Engaging Student Teachers' Hearts and Minds in the Struggle to Address (Il)literacy in Content Area Classrooms

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy - J ADOLESC ADULT LITERACY 01/2007; 50(8):620-630. DOI: 10.1598/JAAL.50.8.1

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: The purpose of this study was to identify beliefs about content area literacy commonly held by teachers and to evaluate whether or not these collective professional convictions and suppositions affect disciplinary instructors' implementation of content area reading strategies in their classrooms. A mixed methodology was applied to gather both qualitative and quantitative data from a study sample of 39 middle and high school core and elective disciplinary teachers. A validated assessment scale was administered to identify professional beliefs held by study participants about reading instruction in content area classrooms. Individual interviews were also conducted to examine participants' professional practices related to implementation of reading strategy instruction in content area classrooms. The results of the study found that, in large numbers, secondary teachers do harbor attitudes, in five broad categories, toward content area reading instruction that are unfavorable and that implementation of strategies in their classrooms, lesson plans and curricula are negatively impacted by the paradigms held.
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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 08/2009; 48(4):298-317.
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    Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy - J ADOLESC ADULT LITERACY. 01/2009; 52(5):422-431.