Friday, February 3, 2012

Literacy: It Isn’t Just for English Anymore

Bill Tucker

When the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts were published eighteen months ago, a small addendum featured “Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.” Almost two years before the CCSS would publish content standards for any of these subjects, it was announcing there would be literacy standards across the curriculum.

Now in their sixth month of inquiry the Disciplinary Literacy groups of EMWP are getting ready to demonstrate what these standards might look like in secondary classrooms. Over the next three months they will be featured in the Saturday morning workshop series, “Reading and Writing in a Decade of Standards” (schedule attached).

On February 11, Doug Baker, John Staunton and Lauren Luedtke (TC ‘2010) will introduce the notion of Disciplinary Literacy and examine how it affects how we read. Rosanne Stark will present a complementary K-5 study of Informational texts. At the end of the workshop, a panel of college instructors will reflect on how they approach reading in their classes.

In subsequent months the DL groups will demonstrate writing lessons, first in Science in March and then in Social Studies in April. These demonstrations are among the primary artifacts for their report to the National Writing Project, which has funded this inquiry with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As Doug Baker reported for his Science Literacy group:

The teachers have observed their own practices and lessons in order to select and build model lessons, whose scientific and pedagogical principles can be used by other teachers.

If you know content area teachers who are concerned about addressing the literacy standards, this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce them to the Writing Project. Bring a colleague to the 2012 edition of “Reading and Writing in a Decade of Standards.” If possible pre-register, but you are welcome to come and register onsite.

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