Archive article #99–03

Building on the Past, Bridging to the Future: A Research Agenda for CIERA

Elfrieda H. Hiebert and P. David Pearson


CIERA’s mission has been to address the persistent challenges, both theoretical and practical, that face the field in its efforts to improve early reading, defined as the period from preschool through grade 3. Our goal has been to find solutions that would enable the country to meet its national goal of every child reading by third grade. We wanted to implement a balanced portfolio of research, making sure to embrace diversity in student populations, in the range of professionals with which we work, and in the methodological tools and perspectives we used. Our fundamental commitment was to work with and learn from teachers and administrators, particularly those working in poor schools which are doing well; we were furthermore interested in extending, not reinventing, lines of inquiry already established by our colleagues past and present.

In an attempt to self-evaluate CIERA’s progress to date, we offer Building on the Past, Bridging to the Future: A Research Agenda for CIERA. In this piece, we pose the persistent questions that have guided us in our first two years of operation and summarize work that moves toward answers, admittedly at this point provisional and tentative, to each question.


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