This project is designed to test the efficacy of a professional development model that features Strategies for Reading Information and Vocabulary Effectively (STRIVE), a fully developed set of evidence-based practices for content area instruction with upper-elementary students. MCPER researchers and Central Texas teachers jointly developed the 18-week STRIVE lessons based on several years of experimental pilot studies. The STRIVE curriculum was designed to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards for vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and social studies. Over the course of this 3-year project, the effects of the professional development model featuring STRIVE will be examined across 81 schools with approximately 405 teachers and 4,050 students. The implementation of STRIVE practices will be supported through an ongoing professional development model.


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Project STRIVE making an impact on Texas teachers and students

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Impact Statement

"I feel very grateful that our campus has been selected to participate in this program. It is everything we have always wanted out of teaching reading through expository text. Having them learn about social studies is just an amazing plus!"

— Participating teacher

Example Resources

Infographic: Cohort 1 Results

Infographic showing STRIVE's Cohort 1 student performance, demographics, and social validity

Infographic: Cohort 2 Results

Infographic showing STRIVE's Cohort 2 student performance, demographics, and social validity

Infographic: Cohort 3 Results

Infographic showing STRIVE's Cohort 3 student performance, demographics, and social validity

Infographic: Fully Powered Randomized Controlled Trial

Infographic showing STRIVE's full student performance, demographics, and social validity

Past Research on STRIVE

Applying a Cohesive Set of Comprehension Strategies to Content-Area Instruction

A Comparison of Multiple-Strategy Methods: Effects on Fourth-Grade Students' General and Content-Specific Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Development

Examining the Impact of Teacher Quality on Students’ Comprehension and Content-Area Achievement

Translating Vocabulary Research to Social Studies Instruction: Before, During, and After Text-Reading Strategies

Research Design


We will use a randomized controlled study design. Participating fourth-grade schools will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) STRIVE professional development or (2) typical instruction. Schools randomized to the typical instruction condition are guaranteed to receive STRIVE professional development at the end of the school year or the beginning of the following school year. STRIVE instruction will be provided for 90 minutes a week for 18 weeks.


Several assessments of student learning and teacher efficacy will be employed, including (a) standardized measures of reading comprehension and vocabulary and (b) researcher-developed measures of content knowledge, reading strategy use, and instructional quality.

Data Analysis

A series of hierarchical linear models will be estimated to investigate the effect of treatment on student learning outcomes.


The full dataset is available free of charge. To discuss establishing a data-sharing agreement with The University of Texas at Austin, contact Dr. Elizabeth Swanson at easwanson@austin.utexas.edu

Findings (Publications and Presentations)

STRIVE Partnership Application

Start Application

Contact Information

Alicia Stewart
Project Director

Principal Investigators

  • Elizabeth Swanson
  • Sharon Vaughn
  • Greg Roberts

Funding Agency


  • 2015–2019