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Research

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 ESL education.

In support of evidence-based education, this page provides access to three guides for understanding and using research and four places to look for new research in adult education and literacy.

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.
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. Programs for Increasing Adult Literacy is one of the topic areas for year one of the What Works Clearinghouse (see http://www.w-w-c.org/topic4.html). 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 ESL Special Collection has selected the following resources as representative of the most rigorous and/or the best professional wisdom currently available to the field of ESL. For more research-based resources, please visit the Research area of this Collection.

Annotated Bibliography of Research on Reading and Adults Learning English as a Second Language
This is an excellent bibliography and webliography of research on reading and adults learning ESL by the National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE).

English Literacy and Language Minorities in the United States
The report provides an in-depth look at adult residents of the United States who were either born in other countries or were born in the United States but spoke a language other than English as young children. The report explores the English fluency and literacy of this population, their fluency and literacy in their native languages, and their employment patterns and earnings.

NCSALL Research Reports
The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) has undertaken the ten research projects listed on this page. Each project has several studies that build on the same theme.

Research Agenda for Adult ESL
This paper outlines a research agenda for the field of adult ESOL.  It was prepared by The National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) in collaboration with the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) with support from Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)