A Multi-Year Program of Research
In order to address the challenges of educating English learners in the middle grades (4-8), the national Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE), conducted a program of research designed to develop language and literacy skills while building grade level skills across the content areas. In the first years of the center, researchers conducted individual studies focused on specific programs and content areas. These individual studies were later integrated into a school-wide intervention that targeted 7th grade English learners. Research briefs, webinars, newsletters, journal articles, and annual conferences were used to disseminate research findings and instructional implications. The diagram below illustrates the organizational structure of the program of research.
Research Years 1-4: Individual Projects
During the first four years of the CREATE study, researchers developed individual interventions and tested them in tightly controlled experiments and randomized field trials with classroom teachers in the middle grades. The subject areas of focus included social studies, English language arts, and science. They also investigated the impact of the SIOP Model on science and language learning.
Research Years 5-6: School-wide CREATE Intervention
In the next phase of CREATE, the interventions and strategies examined in the individual projects were integrated into a two-year school-wide intervention. SIOP professional development instructional coaching, and content curricula were provided to social studies English language arts, and science teachers. Math teachers received SIOP professional development and weekly instructional tips.
Throughout the seven-year program of research, CREATE regularly disseminated updates on its activities, summaries of research findings, and other information relevant to its mission. These efforts included developing and updating the website, presenting webinars, organizing an annual conference, and preparing CREATE Briefs and other publications.
Core leadership was provided by David Francis, Director of CREATE, and Elfrieda Hiebert, Associate Director. The leadership team organized the annual conferences, analyzed research data and findings, and provided general guidance for implementation of the projects.