The Institute for Content Area Learning and Teaching (I-CALT)
Director: Janis Bulgren
Mission: The I-CALT’s mission is to develop, research, validate and disseminate instructional practices and materials that enhance the achievement of all students, including those with learning disabilities and others at-risk for failure.
Context: I-CALT instructional routines and supports are developed for use in general education classes. These procedures respond to rigorous national and state standards, particularly those focusing on higher order reasoning about critical content.
Students: Students with learning disabilities are an important focus of I-CALT research based on long-standing goals of the KUCRL. In addition, I-CALT embraces procedures that also address and support the performance of a wide range of students, including those identified as at risk for school failure, as well as students who are average achieving and high achieving. This is in response to understandings that content area teachers will adopt new instructional procedures only if they help all students to engage and learn.
Teachers: The goal is to reach general education teachers, special education teachers who support students in inclusive content classrooms, and those who co-teach in those classrooms.
Instructional Procedures: The instructional routines and procedures are those designed for use by content area teachers across different content areas and disciplines; utilize explicit instruction, graphic organizers, and embedded cognitive strategies; support collaborative discourse and interaction to develop reasoning and understanding; and guide students to convey understanding in written responses as well as objective responses.
Research: I-CALT encourages rigorous research methodology to validate teachers’ use of instructional procedures. In addition, it focuses on effectiveness of the procedures to enhance student understanding of critical content information and ability to engage in higher order reasoning required by standards across content areas. I-CALT collaborators seek external funding to conduct research, and support professional development, dissemination, and adoption of I-CALT materials and procedures.
Professional Development: I-CALT procedures are developed to align with SIM Network’s extensive professional development network. Every effort is to reach professional developers and teachers with the supports they need to adopt and effectively use I-CALT procedures and materials.
Collaboration: Every effort is made to collaborate with content area teachers, researchers, and other research and development entities. These efforts to assure that the procedures support standards within different content areas, students in diverse groups of achievement and abilities, collaborative efforts across disciplines, and incorporation of innovative instructional technology.
Dissemination: Dissemination efforts are made through the SIM Network, publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at conferences, and collaboration with other research and development entities.