Reading and Writing

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 401–423 | Cite as

Further evidence for teacher knowledge: supporting struggling readers in grades three through five

  • Deborah McCutchen
  • Laura Green
  • Robert D. Abbott
  • Elizabeth A. Sanders


We report the results of a study with 30 teachers designed to examine the effects of teacher knowledge on the achievement of struggling readers. We worked with teachers of grades three, four, and five during a 10-day intervention focused on literacy instruction and related linguistic knowledge, and we assessed their students’ learning across the year. Hierarchical models of student outcomes indicated that lower-performing students in intervention classrooms showed significantly higher levels of performance at year end on all literacy measures, compared with their peers in control classrooms (n = 140). In addition, teacher’s linguistic knowledge was related to improved student performance, regardless of condition. Additional analyses including all students (n = 718) indicated that benefits for the lower performing students in intervention classrooms were shared by their classmates, but to a more limited extent.


Reading instruction Teacher knowledge Phonological awareness Linguistic knowledge 



This research was supported by Center Grant P50HD 33812 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The authors wish to thank the teachers and students who cooperated in the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah McCutchen
    • 1
  • Laura Green
    • 2
  • Robert D. Abbott
    • 1
  • Elizabeth A. Sanders
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Communication Sciences & DisordersTexas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA

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