Sense-Making in the Disciplines: Supporting Reading and Argumentation in Literature and History

Project: Research project

Project Details


Purpose: We propose to refine and expand the development of a digital tool to support close analytic reading and argumentation in the disciplines of literature and history and to pilot test its implementation building on an instructional framework developed in a prior IES funded Project READI and earlier work in Cultural Modeling, in 8th and 9th grade classrooms. Design and testing of functionality of the original design of the tool for literature was conducted in Project READI. We further propose to conduct a series of basic studies to examine comprehension processes in this sample documenting differences between good and poor readers by discipline, to inform the iterative process of further developing the tool and the curricular infrastructure for implementation. Setting: The studies will take place in the Chicago metro region. Sample: In year 1 basic studies will recruit eighty-eight 9th graders and in year 2 sixty- four. Students in basic studies will be from schools in metro Chicago region. In year 3, sixty 8th graders and 200 9th graders will be recruited from Chicago schools. In year 4, 200 9th graders will be recruited for the intervention 200 9th graders from the area will be recruited as a comparison group for outcome assessments. Intervention: Basic studies will be conducted in years 1 and 2 examining basic comprehension processes between good and poor readers by discipline. Years 1 and 2 will also be used to expand and further refine the architecture of the digital tool, refining in literature, expanding to history, and building out architecture to support ease of authoring function, research analytic tools, and ease of data retrieval by teachers. In year 3, the design – the digital tool and the instructional framework – will be piloted in 8th and 9th grade classrooms. In year 4, with further refinements in both the tool and the instructional framework based on data from pilot implementations in year 3 will be tested in a quasi-experimental design with a comparison group of 9th grade students. Control: A control sample of 9th grade literature and history classrooms – matched by demographics and spread of generic reading levels – representing a business as usual model will be compared to the experimental classrooms implementing the intervention. Research design: We will engage in evidence-based design (Mislevy, Steinberg & Almond, 2003), using findings from basic studies, from earlier findings from Project READI, informed by the relevant extant body of research on reading and argumentation in literature and history to guide refinements of the digital tool and the instructional infrastructure. Analyses will include mixed methods. Key measures: Outcome measures for the interventions will include project developed pre-post disciplinary assessments, PARCC ELA and PSAT 8/9. Discipline-specific measures of individual differences are epistemology, coping with stress, and intelligence as malleable, and the TRIPOD, which assesses students’ perceptions of the classroom context. Classrooms will be categorized as higher or lower with respect to Integration of the tool with classroom instruction based on several dimensions of activity (e.g., tasks, texts, classroom discourse patterns, student written work). Data analytic strategies: Basic studies hypotheses will be tested using analytic and statistical methods appropriate for parametric and nonparametric data. For the intervention studies, statistical modeling techniques (i.e., path analysis and/or Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)) using maximum likelihood estimation wi
Effective start/end date7/1/188/31/23


  • Institute of Education Sciences (R305A180463-21)


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