation of research into practice. -Download the Adobe .pdf here
Visual Arts and Writing a Mutually Beneficial Relationship, Guy Trainin, Nancy Andrzejczak, and Monique Poldberg
This study focused on integrating art and literacy in elementary classrooms, grades 2-4, to benefit students’ writing, language, visual art production and art appreciation. The curriculum linked explicitly art making and writing. Implementation in year one with newly trained teachers impacted student achievement positively. Self created pictures drawn before writing enhanced the quality of writing by presenting a physical reality and complex texturing not available to students otherwise. Both writing quality and quantity grew as compared with controls and the school district as a whole. Student artistic observation also improved but still reflected a generally low level. Achievement gains transferred into gains in standardized tests of language and reading.
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Project RAISE, Reading and Arts Integrated for Student Excellence, Final Report, Nancy Andrzejszak
Project RAISE is a federally funded Arts Education Model Program Development and Dissemination Grant (AEMPDD). The proposal was granted funding for three years from 2001-2002 until 2003-2004. The proposal had two strands, one investigating the impact of a visual art strategy and the second examining the impact of Readers Theatre on reading comprehension. Findings show that: Students whose teachers used the program with high fidelity outperformed low fidelity classrooms in writing performance, aesthetic response writing, and the California Standards Test (CST) in English Language Arts. Teachers who adapted the program to their own context maintained involvement and their students tended to out perform other teachers who did not contextualize the program. Teachers reported that the program increased student motivation and improved writing and this was supported in the data. Readers Theatre does have a positive impact on student’s reading achievement in terms of comprehension and fluency. Readers Theatre was difficult to implement in classrooms due to time constraints and preparation needed. This impacted the fidelity and sustainability. -Download the Adobe .pdf here