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 05/2007; 50(8):620-630. DOI: 10.1598/JAAL.50.8.1


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.

1 Follower
21 Reads
  • Source
    • "Individuals with less proficiency in literacy are at an enormous cultural, social, political and economic disadvantage (Alger, 2007; Government of Alberta, 2009; UNESCO, 2008), and approaches to literacy development in schools have effectively become an issue of social justice (Alger, 2007, 2009; Freire, 1997; Robertson & Hughes, 2011; Keyes, 2009). As the use of standardized assessments such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to measure VWXGHQWV ¶ OLWHUDF\ SURILFLHQF\ increases locally, nationally, and internationally, teacher accountability for student literacy achievement in all subject areas is brought sharply into focus (Cheng, Kliner & Zheng, 2009). "

    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Written Language & Literacy
  • Source
    • "Teacher educators are urged to extend their support of their teacher candidates through at least the first years of teaching, so that they implement and sustain pedagogical choices that support critical literacy (Anagnostopoulos, Smith & Basmadjian, 2007; Long, 2004). Collaborative reflective and problem solving discussions are common strategies teacher educators use to promote critically conscious approaches to pre-service teaching (Alger, 2007; DeShon Hamlin, 2004; Jewett & Smith, 2003; Laman, Legan & Van Sluys, 2005; Rogers, Kramer, Mosley, Fuller, Light, Nehart, Jones, Beaman-Jones, DePasquale, Hobson & Thomas, 2005; Stevens & Mitchell, 2006). Online conversations and online journaling are two increasingly popular vehicles for prompting such reflective and problem solving discussions. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An electronic conversation spontaneously constructed by elementary teacher candidates accomplished the critical reading of text, the connection of these readings to their work as teachers, and the framing of that teaching in terms of socially conscious inquiry and action. The structure of the conversation facilitated the exploration and establishment of the candidate’s identity as critical literacy educators; the implicit rules of engagement facilitated mutual trust, respect and appreciation. This created a safe space in which to engage in a discussion that rendered the teacher candidates vulnerable to self-doubts about critical literacy pedagogy, even as it showcased their intellectual strengths as critical readers. Implications for teacher education are included.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010
  • Source
    • "Previous research on teacher book clubs suggests they can be effective for helping teachers examine their beliefs and pedagogical practices and therefore potentially inform their visions. Alger (2007) found that preservice middle and high school teachers' experiences in a book club increased their understandings about illiteracy and helped them see a link between literacy instruction and social justice. Kooy's (2006) work with novice teachers showed that book clubs can provide a support system for beginning teachers to construct new pedagogical knowledge and develop greater understandings about what it means to teach and to learn. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Literacy Research and Instruction
Show more