Carla Wood, Professor in FSU’s School of Communication Science and Disorders and Christopher Schatschneider, Professor in Psychology at FSU recently received federal funding in partnership with Hillsborough County Public School District to evaluate students’ writing outcomes in approximately 44 elementary schools. The research grant from the National Center for Education Research (NCER) of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will provide the FSU research team and personnel in Hillsborough County with funding to examine writing outcomes of over 3,000 students, including English Learners from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
This newly funded project builds on an existing partnership of a larger project of the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Soughteast, funded by the National Center for Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) at IES. The FSU research team on the overarching project, Word Knowledge Instruction (WKI), includes: Dr. Barbara Foorman, REL-Southeast Director, Frances Eppes Professor of Education, Principal Investigator on WKI), Dr. Carla Wood, Dr. Sarah Herrera, and Dr. Jennifer Dombek. The WKI project of the REL-Southeast is a randomized control trial study examining the impact of a 20-week daily intervention on 5th grade students’ language and literacy outcomes. The curriculum was developed at Florida State University and is designed to build students’ knowledge of morphology (the smallest meaningful units of language) to improve students’ ability to deduce the meaning of academic vocabulary words. The development and evaluation of the curriculum is a response to Hillsborough County’s desire to bolster outcomes of students in low-performing schools and improve outcomes for students from linguistically diverse backgrounds.