Edll 5341 edll 5344 may 5%2c 2014 learning module 16

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  • 1. Learning Module 16
  • 2.  A few more thoughts about disciplinary literacies  Your Questions Answered about Content Area Literacy
  • 3. As we conclude the semester, I thought I would leave you with a few more thoughts about teaching literacy in the disciplines or what is more commonly referred to as disciplinary literacies. Judith Langer (2011) defines disciplinary literacies as a form of academic literacy and something she calls “envisionments.” The next few slides explain her thinking about disciplinary literacies.
  • 4. Academic Literacies in the Disciplines: “To engage in academic literacy we must learn to select and control the aspects of disciplinary thought and language that serve as markers, ones that carry meaning and are widely understood and used within a discipline. These markers denote the social conventions that are subject- or context-specific, those that people within that field know, understand, and expect others ‘in the know’ to use” (p. 3).
  • 5.  “Envisionments are the worlds of knowledge in our minds that are made up of what we understand and what we don’t about a particular topic or experience at any point in time. They are dynamic sets of related ideas, questions, images, anticipations, agreements, arguments, and hunches that fill our minds during every reading, writing, discussion, technology interaction, or other experience where we gain or express thoughts and understandings” (p. 17).  “In classrooms, students’ envisionments similarly develop over time as more primary documents are read, more experiments are carried out, more simulations are completed, or more discussions take place” (p. 19).
  • 6.  “Envisionment-building classrooms are places that function as communities of inquiry. Students are engaged with working out problems, while using the processes, symbols, language, and ways of thinking that are appropriate to the discipline. In a sense they are learning the culture of the discipline. They are encouraged to use what they know and to venture into making sense of new ideas and concepts. They are in ‘minds-on’ classes where activities and assignments are planned to invite students to become engaged with the material, to think about it, and to build upon it” (p. 41).  Disciplinary literacy has to be built on this process of critical thinking, inquiry, and developing knowledge otherwise there is no real literate practice taking place in the discipline-focused instruction.
  • 7. To see an example of envisionment in the discipline of science, please view a video titled “Making Science Relevant with Current Events” on the Teaching Channel website located at the following url: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teac hing-science-with-current-events
  • 8. The next few slides have a list of the content area literacy questions you sent me with answers added. Please email me if you have additional questions and also email me to tell me which of the questions from this list you thought was the most critical to be able to answer.
  • 9. (1) Can you explain repetend further? Romano initially defines it as the "unexpected repetition of a word, phrase, sentence, or passage." He emphasizes the unexpected nature of repetend as what distinguishes a repetend from a refrain. Later, he describes repetend as the unexpected repetition of a form like a dialogue turning up again in the middle of a paper. (2) How important is it for secondary students to study content area literacy in every content area, even those that they are not interested in? In Chemistry, for example, knowledge is produced through designing, building and running experiments that are quite technical. I think every student should understand the basics of how Chemical knowledged is produced, but many students would not be interested in doing the hard work to become truly literate in this discipline, and furthermore, the vast majority of secondary students will not study Chemistry in college or use it in their adult life. I was thinking that most of our teaching effort in secondary should be devoted to the lower level of the pyramid you showed us, academic literacy. Especially important is critical thinking and literacy in my opinion. It seems that, for most students, exploring very deeply into content area literacy should wait for college, with only the basics covered in secondary school. I wonder what you think about this idea? Do you think literacy can be used as a tool for learning in all content areas? In chemistry, for instance, can students benefit from creating graphic organizers, engaging in group discussions, employing various reading comprehension strategies while reading chemistry texts, and writing about content to increase their understanding of it? If you think the answer to this question, is yes, then, I think the answer to your question about should content area literacy be utilized in every content area is yes. It is hard work to become truly literate in any discipline. I think it helps to view disciplinary literacies from a developmental perspective where you teach students elements of disciplinary literacies in a content area class but calibrate the level of student performance expected. The issue with holding off to teach greater expectations about academic or disciplinary literacies until college is that most college students are not prepared at all for this expectation. This is called the College Readiness Gap, and it has led to the creation of the Common Core State Standards and the College & Career Readiness Standards in Texas.
