Drs. Nash and Hollins receive a Spencer Foundation Small Grant Award

Kindel Turner Nash

Kindel Nash, PhD

Etta Hollins, PhD

Etta Hollins, PhD

Drs. Nash and Hollins, assisted by Ms. Leah Panther have been awarded a Spencer Small Grant in the amount of $47,716.00 to investigate the high-leverage practices of high-performing early literacy teachers across multiple urban contexts. Dr. Hollins’ and Dr. Nash’s previous work has called attention to the ineffectiveness of predominant literacy best practices in urban schools. Moreover, the data on academic performance do not support the reliability of these practices. At the same time, despite decades of work suggesting that culturally responsive teaching is essential to teaching all students well, schools continue to demonstrate a lack of success in educating young children of Color. These failures point to the need for more outcome-oriented research on culturally responsive, high-leverage literacy practices. While scholars have compiled 19 high-leverage practices usable across disciplines, thus far, no research has been conducted about culturally responsive, high-leverage literacy practices in early literacy classrooms. Given this, dissemination of findings from this critical ethnographic study has the potential to greatly impact the teaching of literacy in urban, early childhood contexts. Further, high-leverage literacy practices can be mapped onto teacher education programs as essential knowledge and skills that teacher candidates need in order to be quality teachers.