Reading Psychology (2017)
This journal publishes original manuscripts in the fields of literacy, reading, and related psychology disciplines. Articles appear in the form of completed research; practitioner-based "experiential" methods or philosophical statements; teacher and counselor preparation services for guiding all levels of reading skill development, attitudes, and interests; programs or materials; and literary or humorous contributions. All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymous refereeing by two anonymous referees.
Exploring the impact of engaged teachers on implementation fidelity and reading skill gains in a blended learning reading program
Schechter, R., Kazakoff, E.R., Bundschuh, K., Prescott, J.E., Macaruso, P.
The number of K–12 classrooms adopting blended learning models is rapidly increasing and represents a cultural shift in teaching and learning; however, fidelity of implementation of these new blended learning programs varies widely. This study aimed to examine the role of teacher engagement in student motivation and achievement in a blended learning environment. Reading skill data were analyzed from 19,366 students across 624 schools led by teachers defined as engaged users of a blended learning reading program (Lexia Reading Core5 [Core5]). Results showed significant improvements in reading skills during the analyzed period for the students of the engaged teachers in comparison to neighboring classrooms (171,850 students in the same 624 schools) of less engaged teachers.
Key Findings and Implications
Students of participating teachers began the study with significantly higher Core5 online usage fidelity and units completed than students of teachers not participating in the usage contest. Results of this pre-contest comparison indicated teachers who participated in the contest, on average, were more engaged with the blended learning program and monitoring fidelity of use prior to the contest than non-participating teachers.
Students in classrooms that participated in the contest had higher fidelity of use during the contest and, consequently, more time to complete reading units in Core5 compared to students in neighboring non-participating classrooms.
A post-contest comparison showed that students in participating classrooms had significantly more units gained in Core5 than students in non-participating classrooms. This study demonstrated with a large national sample that teacher engagement had a significant impact on student progress in reading. This study confirmed prior research on the importance of engaged teachers for positive student outcomes.
Professional development that fosters an environment where teachers believe they can successfully implement innovative programs (e.g., Core5) in their classrooms are particularly valuable (Abrami, Poulsen, & Chambers, 2004). Lexia’s Implementation Support Packages offerings can help empower teachers to be more engaged with their students, leading to better student outcomes.