I. Design space to develop your 250-300 word abstract that summarizes your question, rationale, and your findings.

  • What is your question? How can increasing the use of oral language through collaboration with low socio-economic students increase literacy skills?

  • What is your rationale? While teaching in a small charter school that specifically targeted students from low socio-economic backgrounds I noticed that the students had a difficult time putting their thoughts into words when discussing comprehension questions and when writing. I began to wonder if teachers allowed more time for these students to participate in discussions and hear teachers model how they put their thoughts into words it it would improve their reading and writing skills. As I began reading, I found that research indicates that students from low socio-economic backgrounds enter school with less oral language and vocabulary.

  • What are your findings? Initial attempt demonstrates improvement in retelling skills.





II. Design space to plan out your creative synthesis that will visually represent your findings. Remember to include your abstract in your visual representation.


  • Compelling Question:



    How can increasing the use of oral language through collaboration with low socio-economic students increase literacy skills?

    Develop your compelling question related to student learning by the end of your first semester in the program. Decide on a question that you are passionate about and want to focus on for the duration of your program. Click here to learn more about what we mean by compelling question. Here are a couple of examples: How do I creatively and effectively engage diverse learners in my middle grades classroom? How can I effectively engage elementary students in reading and writing?









  • Gather & Analyze Information:


    Use coursework (including core courses ECI 546, 524, 523, 508 and your content specialty courses), individual investigations, and outside experts to explore different aspects of your question. Actively analyze information from multiple sources and perspectives as you explore answers to your question. Make a list here of the information you are analyzing. As you proceed with your analysis make some notes here about your initial findings and where you anticipate needing more information. Also, make sure to note if and how your compelling question has changed.


Teacher as Researcher: Research and references from final paper; Small group of first grade students engaged in dialogic reading activity with teacher; discussed story with each other; used puppets and digital recordings to retell stories building upon what person before them stated.

New Literacies and Media: Research and references from final paper; Third grade students worked collaboratively on sequencing, discussing choices and decisions to create a ToonDoo, a web 2.0 tool.


Theory and Research in Global Learning: Creating a global experience in six lessons involving group work and discussion.


Other: Conducting small group instruction comparing results on vocabulary when student engage in conversation around words and when they don’t. Also seeing what happens when students are given time to talk about what they are going to write about compared with when they don’t.





  • Creatively Synthesize Information:


    Synthesize the information from and across your sources to create a unique response to your question. You should be able to distill your synthesis into 4-6 bullet points (to be included in your written abstract) as well as provide a creative visual representation of your findings. You may use a variety of media and tools to design your visual representation of your Creative Synthesis. Think carefully about the tools that you will use to represent your findings. The first draft of your Creative Synthesis should be developed no later than Midterm/NCSU Spring Break while you are taking the ECI 508, Teachers as Leaders class. Click here to see sample products from former students.









  • Critically Evaluate and Revise:


    Seek out at least two colleagues in the NLGL program in addition to your advisor to provide peer feedback on your abstract and creative synthesis based on the NLGL Creative Synthesis Rubric. Based on the feedback you receive, you may choose to make revisions to more fully meet the rubric criteria.



I have discussed my creative sythesis project with two team members from my Teacher as Leader class and my partner in New Literacies and Media.






  • Share, Publish, Act:


    Be prepared to present your Creative Synthesis at the NLGL Design Studio Showcase during your final semester of your degree program, in conjunction with the ECI 508, Teachers as Leaders course.