Donna Scanlon and Colleagues Awarded FIPSE Grant

Albany, NY (October 22, 2010) - Donna Scanlon (PI), Reading, and Co-PIs Kim Anderson and Ginny Goatley, Reading, and Lynn Gelzheiser, Educational and Counseling Psychology, received $790,000 for a three-year U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education project titled Enhancing Teacher Knowledge and Skills Related to Early Literacy Instruction

Donna ScanlonThe goal of the project is to enhance the preparation of pre-service teachers with regard to their ability to provide effective instruction to early literacy learners, particularly those who struggle at the early stages of literacy development. This goal will be addressed by providing instructors who teach language arts and/or reading methods courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels with 1) professional development and 2) instructional materials and activities to use when teaching.

The core of the professional development curriculum is the Interactive Strategies Approach to promoting literacy development (Scanlon, Anderson & Sweeney, 2010; Vellutino & Scanlon, 2002), designed around essential instructional goals related both to learning to identify words and to comprehending text.  Adjunct faculty, graduate assistants, and beginning professors are a particular focus of this project as they are typically early in their career and less likely to have had the opportunity to read a broad range of the professional literature and/or the time for extensive development of course materials that reflect the research on early literacy development and intervention. 

Participating instructors will engage in webinars to learn the curriculum content and, thereafter, will have access to the materials to use in their courses. At the outset of the project, participants will engage in live webinars which will be archived for later review by participants and, ultimately, for use by teacher educators who do not have access to the live webinars. The use of archived webinars is intended to enhance the sustainability of the innovations instituted with FIPSE funding.