• Effective professional development for literacy coaches.

      Beebe, Matthew (2014)
      This thesis examines aspects of professional development that a literacy coach might focus on in order to provide a positive impact on professional literacy practice of classroom teachers. An extensive literature review was conducted to determine an answer. The selected studies sort into four categories: high quality professional development for educators, specific types and methods of delivery of professional development, delivery of professional findings from the high quality category indicate high quality professional development appears to be that which matches school district goals, is relevant to the participants, and consists of active participation and collaboration. From the types and delivery methods category, findings are that beneficial delivery methods are those that model for participants the strategies being taught and provide a large amount of time for follow-up support. Specifically for professional development in technology, a hands-on use delivery method appears to be effective, while peer coaching with observations appears to be an effective delivery method for professional development generally. Findings from the delivery of professional development through technology category indicate that online professional development through message boards appears to be a more comfortable way for some professionals to learn; however, other professionals prefer a more focused and moderated forum for their online professional development. Findings from the category of literacy coaching as a form of professional development reveal that literacy coaches seem to be most effective at changing teacher practice when they demonstrate and model how to use a strategy, when they discuss assessments and assessment results with the educators, when they provide feedback after observations, and generally when they have a good rapport with the teachers.
    • The use of incentives for motivating students to read.

      West, Trina M. (2014)
      Motivating students to read seems to be a near universal problem for teachers. To address that problem, the question for this research synthesis is, what does research say about the relationship between reading incentives and a student’s motivation to read? Results of this synthesis indicate that research into motivation and incentives, both generally and for reading, focuses mainly on students in the elementary school age range. For the effects of incentives in general, findings indicate that while tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools, the greater impact on motivation and academic performance comes from teacher verbal encouragement and activity selection, and student interests and intrinsic motivation. For the effects of incentives specifically for reading motivation, findings indicate that these effects are similar to effects of incentives generally: that tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools but appear to have little impact on student motivation to read, and that the greater impact on reading motivation and academic performance can come from certain types of reading instruction, student access to books, and student intrinsic motivation. These findings are relevant to the professional development of elementary teachers and will therefore be disseminated to them through a professional development video.