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Our professional development model has five components:

  • Appropriate environment 
  • Research-based curriculum 
  • Differentiated coaching 
  • Progress monitoring 
  • Content knowledge

Each component of the model is necessary for optimal learning to occur; however, alone, none are sufficient to create the “optimal learning sector” (OLS), for acceleration. This evidence-based model has been implemented in several research projects, including four Early Reading First (ERF) studies at OU. 

Professional Development Model

Appropriate environment includes aspects found within evidence-based pre-school curricula. These aspects encompass a safe and interesting physical environment (e.g., interest centers, literacy-rich displays of children’s work, classroom library and writing center, alphabet display, etc.), a daily routine with small and large group time that incorporates literacy as part of both focused and indirect instruction, and a classroom community in which oral language is stressed for relation building, as well as problem-solving. 

The ERF curriculum stresses early language, cognitive, and pre-reading skills that prepare children for continued school success. Pre-reading skills include oral language development, phonological awareness, print awareness, and alphabet knowledge.