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Developing Paired Reading in Spanish language in Colombia through the use of On-line Professional Development for Teachers

There is good evidence that peer tutoring, when used in a structured manner can lead to attainment gains in English reading. Transferability of the technique to other languages and educational contexts are less well studied. This paper reports results from a Phase 2 exploratory trial designed to establish if peer tutoring, in the form of Paired Reading could transfer to the Colombian education system, and into the Spanish language. A randomised trial was conducted in four Colombian elementary schools with eight classes, and 298 third and fifth grade pupils. The project took place during the Covid pandemic and this necessitated that professional development and support for teachers in Colombia was provided remotely using trans-Atlantic video conferencing. This was an adaptation to the usual face-to-face training provided. Results indicated that paired reading could be an effective, low cost strategy for improving reading. Positive results for the paired reading group, compared to the control group, were observed (Effect Size +0.16). The teachers were able to embed lessons learned during on-line professional development, into their classroom pedagogies effectively. A previously published protocol established success criteria to determine whether there was enough evidence of efficacy to warrant a Phase 3 definitive trial of the technique. Results indicated that the criteria were met for progression to a Phase 3 trial, despite disruption to the research due to Covid related school closures, and that remote on-line professional development for teachers resulted in changes to professional practice.

Allen Thurston
Queen’s University Belfast
United Kingdom

Allen's research interests include improving learning in schools and research methods. His school based work looks at how to raise attainment for those students from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds. He predominantly uses randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and is currently running four-large RCTs on improving literacy levels for students in schools. His pedagogic expertise lies in the area of cooperative/peer learning. He has published extensively in this area.

Allen is Editor in Chief of International Journal of Educational Research (IJER) and the International Journal of Educational Research Open (IJEDRO). He is on the Editorial Board of Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Pakistan Journal of Special Educational Needs, and Educational Psychology. He was awarded the 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Cooperative Learning SIG award for 'Outstanding Research Contribution in the Field of Cooperative Learning'. He served as Secretary/Treasurer of the AERA Cooperative Learning SIG from April 2014 until April 2017, was Chair of the SIG awards committee 2019-21, and is currently Chair of the SIG (2021-24). He is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and has Reviewed Grant Applications for Social Science Research Councils in Canada, Portugal, Oman and the Netherlands. Allen was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Academy of Globalization and Education Policy, Zhengzhou University, China (2017-2021) and is currently a Visiting Professor at Laboratorio de Economia de la Educacion, Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Colombia (2020-onwards). Allen was a member of the REF2021 Unit of Assessment Panel for Education.

Gloria Lucia Bernal Nisperuza
Pointificia Universidad Javeriana

Gloria Bernal is faculty researcher and professor of economics at Javeriana University, where she holds appointments at the Department of Economics. She serves as co-director of the Laboratory of Economics of Education initiative. Bernal´s research focuses on the importance of the provision of information in higher education choices, the optimal design of educational financial aid, the impact evaluation of educational programs and the effect of public policies on academic achievement and educational attainment. Bernal earned an A.B. and MA in Economics from Javeriana, a Master of Public Policy from New York University a Ph.D (c 2021) in Policy in Governance and Policy Analysis from Maastricht University.

Luz Karime Abadía Alvarado
Pointificia Universidad Javeriana

Luz Karime Abadía is associate professor in the Economics Department, Co-director of the Economics of Education Lab and Director of Graduate programs in economics at the Javeriana University. She is Ph.D. in economics and Master in economics: empirical applications and policies at the University of the Basque Country. Her research focuses on questions in microeconomics, with a particular emphasis on: labor economics, economics of education and gender studies.

Maria Cockerill
Queen’s University Belfast
United Kingdom

Research Interests I am interested in finding cost effective solutions which improve learning outcomes, including with a focus on cooperative/peer learning and literacy, and equity for learners from socio-economic disadvantaged areas. My recent research includes randomized controlled trial (RCT) and naturalistic study designs. I am currently involved in knowledge mobilisation both nationally and internationally, engaged with networks of schools, universities, not-for-profit organisations, and government departments.

Achievements Internationally, in Latin America, I am working on research projects with a number of universities and government departments to improve literacy outcomes across the region. Currently I am engaged as visiting Professor at both Universidad de Los Andes in Chile and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.

Nationally, I am an Honorary Fellow at Durham University, School of Education, and Visiting Fellow at Newcastle University, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. The key aim of these partnerships is to develop working relationships with educational organisations at all levels to trial and implement evidence informed educational approaches in England and beyond.

Within North East England, I have a proven track record in school improvement, working with successful teams to implement evidence in schools and across the region. The Transforming Tees project (2016-18) is a good example where varied partners (including Local Authorities, Schools and Academies) collaborated to overcome barriers, tackle disadvantage, and improve learning outcomes. Embedded in this project were opportunities to pilot interventions for future scale-up.

Alison MacKezie
Queen’s University Belfast
United Kingdom

Alison MacKenzie is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB), UK. She is the director of the master’s programme in Special Needs Education and Inclusion. Alison’s research interests include social justice for marginalised groups, epistemic injustice, epistemology of ignorance and deceit, and children’s rights, and has published a number of papers in these areas. She is a member of the Centre for Children’s Rights at QUB and supports CARA as a mentor for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Joanne O'Keeffe
Queen’s University Belfast
United Kingdom

Joanne is particularly interested in research with children and young people in the area of academic attainment, health and wellbeing, in particular those children and young people from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds. She completed her PhD, ‘A Feasibility Study and a Pilot Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of the PAX ‘Good Behaviour Game’ in Disadvantaged Schools’ in 2019. Joanne is an accredited Partner Trainer for PAX Good Behaviour Game ©.

Joanne has also worked on numerous randomized controlled trials in education (RCTs). She has worked for the University for over 15 years and has experience of working across many different projects including international research projects and more recently providing evaluation support for the University’s Widening Participation Unit (WPU). Working as part of the WPU team Joanne advises on suitable evaluation strategies of outreach delivery and supports the team with developing an evidence-based practice within the Unit.

Joanne is a member of the the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work Ethics Committee. Internationally, she sits as the Program Chair for the American Education and Research Association Cooperative Learning Special Interest Group and is an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Educational Research.

Joanne is an accredited Office for National Statistics safe researcher.

Juan Manuel Garcia Ospina
Pointificia Universidad Javeriana

Juan Manuel Garcia Ospina is a researchers at Pointificia Universidad Javeriana and founder of Kynapsys Research & Consultancy, Bogota.

Pelusa Orellana
Universidad de los Andes, Chile

Ph.D. en Educación: Early Childhood, Families, and Literacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, EE.UU. Master in Instructional Leadership, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, EE.UU. Profesora de Inglés, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Tien-Hui Chiang
Anhui Normal University

Distinguished Professor Tien-Hui Chiang, teaching at Anhui Normal University, China, was a Fulbright Senior Scholar, the visiting professor of Beijing Normal University, China and the Ex-President of the Taiwan Association for Sociology of Education. Currently, he is the Vice-President, RC04 (Sociology of Education), International Sociological Association and the WCCES Constitutional Standing Committeeman. He is also the associate editor of International Journal of Educational Research (SSCI). His specialty covers sociology of education, globalization and education policy, sociology of curriculum, teaching profession, cultural studies and comparative education. He has produced over 100 essays. He was the co-editor of `Cross Education Dialogue’, `Crisis in Education’, and `Interculturalism’.

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