Impact Evaluation of Reading Apprenticeship Across the Disciplines

Official Title
Impact Evaluation of Reading Apprenticeship Across the Disciplines
United States
Program Evaluations
Impact Evaluations
U.S. Department of Education
Sub To
Group-Randomized Controlled Trial
Mixed Methods Research
Impact Evaluation Studies

Reading Apprenticeship is a model of academic literacy instruction designed by the Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) at WestEd to improve student literacy skills and academic achievement. Based on understandings of the close relationship between curricular reform and professional development, Reading Apprenticeship include an instructional framework and associated professional development model for secondary and post-secondary teachers across the academic subject areas. Guided by the instructional framework, reading instruction is integrated into subject-area teaching, rather than being an instructional add-on or additional curriculum. Teachers across the subject areas learn how to build student capacities to carry out intellectually engaged reading, make meaning, acquire academic and disciplinary language, read independently, and set personal goals for literacy development.

Since 1995, SLI has developed and refined the Reading Apprenticeship instructional framework and professional development model through iterative research and development processes in collaboration with practitioners around the U.S. serving varied populations. In recent years, Reading Apprenticeship has adopted technological innovations such as online discussion tools, course delivery platforms, and video conferencing to design interactive inquiry activities and virtual professional learning groups to support teacher learning.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education awarded SLI a three-year Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant to disseminate Reading Apprenticeship professional learning through the Reading Apprenticeship Across the Disciplines (RAAD) project, a cross-disciplinary blended model of Reading Apprenticeship. Through RAAD, WestEd served 2,240 teachers from 570 schools in 6 states (California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin). As part of the grant, IMPAQ International conducted an independent evaluation of RAAD effectiveness. This report presents findings from the randomized controlled trial conducted in California, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin.


IMPAQ conducted a group-randomized controlled trial complemented with qualitative data collection from participating teachers to measure the RAAD impact on student science achievement and teacher teaching practices and to unpack the mechanisms of change.

Experience & Expertise

We have worked previously with WestEd on two other evaluation studies of Reading Apprenticeship professional development. We are currently working on our fourth evaluation study of Reading Apprenticeship, bringing new evidence and insights of the professional development model with each study to the program team at SLI at WestEd and to the broader education research community.

On this project, the IMPAQ team consisted of experienced Senior Research Associates and Research Analysts. Decades of combined experience in rigorous experimental designs, mixed methods research, survey development, and advanced statistical analyses are combined with education domain experience.