The University of Iowa

A Synthesis of Professional Development on the Implementation of Literacy Strategies for Middle School Content Area Teachers


This paper synthesized studies of professional development for middle school content area teachers and the teachers’ subsequent implementation of literacy strategies. Four studies were identified as having a majority of participants teaching English/reading, mathematics, science, and social studies in grades 6 through 8. Articles meeting the criteria included two qualitative studies of the impact of professional development on implementation of literacy strategies, one ethnographic study of the characteristics of content area teachers with strong implementation of literacy strategies, and one quasi-experimental study of the impact of professional development on student reading performance. Findings indicate that ongoing school wide initiatives that are responsive to teachers’ perceived needs hold promise for increasing literacy instruction across the curriculum and improving some student reading skills.


Reed, D. K. (2009). A synthesis of professional development on the implementation of literacy strategies for middle school content area teachers. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 32(10), 1-12.

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