Promoting Comprehension and Content Acquisition for Students With Disabilities


Research teams at The University of Texas at Austin and Vanderbilt University will evaluate the efficacy of a text- and inquiry-based approach to reading comprehension and content learning for general education teachers educating students with disabilities that has established efficacy with typical learners. The intervention is a set of instructional supports for teachers and materials for students that include an overarching question that guides students through a unit, essential word instruction, content acquisition through text reading, and team-based learning activities. Research is situated in eighth-grade social studies classrooms and designed to examine achievement outcomes for students with disabilities, the mediating effects of implementation fidelity, and the moderating effects of student characteristics.

Impact Statement

Interested in Participating?

Researchers are currently accepting middle schools in Tennessee and Texas for the 2023–2024 school year. Download our flyers below or contact Tennessee Project Director Ellie Hancock or Texas Project Director Letty Martinez for more information.

General Project Information

Project Timeline

Sample Lessons


Measures to assess student learning include a standardized measure of reading comprehension and a measure of content knowledge and content reading comprehension.

Project Design


A multisite, double-cohort randomized control trial will be conducted. Students with disabilities will be nested in eighth-grade social studies classes and matched pairs of classes will be randomized to either the treatment or business-as-usual condition within teacher. Each site will run concurrent 1-year trials, one in each of project years 2–5, for a total of eight unique student samples. During every project year, the intervention will be implemented daily in general education social studies classrooms for approximately 8–10 consecutive weeks during the fall semester. The research team will provide professional development on intervention implementation and in-class follow-up support.


Eighth-grade U.S. history teachers and students

Videos: See the Lessons in Action