Grant Projects

A 4-Year Efficacy Study (2017-2021)

The purpose of this 4-year study is to investigate the efficacy of the SIWI professional development program for improving teacher knowledge and practices, and to examine the writing and language outcomes of deaf students receiving SIWI in grades 3-6 compared to a business-as-usual group.


A 3-Year Development Project (2012-2015)

Previous studies showed SIWI to be an effective practice for improving the writing and language outcomes of deaf middle school students. The purpose of this 3-year project was to develop the SIWI curriculum, instructional materials, and teacher resources for implementation with deaf students in grades 3 to 5, and to conduct a study of promise. An initial randomized controlled trial (N=78) showed SIWI positively impacts the English grammar (ES=0.53 to 0.71), length of writing (ES=1.31), genre-specific features of recount and information report writing (ES=2.64; 1.01, respectively), and writing motivation (ES= 0.53 to 0.68) of deaf elementary students. There was also a statistically significant difference between SIWI and comparison groups on all writing variables measured by the Woodcock Johnson III: spelling, fluency, writing samples (ES=1.01 to 1.82).


SIWI Gets to the Core! Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (2014)

This professional development (PD) program supported teachers and administrators of the deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) from the state of Tennessee with 30 hours of PD. The PD focused on developing teacher knowledge in the Grade 6-12 Common Core State Standards in Reading (CCSS-Reading): Literature and Informational Text. Implementation of the CCSS-Reading by teachers of the d/hh, specifically teachers in the content areas, was enacted using Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) pedagogical approaches. During the PD program, teachers were introduced to a model of SIWI in which they could integrate the CCSS-Reading along with content area standards to accomplish language, literacy and content area objectives. The program included a spring online discussion, a one-week summer workshop, and a fall classroom observation and reflection.

Write On! Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (2012)

Teachers and administrators of the deaf with varying levels of experience with Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) collaborated over an academic year on the implementation of writing instruction. Three cohorts ran simultaneously consisting of educators new to SIWI, those with one year of experience, and educators who trained to be school-based mentors. By designing a program for beginner and advanced teachers of SIWI, we were able to schedule opportunities for teachers to share and learn from each other, both during a spring online meeting and a summer workshop. More advanced teachers brought classroom video footage and materials to share with others, as well as practical experiences and data of student successes. The collaborative work among the three cohorts helped educators make connections within and across schools.

Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction: A two-year focus on the language and literacy development of deaf and linguistically diverse students (2010-2011)

This two-year professional development (PD) program supported teachers and administrators of the deaf as they learned about effective strategies, methods, techniques and practices for teaching writing to their K-12 students. Educators participated in a week-long workshop and engaged in onsite instructional support.

Evidence-based Language and Literacy Interventions for the Deaf (2009)

Teachers, administrators, and support staff participated in a professional development program that focused on the implementation of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI). After participating in a one-week workshop over the summer, participants collaborated with the project team at their schools for additional opportunities for contextualized practice and reflection.

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