The Pathway Project: A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for Teachers of Secondary English Language Learners (2011)

Investigators: Carol Booth Olson, Penelope Collins (with Robin Scarcella, UCI School of Humanities; Robert Land, University of California, Los Angeles; David van Dyk, UCI Department of Statistics; James Kim, Harvard University; Russell Gersten, Instructional Research Group)

Funding: Institute of Education Sciences

The purpose of the Pathway Project study is to determine the efficacy of a reading/writing intervention that makes visible for teachers and their students the cognitive strategies that experienced readers and writers use to construct meaning from and with texts. The intervention is designed to enhance the academic reading and writing skills of secondary English language learners. The study focuses on two key research questions:

  1. To what extent does teacher involvement in the Pathway Project professional development model changed observed teaching practices of analytical reading and writing in secondary school classes serving mainstreamed English language learners?

  1. To what extent does teachers' implementation of the Pathway Project intervention improve academic outcomes for mainstreamed English language learners?

An experimental design is used to evaluate effectiveness of the intervention. Both teachers and students were randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions at the start of the study. The treatment students progress as a group into the classes of teachers in the experimental condition for three years.