Recent Research Studies

Dr. Briedwell, principal in the St. Joseph, MO. school District

Dr. Briedwell conducted a quantitative study comparing K-2 student scores pre-PTR teacher training and post-PTR teacher training on the Text Reading Comprehension TRC assessment instrument for phonemic awareness and phonics.

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the first year of district-wide implementation of Pathways to Reading instruction in the St. Joseph School District on reading growth, as measured by the Text Reading Comprehension (TRC). This study explored reading growth for Kindergarten, First grade, and second grade students and examined the impact of Pathways to Reading instruction on students from various socio-economic backgrounds. Additionally, the study examined differences in reading growth between schools according to whether phonemic awareness instruction had been implemented one or two years.

Data revealed that Pathways to Reading instruction yielded statistically significant growth in reading for all grade levels at every TRC data point: beginning of year to middle of year, middle of year to end of year, and beginning of year to end of year. Students in each socio-economic status (SES) category (low, middle, high) demonstrated significant growth in reading at every TRC data point: beginning of year to middle of year, middle of year to end of year, and beginning of year to end of year. Finally, the analysis revealed not statistically significant differences in reading growth as a result of implementing one year or two years.

Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) Denver, CO.

A qualitative study in which a survey (Dr. Cheeseman of the University Of Colorado's survey) of basic knowledge and skills necessary to teach beginning reading - foundational reading of the common core standards was administered to 350 plus teachers. Some had PTR training and others did not have the training. The results indicated that teachers with PTR training were significantly more knowledgeable and possessed greater skills for teaching beginning reading when compared to those teachers who had not received PTR training. This was especially true of teachers who participated in the PTR Yr. 2 training - practicum working with students.

Dr. Karen Elder-Hurst, Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for Ray-Pec School District, MO.

This study explored teacher perceptions through a triangulation of data from surveys, interviews, and document analysis to identify how literacy curriculum implementation is affected in Kindergarten through second grade classrooms. The study explored teacher perceptions in regard to implementing the new literacy curriculum (Pathways to Reading). The study revealed how important the professional development can be in successful implementation that will lead to sustained and enriched learning for student's needs, embedded within the classroom for modeling and practice, and set in a culture of support while holding to high standards of expectations.

This school district pursued PTR professional development support, implemented Train the Trainer program offered by PTR and classroom support through on-site visits. The teachers perceptions were highly supportive of the Professional Development offered in the Yr. 1 training and the on-site support.

Since this study there has been significant results in student outcomes in Phonemic Awareness and Phonics knowledge and skill development. The greatest result is reported by teacher's perception of current students ability when compared to pre-PTR training students outcomes.

Dr. Donita Massengill-Shaw, Associate Professor in Literacy Education, Uni. Of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Dr. Shaw conducted a mixed design study comparing teacher's perception of knowledge gained in PTR training and first grade student outcomes on "non-sense word" assessments in two comparable school districts in the Kansas City area (Raymore-Peculiar and Harrisonville). The Raymore-Peculiar teacher's in their first year of implementing PTR after training were compared to the perceptions of non-trained PTR teachers in the Harrisonville school district. All teachers taught first grade. The knowledge and skills acquired by the Ray-Pec teacher's according to their perceptions enabled them to teach beginning reading at a more in-depth and individual student centered than at any other time in their teaching experience.

The first grade students at Ray-Pec school district scored significantly higher on the "non-sense word" assessment when compared to first grade students in Harrisonville. Non-sense word assessments provide a strong prediction of a student's ability to read - phonemic awareness is the component of reading process measured. This understanding was supported by the National Reading Panel (2001).