Literacy Study Group

What is it?

The Literacy Study Group (LSG) is a web based professional development tool to prepare special education teachers to deliver high quality reading instruction to elementary students who have emotional and behavior disorders (EBD). This is a four year grant funded by Institute of Education Sciences (IES). This project aims to close the literacy gap that is often experienced by EBD students.

Why is this Important?

LSG was created to address the specific reading and behavior needs of students with emotional and behavior disorders. The goal is to link research based practices with classroom instruction. Research has found that:
  1. Reading achievement of students with EBD is low

    • Four out of five students with EBD experience significant reading difficulties
    • Students with EBD perform lower on standardized tests
    • EBD is a primary risk factor for chronic low academic achievement
  2.  Students with EBD have limited access to effective reading instruction

    • Students with EBD tend not to have access to core reading instruction because they are more likely to be in self-contained class
    • Research has indicated that teachers in these classes provided little to no instruction in reading
  3. Students with EBD are responsive to effective reading instruction

    • Students are responsive to core, supplemental, and individualized instruction
    • Effective instruction impacts engagement, motivation, and self-management skills
  4. Teachers focus more on attending to behavior than instruction

    • Academic needs of EBD students are often overshadowed by their behavioral needs
    • Teachers of students with EBD typically only devote about two hours a day for instruction
  5. There are limited opportunities for professional development in reading instruction for teachers of students with EBD

    • Teachers reported not feeling prepared to meet the academic needs of EBD students
  6. The literacy needs of students with EBD are distinct

    • Nearly nine out of ten public school students with EBD have language impairments that worsen over time
    • Two out of three students have a diagnosable language disorder

How are we doing this?

With the collaboration of experts from IRIS Educational Media, the University of Oregon’s Center on Teaching and Learning, and Tacoma Public Schools, we are designing learning modules for teachers of students with EBD. These innovative modules will give teachers the opportunity to learn evidence based practices, implement these practices in their own classrooms, and receive useful feedback from peers. Our hope is that these modules will provide the needed training to teachers across the nation so that the academic and behavioral needs of all students can be met.

Want to learn more?

Contact the LSG Project Manager
Maryclaire Ellis
ellismc@uw.edu