Week 3 Analysis

Rachel Richards

ED 656


Disciplinary base literacy is essential because each field of study has its purpose. At first, my initial thought it was just plain content reading. We all know reading is fundamental and many times in content other than ELA reading is degraded. Many teachers try to avoid textbooks in the classroom, although there are books in the school. For example, a biology textbook may be too complicated to read. I once heard that statement in a Ted talk by Tyler Dewitt. Although it is somewhat true, the same content from elementary school will have many compound words by the high school level to say the same thing. Therefore a 15-year-old will struggle with it, so teachers present the pertinent information some other way: PowerPoint lectures, dumbed-down study/worksheets, etc.

Consequently, I believe it should start from elementary school grades, making sure that kids are reading about geography, economics, history, culture, biography, environmental science, life science, physical science, music, art, and current events which are essential. For instance, when my school told me I must teach a science elective, I thought about Current events in Biology, which is going to have them doing more research and writing months before the regents. I hope to integrate more reading, to annotate, to write more in my living environment class this school year.

I was one those teachers who used the textbook less last year because the students would take forever to read and take notes (Cornell notes), so I went to PowerPoints, and kids were copying and not even understanding what they were copying. It also showed on the LE regent's results because some did not even attempt the written portion, and the others were very vague or could not read and comprehend what the question was asking. Building kids’ stores of knowledge in literacy area and giving them practice dealing with that kind of language and content is imperative.

Hillman mentioned in her article that "the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) draw attention to disciplinary literacy for improving adolescent literacy."  As educators, we have a job to educate students and make the critical thinkers. They are expected to graduate from high school and become functional citizens in the society. However, Technology is becoming the essential component of discipline-based learning today, and that is why this year I am implementing google classroom, as my mean of technology in the classroom to support all our students, and this includes the ones that are frequently late and absent.

              Reading is fundamental, and too many of our adolescent do not like to read. In Biancarosa article she listed one of the challenges with adolescents is they have not yet mastered basic reading skills, and " to become successful learners, adolescents must master complex texts, understand the diverse literacy demands of the different content areas, and navigate digital texts." Our student does not prepare for this level of literacy, no matter how adequate early instruction may be, it does not prepare students for the level of reading they encounter after 3rd Grade. Even if there are schools focused on literacy (my school is trying to do that by focusing on using the KCS this year) should be ready to revise their curriculum to include a higher level of literacy in the content area. Are all our students ready for this? Then the next question is, are administrators providing us with professional development sessions, training or resources to make out transition easier? Hillman states "we are in a challenging era of American education, in which demands made on teachers are increasing, yet adequate retraining is rare (p 404)."   How do we transition to accommodate our student population? What may work in one school may not work in another, or one classroom like ELA may not work in Science. Especially in New York City where we serve a very diverse population, we need to know our students and their various disabilities in minimum five periods. Today, the way our students are learning has changed, but the method of teaching has not, so much of teachers’ time is taken by just planning that integrating strategies have become an issue. Therefore, we need a revised system to help us better teach content literacy. Besides students’ academic needs, teachers must also address the emotional and motivational needs of these adolescents. Adolescent struggling with reading often experienced a past consisting of failure and frustration and often feel desperate and lack of trust in their abilities to succeed academically. They develop habits such as reliance on guessing, fake reading, or just avoiding reading altogether

In the article Reading, writing, and thinking like a scientist, by Gina Cervetti and P. David Pearson, "thinking like a scientist means to apply scientific techniques to different aspects of education." Cervetti also discussed how research in disciplinary literacy has started to demonstrate how reading and writing differ across disciplines and how these differences are related to the nature of the disciplinary ways of reasoning and inquiring. In each of these content discipline, an educator may address a text differently. But one goal is "that Language and literacy should support students’ engagement in inquiry experiences; therefore, those experiences must involve forms of data gathering and reasoning about data that professionals in the disciplined use to answer questions of interest (p.583). I believe the use of textbooks in the classroom is vital, and as educators, we can abuse this as a tool for learning.

Latest comments