ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Education & Human Development associate professor Cynthia Puranik has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to study a writing intervention program.
The grant project, entitled, “Peer Assisted Writing Strategies (PAWS): Efficacy,” will test the effectiveness of the PAWS writing intervention in improving writing outcomes for young, beginning writers.
The PAWS intervention pairs students together to work on various writing lessons, which include writing letters, punctuation, spelling and sentence construction.
Puranik and her co-principal investigators, Christopher Lemons from Vanderbilt University and Stephanie Al Otaiba from Southern Methodist University, will implement PAWS with kindergarten students in three southeastern U.S. cities – initially in whole classrooms and then with small groups of kindergarteners – and study its impacts on the lowest-performing students. They’ll assess students’ reading, oral language and writing skills, such as letter writing fluency, sentence copying fluency, sentence writing and story writing.
“A majority of students in U.S. schools do not write well enough to meet grade-level expectations. Future success in writing depends upon effective early instruction and intervention,” Puranik said. “We hope the results of this project can add to the limited research base on writing interventions for young, developing writers.”