  • 10. (3) I think that my question applies to implementation of content area literacy on a broad scale. I am worried about becoming too overwhelmed with the "tests" and "busy" and lose the will to add in content area literacy (like so many other teachers are). Do you think that we should try to approach legislatures/school boards with the importance of content area literacy and facts of the matter to really implement and gain the interest of teachers everywhere?  This is an enduring concern with content area literacy! I do think various stakeholders should be educated about content area literacy. Interestingly, there is a lot of national emphasis on content area literacy coursework for pre-service teachers, but there does not seem to be an attendant accountability for this knowledge in teacher certification exams or professional development for practicing teachers. The Common Core State Standards are an exception to this phenomenon and may begin to shift the culture in K-12 settings surrounding content area literacy.
  • 11. (4) Is the publication below any good? I just tripped over it this morning. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/documents/adolescent_literacy.pdf National Institute for Literacy. 2007. What Content-Area Teachers Should Know About Adolescent Literacy. I think it would be good for you to compare the theories of content area literacy you have read this semester to this report to formulate your own opinion about the validity of it. I will tell you that NICHD has tended to take a skills-oriented, code-based (as opposed to meaning-based) approach to literacy instruction. I can also remind you of a quote from the first book we read this semester (Ivey & Fisher, 2006, p. 70), "Many of the students who come to middle and high school as struggling readers were assigned as younger students to remedial reading programs that are known to focus on decontextualized skills, literal recall, and skills worksheets at the expense of purposeful, strategic, silent reading experiences. This kind of instruction has been tied to slowing rather than accelerating reading progress." Also, remember this quote from the same book on page 77 "Although phonics and phonemic awareness were two of the components of the learning-to-read process studied by the National Reading Panel (2000), these fundamental skills probably should not play a major role in secondary interventions (Ivey & Baker, 2004). Phonemic awareness--the knowledge that words are composed of sequences of individual sounds-- is probably something most older struggling readers already understand. Likewise, phonics instruction, which focuses on letter-sound correspondence in reading and spelling, was shown to have diminishing effects beyond the 1st grade. . .Even older struggling readers who can read 1st to 2nd grade level materials would receive limited benefits from intensive phonics instruction per se."
  • 12. (5) My first question is this: How do I integrate literacy while helping them think like scientists? I seems that these skills are often lacking, and simply trudging through and hoping they catch on is a definite failure! Is there a way to integrate this in such a way as to help them move from the Grammar B type of writing and speaking, and the knowledge- based, recall type questions, and on to the more formal Grammar A (which is expected in higher education)? These are excellent questions! There is a book I think you might find beneficial in answering these questions. It's by Maria Grant and Douglas Fisher and it's titled Reading and Writing in Science: Tools to Develop Disciplinary Literacy. Chapters four and five in this book address specific strategies for reading scientific texts and writing like a scientist. Chapter four presents the same strategies you have read this semester in the books for our class (e.g., think alouds; reciprocal teaching). The only difference is the examples are with scientific texts, so the illustrations of the methods may be more readily accessible for you. Chapter five delves into methods for teaching students specific frames and phrasing in scientific writing and addresses how to establish detailed associations among evidence, warrants, claims, and reflective commentary; how to develop and convey mental images in writing; and how to express ownership of intellectual properties. Beyond this book and the materials from our class, I would encourage you to constantly use yourself as a model. Talk to students about the ways you read and write scientific text (i.e., what is your metacognitive process?). Discuss the text structure of scientific texts. Is it a cause and effect structure? Is it a problem and solution structure? etc. And, finally, you might incorporate interactions with scientists outside of the classroom through reading and responding to tweets posted to NASA's, NOAA's (or other organizations) Twitter site.
  • 13. (6) My question is, how can we use different content areas to teach abstract concepts to people that are not beginners? I realize this is a massively broad question, so let me fine this; is there a methodology out there for teaching that crosses multiple content areas in and outside of conventional and unconventional literacy, such as art, drama, music, dance, that can be combined ubiquitously in the general classroom? Is there research to suggest that this would even work. I believe the key to interdisciplinary instruction in content area literacy is to take a Multiliteracies approach. Transmediation, curriculum based reader's theater, teaching with multiple texts, these kinds of methods have been studied in a variety of classroom settings with young children and college students. Research has demonstrated increased student engagement, participation in content area learning through these methods, and comprehension of content are subject matter.