Featured Projects

Research & Evidence

Reading Apprenticeship remains relevant and effective due to iterative cycles of research, development and practice in multiple contexts over the course of 20+ years. The core Reading Apprenticeship model has been shown to improve teacher practice and student learning in multiple independent studies, many of which can be accessed on this website. Additionally, SLI engages in ongoing learning and program improvement by working with researchers to examine the implementation and impact of Reading Apprenticeship innovations that include cross-disciplinary learning, digital and blended learning environments, and well as varied models of scale and dosage.

Download a 2-page summary of our evidence-base.

Further sources attesting to the strong evidence-base of Reading Apprenticeship include:

  • Reading Apprenticeship is ranked in the Evidence for ESSA website for middle/high school as programs with a strong evidence base. (www.evidenceforessa.org)
  • Reading Apprenticeship is 1 of 9 middle and high school programs recommended for effective social-emotional learning by the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL.org/guide)
  • Reading Apprenticeship in the IES What Works Clearinghouse (ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Intervention/728)
  • SLI has won five major innovation awards for evidence-based programs from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement. (https://innovation.ed.gov)

Featured Projects

Reading Apprenticeship SEED Grant

Supporting Effective Teaching with Disciplinary Inquiry

Supporting Effective Educator Development, U.S. Department of Education • 2018-2021

The goal of this three-year effort is to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning at the secondary level by providing evidence-based professional learning to 1500 teachers. Educators will participate in five days of face-to-face learning, as well as facilitated online and on-site team meetings. Teacher Leaders from each participating school will have opportunities for further development. Additionally, a STEM Inquiry Design Group will develop new resources for the field that deepen teaching and learning for science and engineering: topically aligned text-sets and tasks coupled with inquiry teaching guides that are open sourced. The Design Group will enable teachers to orchestrate science and engineering tasks with authentic forms of texts – including graphs, diagrams, visual models, and explanations characteristic of these disciplines – to support the development of discipline-specific reading and reasoning practices for their students.

Key Project Features

  • Dissemination of evidence-based PD
  • Teacher leader development
  • Research & evaluation
  • Develop open source science text sets

Grades 7 – 12
  • All subjects areas, but an emphasis on science teachers
  • Evaluation focused on outcomes for science teachers and students
read more download project abstract

Project READI

Reading, Evidence, and Argumentation in Disciplinary Instruction

Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Dept. of Education • 2011-2016

In the five-year READI project, the Strategic Literacy Initiative contributes its expertise in disciplinary literacy, teacher professional development, and science education to a national consortium investigating the role of evidence-based argumentation for increasing the reading comprehension of students in grades 6–12, both developmentally and in specific disciplines (history, science, and English literature). In fact, Project READI defines reading comprehension as the ability to support an argument, using discourse principles appropriate to the different disciplines. The project is collecting classroom data, collaborating with teachers, and developing instructional materials, formative assessments, and teacher professional development tools and materials. Reading Apprenticeship teachers and classrooms are helping to inform the research. SLI Co-director Cynthia Greenleaf is Co-principal Investigator on the project.

Key Project Features

Federal “moon shot” to improve reading comprehension
Key partner in national consortium developing
  • research
  • teacher professional development
  • curriculum
  • assessments

grades 6–12
  • science
  • history
  • literature

read more download project abstract

Reading Apprenticeship Community College STEM Network


This three-year effort is designed to create a sustainable network of California community college STEM faculty whose instructional practices increase students’ retention and success in STEM courses. About 160 faculty and administrators are participating in professional development that supports them to incorporate the Reading Apprenticeship framework in their instruction, to build knowledge about how metacognitive conversation can enhance learning in college STEM courses, and to extend inquiry into these practices across their home campuses—reaching more than 1,000 instructors and 160,000 students. It is anticipated that participants’ experiences will inform the national conversation about how best to support a diverse student body in STEM courses that lead to STEM careers.

Key Project Features

Develop STEM professional development tools and formats
Develop a professional community of practice
Disseminate through a professional network
community college
3 years
1,000 instructors
160,000 students
read more download project abstract

Reading Apprenticeship Across the Disciplines

Supporting Effective Educator Development, U.S. Dept. of Education • 2015–2018

Reading Apprenticeship Across the Disciplines is a three-year project that will increase the number of highly effective secondary teachers in multiple disciplines.

Research results will be available in 2019.

Key Project Features

Teacher leadership development
Blended online and face-to-face professional development
Middle school/high school pipeline

all subjects

3 years
300 schools
2,000 teachers
200,000 students
read more download project abstract