Research & Evidence

High School U.S. History and Biology

A Study of the Efficacy of Reading Apprenticeship Professional Development for High School History and Science Teaching

This randomized controlled study was conducted in 99 matched high schools from 46 districts in California and Arizona that serve high proportions of African American, Latino, and English learner students. One hundred and fifty-nine teachers participated. The treatment was 10 days of Reading Apprenticeship teacher professional development specific to science and to history.

Teacher surveys and interviews indicate that treatment teachers of both subjects provided richer subject area and literacy instruction than control teachers over the year following professional development. In addition, teacher assignments were scored to rank features of subject area and literacy instruction; treatment teachers provided more effective assignments than control teachers.

Biology treatment students had standardized test scores in biology with an effect size suggesting they were well over a year ahead of control students on this measure. History treatment students had standardized test scores in history, as well as in reading comprehension and English language arts, with effect sizes suggesting they were well over a year ahead of the control students on these three measures.