What are we all about?

Writing Skills Development Projects (WSDP) are comprised of a small group of researchers led by Dr. Stephen R. Hooper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.  The research projects are funded through the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. By examining the efficacy of interventions, and the conditions under which they are most effective, we address a compelling educational need.
The WSDP concentrate on the relations among the development of writing skills and cognitive processes for students from preschool to seventh grade, as well as writing programs to advance skills for children who struggle. We have several overlapping goals:

  • Provide evidence for the efficacy of evidence-based writing interventions
  • Provide evidence of whether select cognitive abilities mediate the effects of the interventions
  • Provide accessibility of professional development for teachers to gain access to effective writing curriculum
  • Develop an empirical framework for writing to provide a strong foundation for creating age-specific measures and effective tools for monitoring progress

Who is our project associated with?

Our study is funded by a federal grant given to us by the Institute of Education Sciences in order to study middle school students’ writing in North Carolina. We are housed at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, School of Medicine, in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

How long is the project?

Students participate in the project for one year, during 6th grade. However, the Middle School Writing Project in its entirety is a 4-year project.

Want to know more?

Click on the About the Project or Parents Info sections for project information, and the Meet the Team or Resources & Links sections to find out more about us and who we’re with!

Are you eligible?

If your student is a rising 6th grader in the NC Orange County School System or at Kestrel Heights Middle School in Durham, NC, they may be eligible to participate in our study! Click on the About the Project and the Parent Info sections to learn more about what this entails.

If you would like to receive information or a consent form to enroll your child in our study, contact:

Lara-Jeane_Costa@med.unc.edu
Phone: 919-966-4844
Fax: 919-966-2230

You can also click on the Contact Us section!