Adaptive Teaching

In Literacy Instruction

Dr. Seth Parsons

  • Seth A. Parsons is an assistant professor of education and human development at George Mason University.
  • He teaches in the elementary education and literacy program areas and works closely with preservice and in-service teachers in a Title I Professional Development School.
  • His research interests include adaptive literacy instruction, literacy teacher education and development, literacy professional development, and student engagement.

Adaptive Teaching in Literacy

When teachers make adaptations in their teaching when teaching reading

Classrooms are Diverse

Classrooms are diverse and not all students are at same level and thinks wont always go as planned. Adaptive teaching is thinnking on the fly and making changes and adapting instruction.


The teacher makes the differance

There is no research that says which is the the best way to teach reading, but their is research that proves its the teacher that makes the difference. They should...

  • Reflect
  • Change
  • Adjust

What were the teachers thinking?

Dr. Parsons researched not the adaptations the teachers made, but instead what were the teachers thinking and how they knew to make the adaptions.

Effective Teacher Should...

  • Constanly scan the classroom
  • Always ask self if students are getting it
  • Get to know students and look for teachable moments
  • Better relate material to students

Political Movement

It wants teachers to teacher from an manual/ script, but research shows that is not the best practice


Support the teachers

Policy Makers

Trust the teachers

Thoughts on NCLB

  • Nothing wrong with wanting to reach all students
  • Big tests were not the problem they are good to see where students are at
  • They problem was with make the big tests high stakes
  • Teachers fear the tests instead of use them to inform themselves

Future Research

Continuing research on adative teaching and is collaborating with Dr.'s from other places like Alaska to get a broad view in different contexts