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Improving Teacher Quality

Reading, Thinking and Writing in History and Science

Grant Number: 02-335

Grant Award: $1,010,800

Duration of Project: Friday, August 05, 2005 - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Project Subject Areas: History/Social Science and Science

Grade Band: 7-12

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • University of California, Davis


  • The History Project at UCD, History, Division of Social Sciences

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:



The overarching goals of this proposal are to improve student performance in four dimensions:
  • increase knowledge of history
  • increase knowledge of science
  • improve reading comprehension in history
  • improve reading comprehension in science.
These goals of student performance will be achieved through teachersí achievement of the following objectives: 1) mastery of a repertoire of reading strategies to help students make meaning from complex expository text, and identification of the evidence supporting historical and scientific claims; 2) learning techniques to scaffold studentsí ability to write explanation of concepts, models, and theories in science and explanations and arguments in history; and 3) develop classroom discourse structures that support cooperative group work.


All secondary science and social science teachers in the Grant District will receive 40 hours of Academic Literacy training and subsequent support via literacy coaches in both disciplines. Two formats for the Literacy training will be offered: a 40-hour (five day) summer institute and a seven-day, nonconsecutive, academic year pull-out program to meet the needs of the Grant district and assure that all teachers participate in the program. The Literacy Core in both disciplines will consist of three components: 1) instruction in specific reading comprehension strategies tailored to each discipline; 2) instruction in designing scaffolded writing assignments aligned to the Language Arts Standards for Grades Nine and Ten, designed to teach students how to summarize and synthesize information and how to construct arguments; 3) instruction in strategies for constructive classroom discourse that supports student understanding.

Anticipated Outcomes:

Outcomes expected from this work include:
  • increased knowledge of history, measured by CST
  • increased knowledge of science, measured by CST
  • improve reading comprehension in history, as measured by a specifically designed reading assessment; and
  • improved understanding and expression in science, as measured by a specifically designed writing assessment


Institute of Higher Education: Arthur Beauchamp ,
Local Education Agency: Adam Berman,

Questions, Comments, Corrections?

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