ED 656 Week 3 Reading Response

Traditionally, the idea of literacy or being literate was reduced to the ability to read and write. However, with increasing technology and digital media we use literacy in a broader context. In order for our students to be career and college ready Biancarosa states, in her article Adolescent Literacy: More than Remediation, “to be successful learners, adolescent readers must master complex texts, understand the diverse literacy demands of the different content areas, and navigate digital reading” (22). Research suggests that there is a shift during adolescent literacy where students transition “from learning to read to reading to learn” (Biancarosa, 22). Initially students are taught how to both read and write and assessed based on their ability to fulfill this task. However, once students begin to transition into fourth grade and beyond they are expected to learn and acquire and apply new skills from the texts that they read. Biancarosa states “students must learn how to organize and apply their background knowledge as a context for their reading, get information efficiently from text, and monitor and adjust the reading as needed” (22).

In addition to literacy being defined as the ability to read, and write, it can also be defined as the competence or knowledge in a specified area. Fang, author of Approaches to Developing Content Area Literacies, discusses a series of approaches that should be implemented in the classroom so that content area literacies are accessible. Fang focuses on cognitive, sociocultural, linguistic, and critical perspectives as a means to enter different content areas. Fang states that existing literacy programs for adolescents typically combine these approaches in various ways, with some adopting a more cognitive or linguistic orientations and others placing a greater emphasis on the sociocultural or critical dimensions” (103). Personally, I believe that all four of these strategies should be utilized in the classroom. It is important for students to be able to cognitively process information from the text as well as be familiar with the jargon used depending on the content, however it is imperative that we consider the sociocultural aspects of our students and how we can implement their cultural backgrounds into literacy development. I work with students of color and I find that a lot of the material that they read is very Eurocentric and sometimes hard for students to relate to. A large part of literacy is being able to make connections from prior knowledge and being able to connect it or apply it to a text. It is important for students to make a sociocultural connection with material that they are reading and writing about. Not only does this method increase literacy in a meaningful way but it also allows for students to be included and reflected adequately in the material.

As stated previously, literacy can also refer to how verse an individual is in a given subject or content area. When researchers and educators and other school personnel discuss disciplinary-based literacy development in students, we are talking about the development of literacy throughout all subjects. Each content area has a very specific use of language or different strategies used to interpret and internalize, and apply material. It is important for students to be able to do this in every subject. To think like mathematicians, historians, scientists or literacy critics is to use certain techniques, skills, and strategies to acquire or apply new information. Although this process looks different throughout the content areas, the foundation of literacy development is more or less the same. The foundation of literacy development in all subject areas is the ability to read, write, and comprehend. For example, in science many educators would allow students to do an inquiry/discovery based task before providing them with supplemental reading material to either correct or reaffirm their view about the way in which the world works. Cervetti and Pearson discuss in their article Reading, Writing, and Thinking Like a Scientist, that “ we have taken the position that reading science text as received fact without simultaneously coming to understand the methods of inquiry that produced those facts and the nature of science as a way of answering questions about the natural world simply would not be doing science” (583). Essentially, in order for students to understand science as a field, it is important for students to engage with inquiry and discovery first and then integrate reading material after. This strategy is not employed in the other content areas.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Milani,

      I really enjoyed reading your response.

      This just jumped out at me:

      Personally, I believe that all four of these strategies should be utilized in the classroom. It is important for students to be able to cognitively process information from the text as well as be familiar with the jargon used depending on the content, however it is imperative that we consider the sociocultural aspects of our students and how we can implement their cultural backgrounds into literacy development. I work with students of color and I find that a lot of the material that they read is very Eurocentric and sometimes hard for students to relate to. A large part of literacy is being able to make connections from prior knowledge and being able to connect it or apply it to a text. It is important for students to make a sociocultural connection with material that they are reading and writing about. Not only does this method increase literacy in a meaningful way but it also allows for students to be included and reflected adequately in the material.

      Can you share some more about what you do specifically?

    Group D

    Here is the online home for Group D.
    Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018

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