Engaging Student Teachers' Hearts and Minds in the Struggle to Address (Il)literacy in Content Area Classrooms
ABSTRACT Although research supports the importance and impact of using reading strategies in content area classrooms to improve students' comprehension, many secondary teachers do not use this knowledge to improve the delivery of content. This article describes a themed literature circle curriculum developed as part of a reading course for content area credential candidates. Literature circles were used to enhance these preservice teachers' understanding about the connections between literacy and social justice. Using qualitative methods, the author explored changes in participants' mental models about literacy. Participants reported new understandings and new commitment to integrating literacy into their content classes.
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ABSTRACT: New Zealand relies on overseas teachers to fill approximately 30% of annual vacancies (Ministry of Education, 2006). 41% of these cohort were teaching in Auckland when this study was conducted (Ministry of Education, 2001, 2003). As only 7% were new to teaching, it is likely that they bring a wealth of teaching experience to New Zealand classrooms. In 2002 New Zealand introduced a new school-leaving qualification, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), which includes a literacy strand in all subjects (Taylor, 2001). This thesis aims to investigate the needs, perceptions and insights of overseas teachers in Auckland regarding the literacy requirements of the New Zealand secondary curriculum. In this qualitative study, interviews were carried out with ten teachers who had been teaching in Auckland between one and six years and who had all previously taught overseas. Interviews were also carried out with two literacy leaders as part of the research. Key challenges that emerged were the incorporation of the NCEA literacy requirements in discipline areas; catering for the needs of students who speak English as a second language; dealing with the challenges of teaching literacy across the curriculum and subject specific language; finding and developing relevant resources and sourcing professional development relating to literacy teaching. Findings revealed there were two categories of teachers – teachers who were very aware of the literacy needs of their students and those who were less aware. Teachers from England and South Africa were very aware of the varied literacy needs of New Zealand students and had received professional development in this area. Other teachers seemed less aware of the literacy demands of their students, the curriculum or their own professional development needs. This study also reveals that recognition and provision for the professional needs of newly arrived teachers from overseas seems to vary. There is very little research on the experiences of immigrant teachers in New Zealand; this study helps to clarify the issues which these teachers face, particularly with regard to the dual challenges of teaching students with ESL and the expectations that all teachers will include literacy in their approach to teaching, which is part of the NCEA curriculum.
- Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy - J ADOLESC ADULT LITERACY. 01/2009; 52(5):422-431.
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ABSTRACT: This study examined how the use of book clubs in a literacy methods class informed preservice, elementary teachers' visions of self as literacy teachers. Teachers began the study with the vision of teaching students the reading and writing skills they were weakest in. Teachers though transformed their visions to include culturally responsive teaching, becoming an activist, and creating spaces for struggling readers and writers to grow. However, the majority believed that it was important to utilize the pedagogical practices that were demanded by the schools they would work in so they could fit in and be identified as a good teacher. Teachers indicated that they would forgo their visions, engage in sub-standard literacy practices, and knowingly marginalize students, to obtain a positive professional identity.Literacy Research and Instruction 01/2009; 48(4):298-317.