ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Education & Human Development professor David Houchins has received a four-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Center for Special Education Research to study a blended learning literacy program in juvenile justice schools.
Houchins will work with Rebecca Hines from the University of Central Florida and Deborah Reed from the University of Iowa on the grant, entitled, “Literacy Instruction Based on Evidence through Research for Adjudicated Teens to Excel (LIBERATE).”
Teachers at seven long-term juvenile justice schools in Florida will learn how to implement a specific blended learning literacy program, which incorporates textbooks, computer software, trade books and supplementary worksheets in a combination of whole-group, small-group, computer-based activities and individual work.
The research team will analyze the effects of the program on the literacy outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities. They will examine the conditions that support or hinder the blended learning program’s implementation in juvenile justice settings, study the program’s cost-effectiveness and explore the relationship among youth, teacher and administrator factors and literacy instruction.
“Research shows students with and without disabilities in juvenile justice schools often demonstrate serious literacy deficits,” Houchins said. “In addition, the prevalence of students with disabilities in juvenile justice schools is about three times greater than in typical schools. Juvenile justice schools need evidence-based programs in which to invest. This project seeks to address this need by developing and pilot testing an intervention package for students in juvenile justice settings.”
For more information about the project, visit https://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=622.