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The IERI Research Community :: Projects :: Reading Education

IERI and Reading Education

Literacy is the cornerstone of academic success. However, the United States has only average reading test scores internationally, while several minority groups within the U.S. have long-standing and persistent gaps in literacy achievement compared with whites. The Interagency Education Research Initiative is helping to improve the literacy skills of all American children by funding 51 projects that focus on reading learning outcomes. This represents 50% of the projects funded to date by this joint effort of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), and the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD).

Of these 46 reading-related projects, 22% aim to improve teaching skills, 51% change the way reading is taught, and another 16% do both. Assessing students’ decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency skills is the focus of 11% of projects. Critical areas addressed by these projects include creating foundational skills for very young children; identifying and assisting children who are most at-risk of falling behind; providing resources to underserved communities, children with special needs, or non-native English speakers; and using reading instruction to improve math and science instruction as well. Many projects also use video or digital tools to help automate teacher training or classroom interventions.

More than half (58%) of these IERI-funding reading projects are classified as “scaling” projects. Such projects attempt to determine the effectiveness of interventions beyond the initial “laboratory” or classroom settings. Going to scale for some reading projects means delivering proven interventions to children with learning disabilities or living in poor urban neighborhoods, while other projects are looking to build educational capacity by incorporating instructional technologies that promote the spread and sustainability of an intervention.

More information about the IERI projects that focus on reading learning outcomes can be found by clicking on the project titles below:

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