The Boost for reading

Author: Helena Holmlund, And Josefin Häggblom, And Erica Lindahl, And

Summary of Working paper 2024:6

We evaluate the “Boost for Reading”, an in-service training program for teachers aimed at improving the teaching of literacy and boosting students’ reading and writing proficiency. The program provides research summaries about teaching strategies as a basis for group-based discussion, lesson preparations and evaluations under the supervision of a coach. The program was rolled out across Swedish compulsory schools in school years 2015/16–2017/18. We analyze the effects of the intervention using a staggered difference-in-differences strategy excluding treated schools as controls. We find that in lower secondary school, the program shifted the teaching towards a stronger focus on “reading strategies” and raised student test scores in the Swedish language, social study subjects, and science studies by on average 2–5 percent of a standard deviation, respectively. However, we find no effects on teaching practices at stage 1, and accordingly, no effects on the youngest students’ test scores.