How will we partner with teachers?
Too often, research is done about teachers rather than with teachers. Because this project is meant to benefit educators and students, we are partnering with teachers throughout the process. In particular, teachers will work alongside members of the initiative during all phases of the project to analyze the data and co-construct a potential writing pathway. Below are the three phases of the project.
Phase I: September 2021 - August 2022
Phase I of the project focuses on answering the question: What are the daily writing strategies and approaches that teachers employ over the course of a full academic year in a wide range of classrooms and content areas? We will research practices in over 100 classrooms, surveying teachers daily in order to describe the kind of writing instruction they offer students. In addition, we will reflect individual data back to teachers through personalized, secure data dashboards.
Research will be conducted in racially and economically diverse schools and will focus on improving outcomes for students—particularly Black and Latino students and students experiencing poverty. As we review what is happening in classrooms, we will work with educators to identify effective practices, gain a working knowledge of how much instruction is needed to advance skills for students, and begin to examine when and how to introduce concepts and create opportunities to reteach them.
Phase II: September 2022 - June 2023
In Phase II of the project, we will engage schools in the process of Improvement Science. Specifically, the Writing Pathways staff will work with schools to create and test a pathway for writing instruction that 6th-12th grade teachers can use in their classrooms. Through this process, teachers will learn with and from each other as they share their innovations, challenges, and successes. In so doing, the participants will refine and improve the pathway that has been developed.
Phase III: from July 2023 onward
As the project evolves, this pathway will be published on an easy to use website and will be supported with a playbook for implementation, as well benchmark implementation data. All of these resources will be free, transparently presented, and open source in perpetuity so that educators everywhere can use them to support their students.
The website for the pathway will remain a living document. Teachers and schools will continue to test and provide feedback on the pathway, and it will be refined based upon ongoing input and feedback. Additionally, partnerships will be formed with additional schools and districts, curriculum developers, and teacher preparation programs to disseminate the guidance to educators around the country.