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LINCS Special Collections include research resources that support evidence-based education. Evidence-based education is described by Grover Whitehurst, the Director of the Institute for Educational Sciences, as “the integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction” where professional wisdom is “the judgment individuals acquire through experience” and empirical evidence is “scientifically-based research” and “empirical data on performance used to compare, evaluate and monitor progress” (Whitehurst, 2002). This research page provides access to current scientifically-based research in LINCS Special Collections’ various content areas. In support of evidence-based education, this page provides access to three guides for understanding and using research, four places to look for new research in adult education and literacy, plus recommendations of the best research currently available in the field of Literacy and Learning Disabilties.

Three useful guides to understanding and using research:

Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported By Rigorous Evidence: A User Friendly Guide (2003) is a document that provides excellent assistance to educational practitioners in evaluating whether an educational intervention is backed by rigorous evidence of effectiveness, and in implementing evidence-based interventions in their schools or classrooms. A Policymaker’s Primer on Education Research (2004) is a joint effort of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to help make education research more accessible to policymakers. Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (2002), a report of the Reading Research Working Group, reviews and draws conclusions about practice from the research on adult reading instruction available as of 2001.

Professional wisdom grows and changes in response to the melding of continued experience and new research. Four places to look for new research in adult education and literacy are:

The What Works Clearinghouse was established in 2002 by the Department of Education to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central, independent, and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. There is currently a much greater quantity of empirical evidence available in K-12 instruction than in adult instruction. National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL): Through rigorous, high quality research, NCSALL seeks to increase knowledge and give those teaching, managing, and setting policy in adult literacy education a sound basis for making decisions. NCSALL is also a leader in designing innovative professional development programs and in building support for research use (see Establishing an Evidence-based Adult Education System). The quarterly publication of NCSALL, Focus on Basics, is a source of research and shared professional wisdom written for the practitioner.
NCAL's Current Research and Development Projects aim to improve understanding of youth and adult learning, foster innovation and increase effectiveness in youth and adult basic education and literacy work, and expand access to information and build capacity for literacy and basic skills service provision.

Adult Literacy Research Network, using $18.5 million in grants from the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL), Office of Vocational and Adult Education of the US Department of Education, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, will fund six individual research projects focused on adult literacy instruction. All six of the funded studies will employ experimental or quasi-experimental designs, one including a neuroimaging component.

The Literacy & Learning Disabilities Special Collection Research Resources

The Core Knowledge Group of experts in Literacy & Learning Disabilities has selected the following resources as representative of the most rigorous and/or the best professional wisdom currently available to the field of Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities.

Understanding Learning Disabilities

The Neurobiology of Reading and Dyslexia
This article reviews recent advances in the neurobiology of dyslexia and their implications for teaching adults with dyslexia.

Center for Dyslexia’s Information for Researchers
The research section of this web site lists selected research studies that enhance our understanding of dyslexia as well as the processes associated with reading and spelling.


Assessment strategies and reading profiles: research-based assessment practices for the adult education classroom
This website is based on the Adult Reading Components Study (ARCS), a study that assessed the reading of 955 adult learners. Researchers tested participants individually on eleven component skills that contribute to reading ability. A list of scores for each learner became that individual's reading profile, illustrating his or her strengths and instructional needs. On this website, 569 ABE learners from the ARCS are grouped into 11 profiles. Each profile group shows a distinctive pattern and/or level of reading component skills. This site has two tracks. On the "Match a Profile" track, you can enter scores for your learner for a match to one of the 11 ARCS-based profiles. With this track you will find suggestions for instruction as well as information about the ARCS learners in this group that may relate to your learner. The "Mini-Course" track offers an opportunity to learn more about reading. By using this track you will find extensive information on the major reading components and assessment as well as sections containing references and downloadable resources.

Rethinking Learning Disabilities: Summary and Highlights
Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D., National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, provides a definition of learning disabilities and discusses the way individuals are currently being screened for LD versus how they should be. Four questions on learning to read are posed and answered based on research conducted at the National Institutes of Health over the last twenty years.

