National Writing Project

Local Sites Research Initiative V Missouri Writing Projects Network Study of Missouri Literacy Academies

By: Keri Franklin, Amy Lannin
Date: November 3, 2011

Summary: This study analyzes the effects of the Literacy Academy, a statewide professional development program facilitated by the Missouri Writing Projects Network (MWPN). Results of this study suggest the effectiveness of the Literacy Academy model of the National Writing Project approach in improving student writing. Overall, program students improved more, and improved in more of the assessed categories, than comparison students.


Excerpt from Report

Teachers consistently called the Literacy Academies "the best PD" they had ever experienced: 100 percent of the interviews, as well as numerous emails, phone conversations, and surveys, included such statements.

Factors that teachers highlighted included:

  • affirmation of teacher as writer and as professional
  • intense face-to-face time
  • classroom visits to provide specific guidance
  • ongoing access to facilitators (email questions and get an answer; use of online resources)
  • relationship established between facilitator and teacher
  • increase in state test scores for communication arts
  • connection to other content areas
  • enhanced teacher and student ability to reflect

Echoing many teachers' enthusiastic comments, Heather summarized her experience in the Literacy Academies this way: "I'm a million times over a better teacher!"

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