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Institute Work

Researching and Documenting Effectiveness

The effect of professional development training provided by the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute yields significant positive impact student outcomes and teacher practice.

Student writing improves when teachers employ strategies presented by the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute. A three-year study documents that fourth-grade students in a district served by MWTI significantly outperformed students in similar comparison groups on the state writing assessment.

Subgroups in the MWTI district that consistently and significantly outperformed those in the comparison districts included:

Research also indicates that teachers actually implement strategies presented in the MWTI professional development sessions. At the end of year one, teachers in the study were using MWTI strategies at a rate of 55%; at the end of year two, 81%; and at the end of year three, 93%.

Students of teachers implementing MWTI strategies at higher levels tend to score higher on state writing assessments. A moderate and highly significant correlation between the degree of implementation and class means on the state writing assessment was found. Generally, the greater the implementation of MWTI strategies, the greater the mean of the class scores on the state writing assessment.

Conclusion: Investment in MWTI professional development can result in increased student writing achievement, which will be of significant value when in preparing students for success on statewide and national assessments.

Source: NWP Research Brief - proof of success nationally and in MS.