Reading Discussions and Reading Comprehension: Sustainability in Teacher Development and Opportunities for Student Learning

Project Number
OER 40/12 RS

Project Duration
January 2013 - March 2017


This project is a continuation of two projects funded by the ERFP: - The Impact of Negotiation for Meaning on Reading Comprehension among Singapore Primary Students project (NFM/RC) (OER 29/08 RS), which ran from March 2009 to August 2011 - Comprehending Reading Comprehension: An Intervention in P4 Reading project (CRC)(OER 09/10 RS) which started in December 2010 and will be completed in March 2013. The two prior studies are built around a teacher professional development program focusing on the role of classroom discourse and discussion for improving reading comprehension. Both projects made use of workshops led by the research team, collaborative lesson planning by the participating teachers, lesson practice sessions for feedback from the research team and participating teachers, and lesson observations followed by interviews and/or written reflections. The projects focused on introducing and developing teacher expertise in open-ended, exploratory discourse to enhance reading comprehension, specifically making use of the reading strategy Questioning-the-Author (e.g. Beck & McKeown, 2002; Beck, McKeown, Sandora, Kucan, & Worthy, 1996) and 'negotiation for meaning' (e.g. Pica, 1994) to encourage teacher-fronted and peer discussions which enhance critical thinking and reading comprehension skills (cf. Van den Branden, 2000). The projects were launched as collaboration between the research team and participating school with the goal of enhancing student reading comprehension and teacher understanding of the importance of classroom discourse. Specifically, the school was interested in developing teacher expertise in more open-ended classroom discussions to enhance reading and thinking skills across the curriculum. The school also requested a long-term commitment from the research team (4-5 years) to foster scalability within the school (from the initial participating teachers to others in the schools) and sustainability (through developing the initial teacher participants as leaders of study groups to continuously improve pedagogical practices). With this background in mind, the goal of the proposed project is to continue this research-intervention collaboration with the school throughout 2013. During 2012, the research team has continued to lead some parts of the intervention (eg. workshops and feedback sessions) while the participating teachers worked together on lesson development and with the research team on feedback of lesson practices. During 2013, the research team will progressively 'pull back' from leading the intervention while encouraging the first generation of participating teachers to take on greater leadership roles. At the same time, the research team will continue to monitor teacher development through periodic observations and interviews and through student testing.

Research Themes
English Language & Mother Tongue Languages

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 14 (2014): Sustaining Good Classroom Interventions
NIE Research Briefs No. 16-017: The Crucial Time Factor in Sustainable Teacher Development and Assessment of Student Outcomes
ReEd Vol 21 (2017): In Pursuit of Continuous Teacher Development

Related Projects