Chapter 17 Audience Research Teachers Advocates for all students Teacher educators across ethnicities Administrators Includes literacy research and research from other Researchers disciplines (curriculum studies, gender studies, law, psychology and sociology) published between 2000 to 2010
Author’s PurPose Provides a cross-disciplinary view of research that examines the impact, challenges and tensions diversity has on literacy development. Identifies common categories of diversity: ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, language, race, geographic area, religion, exceptionalities, and sexual orientation
Student Diversity and Literacy “Messy, Dynamic, Fluid” 29 million foreign-born residents in the United States (US census bureau 2007) 55 million students enrolled in public and private schools 3.3 million teachers(most are English monolingual) informed by their own national traditions who must educate students with an array of traditions and backgrounds“…it is inconceivable that any approach to education that fails to account for cultural, historical, linguistic, sociological and psychological factors of the students will be effective.”
Honoring Diversity: Challenges and Tensions Socioeconomic status High mobility due to community gentrification or urban dislocation Cultural/religious diversity Multiple languages Wide range of academic abilities Standardized tests No Child Left Behind Act Debates in the legal and political spheres
Diversity and Literacy: Recommendations for Teachers Make connections between instruction and children’s experiences Provide research-based cognitive strategy instruction Link disciplinary and everyday knowledge Create opportunities for student autonomy, and group students strategically Diversify texts Understand diagnostic tools to interpret date in order to offer differentiated instruction
Honoring Diversity: Recommendations for Teacher Educators Assign teacher candidates in field placements that serve diverse populations. Provide better quality formal training around teaching in diverse settings. Provide opportunities for teacher candidates to tutor struggling readers as a way to learn to differentiate instruction. Connect course content to real experiences in schools. Diversify faculty
Honoring Diversity: Recommendations for Administrators Link schools to the community they serve. Establish a school vision. Assess curricular decisions. Use data inquiry as a starting point to lead to various kinds of change. Nurture respectful collaboration with families and communities. Address the moral and educational dilemmas created by the competing pressures of school finance, corporate relations, and education. Model transformative and intellectual leadership. Diversify faculty. Diversify texts.
Six converging guideposts for honoringdiversity: Value Diversity Examine ideologies that inform pedagogical, curricular, policy and research orientations Avoid essentializing students Take proactive stances on issues of Diversity View classrooms as spaces in which identities are not settled Expand notions of what counts as reading and writing
Creating Safe Spaces: Uncovering ways to create safe spaces and pathways for all students“…safe spaces must be created in our hearts and national imagination.”Questions to ponder when making curriculum decisions: Will students be underserved by this text? What makes this text essential or useful? Out of all the texts in the world, why this one for these students in this time and space? Will I love to rush in to teach this text? What is the appropriate starting point for this text? Is this a considerate and challenging text? Does this text lend itself to academic excellence and identity development? Will this restore confidence in literacy instruction? Does this text serve as a writing and language coach?
Reflection Questions1. How can students, teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers align their efforts to offer literacy instruction that students consider meaningful?2. How can we, as educators, advance literacy instruction and honor diversity?3. Is my literacy instruction broad enough and deep enough for today’s diverse landscape?
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