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Reading grades studied

9 – 12

Reading Apprenticeship

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Reading Apprenticeship (RA) is a family of high school programs designed to improve students’ literacy by integrating metacognitive strategy instruction into content areas, especially science and social studies. All Reading Apprenticeship variations incorporate extensive reading, collaborative sense-making, and teaching of meta-cognitive skills such as prediction, summarization, graphic organizers, and clarification. Teachers receive extensive professional development and coaching, including analyses of classroom video and modeling of reasoning processes.

The most successfully evaluated of the RA models is Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy (RAAL), the only RA program targeted to struggling readers. In RAAL, students reading 2 to 5 years below grade level receive RA instruction during a daily class period, replacing non-reading electives such as art or music.

Other Reading Apprenticeship variations work with whole grades or whole schools. Teachers receive ten day-long professional development sessions over a period of up to two years. Reading Apprenticeship Improving Secondary Education (RAISE) is very similar to the original RA, and iRAISE is another variation that differs only in that professional development is provided online.

Program Outcomes

One large study evaluated each of the Reading Apprenticeship variations. Only the national study of RAAL, the targeted version, had significant positive effects in comparison to a control group (effect size = +0.10), which qualifies all of Reading Apprenticeship for the ESSA “Strong” category. A study of RAISE in California and Pennsylvania also had non-significant but positive effects (effect size = +0.14). The overall mean impact across the four variations was +0.11.

Staffing Requirements

RAAL:  At least one teacher assigned to at least one year-long dedicated class for RAAL; optimally several teachers will teach one or more sections of the RAAL course, providing support for learning about the resources and new practices involved.

RAISE:  Summer release time/daily rate if needed (5 days 1st summer, 2 days winter, 3 days 2nd summer)

Professional Development/Training

A 5-day Pre-course institute; 2-day Fall Institute
B Coaching on-site 4 times/year and online 8 times/year
C Options for 2nd Year development, connections to broader school literacy, and annual “tune-up” online meetings with coaches

RAISE: Summer release time/daily rate if needed (5 days 1st summer, 2 days winter, 3 days 2nd summer)


RAAL: Document Camera (or overhead projector) with pens, Post-its for students’ annotations, video viewing