Archived InformationTried and True: September 1997--The information in this publication was current as of September 1997, and has not been updated since. Some services described in the publication may no longer be available.
An Instructional and Professional Development Program
for Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Designed To Improve
|Developed and tested by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL)|
An interactive or strategic view focuses on reading not as the application of a set of skills, but as a process of constructing meaning. Constructing meaning begins before the reader actually engages in sustained reading, and it continues after the sustained reading stops. The reader links information in the text to his or her prior knowledge, then uses a repertoire of strategies to construct meaning.
The Strategic Teaching and Reading Project (STRP) grew out of this strategic reading concept. The project's objectives were (1) to improve reading instruction in all classrooms through sustained staff development, and (2) to improve the reading abilities of all students, at all levels, thus increasing reading skills across the content areas and promoting literacy as a lifelong goal.
To achieve these objectives, STRP focuses on professional development and is based on the premise that teachers must receive training and support in strategic teaching in order to help students become strategic readers and learners themselves. Research has indicated that effective and ongoing professional development is one of the key elements of effective teaching.
STRP views staff as lifelong learners who recognize the instructional benefits of constant exposure to new learning and, therefore, take responsibility for
Essentially a combination of professional development and classroom intervention, STRP has at its core five strategies:
These five strategies provide common tools within a framework for improved instruction in the content areas. STRP facilitates the team approach, which spreads the demands of instructional leadership among team members, builds on areas of expertise, fosters collaboration, and reduces threats to the continuity of the project that can come from staff turnover.
After years of research, today we know that
Significantly, in the Handbook of Research on Improving Instruction in Student Achievement, the Alliance for Curriculum Reform identifies strategic reading and writing as a solid, research-tested way to improve youngsters' reading achievement outcomes.
The results of these tests showed a positive difference in the participating students, staff, and schools. For example, analysis of classroom practice indicated that the longer teachers were in the project, the more strategically they taught. More important, third grade STRP students scored as much as four-tenths of a standard deviation higher on the strategy sub-scale of the Wisconsin Third Grade Reading Test than third graders in comparison schools.
Subsequent evaluations across a broader range of 33 urban, rural, and suburban schools and various types of students indicate that students in STRP schools scored higher than students in contrast schools at both elementary and high school levels. On average across the tasks, 40 percent of STRP students scored in the two highest rating categories (proficient and advanced), while only 14 percent of the contrast students scored in these categories. Only 19 percent of the STRP students scored in the lowest rating category (below basic), while more than half (56 percent) of the non-STRP students scored at this level.
In addition, STRP students performed significantly higher on open-ended tasks that required them to interpret, link text to personal experiences, summarize, and provide supporting evidence from the text. STRP students mediated their own comprehension--that is, they were aware when they understood or misunderstood much more frequently than were their counterparts.
After approximately 10 more years of pilot testing, revision, and refinement, NCREL has made the Strategic Teaching and Reading Project available to all schools nationwide.
STRP was the basis for in servicing the 200 teachers taking part in the Chicago Public Schools Summer School Bridge Program.
"An Introduction to the Strategic Teaching and Reading Project" videotape, updated edition, features four multilevel, cross-curriculum, strategic classrooms. The video supplements and reinforces the content and framework of the guidebook. It may be used as a staff development tool.
A set of six audiotapes also reinforces and supplements the content of the guidebook and features a detailed explanation of each strategy. The audiotapes are "Introduction," "Metacognition," "Prior Knowledge," "Word Meaning," "Inferencing," and "Text Structure."
On-site training and staff development sessions that are highly interactive and include practical applications of the project tailored for your district or your school and teachers.
Costs associated with implementing this program vary, depending on the components of the program being used.