A number of well-designed studies confirm the effectiveness of instructional strategies and professional development approaches supported by the work of the Illinois Writing Project:
“Writing Project Professional Development Continues to Yield Gains in Student Writing Achievement,” National Writing Project, 2010. Summarizes 16 studies demonstrating that professional development programs designed and delivered by NWP sites have a positive effect on the writing achievement of students across grade levels, schools, and contexts. The specific studies can be accessed here.
“Writing to Read: Evidence of How Writing Can Improve Reading.” Carnegie Corp., 2010. This report reviews studies showing that effective use of writing improves students’ reading. Strategies include writing personal and analytical responses to reading, note-taking, and teaching writing processes.
“Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools.” Carnegie Corp., 2007. This report reviews studies that confirm 11 instructional strategies that are effective for improving students’ achievement in writing. These include students working collaboratively, focusing on processes for writing, and using writing to learn in content areas.
“Authentic Intellectual Work and Standardized Tests: Conflict or Coexistence?” Chicago Consortium on School Research (University of Chicago) 2001. Study showing that students score higher on standardized tests when writing assignments involve authentic intellectual work.
“Instruction and Achievement in Chicago Elementary Schools,” Chicago Consortium on School Research (University of Chicago) 2001. Study showing that when instruction is interactive, rather than presentational – i.e., when students participate by speaking or writing, rather than just by hearing teacher lectures – they learn more and perform better on standardized tests.