Improving ELA instruction in DE classrooms
UD literacy professors Josh Wilson and Charles MacArthur received an IES grant to study the effect PEG Writing software has on nearly 3,000 students from Red Clay School District in grades 3-5. The grant partners them with Gaysha Beard, supervisor of Red Clay’s English language arts (ELA).
This grant is the product of three years of prior partnership work, initially supported by UD’s School of Education.
Wilson’s preliminary research in Red Clay and Colonial School District has found that the use of the software helps teachers identify struggling writers early in the school year, allowing them to offer support to those students sooner.
Wilson, who received his doctorate in special education, also found that, on average, students with disabilities participating in the general education curriculum were able to produce writing of equal quality to their non-disabled peers, even when their first drafts were significantly weaker.
After analyzing students’ and teachers’ use of GoogleDocs and PEG Writing, Wilson found that students in the PEG Writing group showed an increase in writing motivation.
Wilson, MacArthur and Beard’s research will potentially inform the district’s decision to purchase PEG Writing and help increase student writing achievement without increasing the burden on teachers.