About This Project
mathematics, and science networks will provide local districts with current
information about scientifically research-based instructional practices
that may be used for determining the content of the district career development
plans. The purposes of the Iowa Content Network are:
To help local districts to attain their goal(s) for increasing student
To provide local districts and AEAs with a resource for identifying strategies
that are research-based and have the potential for implementation in Iowa
To support the implementation of the Iowa Student Achievement and Teacher
Quality Program and to address the requirements of No Child Left Behind.
of Iowa educators have read and analyzed the research studies and rated
them using the attached criteria.
This effort intends 1) to support districts in searching for staff development
content that addresses student needs and 2) to inform districts of potential
content of which they may be unaware. In addition, as districts work to
comply with the No Child Left Behind requirement for scientifically researched
content, Iowa's content network teams are identifying content that meets
federal criteria and other content that shows promise for increasing student
achievement (but which does not presently meet all criteria specified
by No Child Left Behind).
network teams began their reviews of research in the areas of reading,
mathematics, and science. The current reviews are not exhaustive, and
additional content is regularly being reviewed and added to this site.
The Department welcomes input from Iowa educators about studies that could
potentially be inclusions on this site.
on improving teacher effectiveness and raising student achievement through
scientifically based research (SBR) is fundamental to successfully implementing
the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Act requires application of scientifically
based research in the curricular areas of reading, mathematics and science,
instructional methods and strategies, and professional development.
NCLB requires educators to be good consumers of SBR; being a good consumer of SBR practices and programs requires districts to do the following:
implementation of SBR practices and programs, educators will have greater
confidence that what they are doing in the classroom will have the greatest
likelihood of improving student performance. Part of the challenge will
be to accept the research and be prepared to change policies and practices.
Educators must examine what is taught, when it is taught, and how it is
of Iowa educators were formed to review studies of instructional strategies
in reading, mathematics, and science. Three networks made up of 40 educators
represent a variety of agencies and role groups including universities,
area education agencies, school districts, and the Iowa Department of
Education. Members are teachers, professors, and consultants. Individuals
were invited to participate in this work based on an extensive knowledge
in their content area, their interest in research, and a willingness to
carefully analyze and discuss scientific studies and journal articles
in their content area.
training session facilitated by Dr. Beverly Showers prepared the network
members to use a process for reviewing research and applying a set of
criteria for determining the quality of the research.
members received an orientation to the Iowa Professional Development Model
and skill training in a process for reviewing research; the review process
applies the NCLB federal definition, along with State criteria, to placing
research studies on a continuum. The research continuum is described in
the Definitions page (http://www.iowa.gov/educate/prodev/definitions.html#pyramid_anchor).
Members conducted a preliminary search to identify initial literature
sources to study in the content areas of reading, math, and science. Following
that introductory training and practice, the members were encouraged to
identify and study additional research pieces.
individually or in pairs, the network members applied the research review
process and completed a "documentation sheet" for each study/initiative
reviewed. The content groups met to share and review their work. To
begin viewing studies, follow the Reading, Mathematics, or Science links
in the left margin of the Content Network main page: http://www.iowa.gov/educate/prodev/main.html.
an initial review of literature, Content Network teams compiled and organized
their results. Reviews were screened and quality was evaluated according
to the established criteria. This process identified areas from which
little research had been collected. Additional research was then gathered
in order to make available an extensive representation of resources that
have a scientific research base.
empirical studies that measured student results were reviewed. Textbook
series were not reviewed. The selection of strategies reviewed is intended
to assist districts as they strengthen their professional development
The Content Network teams' reviews are not exhaustive. Additional content is being regularly reviewed and added to the website. The Department welcomes input from Iowa educators on studies that should be added to this work in progress.
Updated November 5, 2004 (Gere)