Planning for Success

Dr. Marshall Raskind on Specific Success Attributes Among Individuals with Learning Disabilities
Dr. Raskind is Director of Research and Special Projects at Schwab Learning and Director of Research at the Frostig Center in Pasadena , California . This interview is question 2 of a 4-part series on the findings of the Frostig Center ’s longitudinal study, "Patterns of Change and Predictors of Success in Individuals with LD." For more on this research, click here.

Life Success: For Children With Learning Disabilities - A Parent Guide
This guide for parents of children with learning disabilities is based on over 20 years of research tracing the lives of individuals with LD to identify factors that contributed to successful life outcomes. Success is defined as becoming productive members of society and living satisfying and rewarding lives. Attributes identified included self-awareness, proactivity, perseverance, goal-setting, the presence and use of effective support systems, and emotional coping strategies.


Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults: First Steps for Teachers
This publication describes some strategies proven to work by the most rigorous scientific reading research available on the teaching of reading.

The Partnership for Reading: Bringing Scientific Evidence to Learning
The Partnership for Reading offers information about the effective teaching of reading for both children and adults, based on the evidence from quality research. The Partnership invites you to explore this site for information on the research, principles about reading instruction suggested by the research, and products for parents, teachers, administrators, and policy-makers. The web site offers a database containing abstracts of approximately 460 research studies related to the teaching of reading in grades K-3. The site also includes presentations, online discussions, and recommended

Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction , September 2002, John Kruidenier. ED Pubs Document EXR0033P. Available online at (Accessible html version). A product of The Partnership for Reading (see previous entry), this publication represents the best information available about how adults learn to read. It is designed to serve two primary audiences: educators and policy makers who make decisions about the content of adult basic education reading instruction and researchers eager to identify new avenues of study to add to our understanding of this field.

Keys to Successful Learning
In order to bridge the gap between research and practice in the education of students with learning disabilities, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) convened a Summit on Research in Learning Disabilities: Keys to Successful Learning. The Summit offered research syntheses prepared by leading researchers in the field of learning disabilities. These syntheses are designed to help educators, administrators, teacher educators, parents and advocates recognize key ingredients of effective instruction, particularly in reading, writing, and problem solving. This site provides abstracts with links to nine of these reports.

Learning to Think, Learning to Learn: What the Science of Thinking and Learning Has To Offer Adult Education Programs , Volume IV, Number 1, 1998-99. Jennifer Cromley. Available online at (Accessible html version) This document provides examples of effective learning methods based on cognitive research. It reviews major topics on learning and thinking as applied to teaching adult GED students -- including memory, critical thinking, motivation, problem-based learning and transfer of learning from classes to real life. Each chapter includes a review of the topic, implications for teachers, and lesson ideas. An extensive bibliography and newsletter articles that may be reproduced by literacy programs are included. Available in softcover and unbound (photocopiable) versions.

Dr. Kevin Feldman Speaks with on Helping Older Kids.
This series of articles, part of Schwab Learning's "Expert Answers" series, addresses reading problems with children, youth, and adults.

Lessons for everyone: How students with reading-related learning disabilities survive and excel in college courses with heavy reading requirements.
This article by Roxanne Ruzic, Harvard University and CAST, Inc., looks at the research surrounding success of students with a reading learning disability in post secondary education. Ruzic identifies study and test-taking skills as a critical piece and provides students with thirteen strategies for success. Included are tips for teachers and institutions to employ to facilitate that success.

Resources That Address Multiple Issues of Literacy and LD

Learning disabilities summit: Building a foundation for the future
This site contains the conference proceedings from the Learning Disabilities Summit which took place in Washington , DC August 27 -28, 2001 and was sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. Video, executive summaries, and transcripts of the presentations are included.

Research Digest
LD Online offers abstracts, full text of articles, and examination of research issues related to learning disabilities.

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