Youth in the Middle: Our Guides to Improved Literacy Instruction?

Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Content Area Literacies
  • In this Voices from the Middle article, former social studies teacher and current teacher educator Donna E. Alvermann poses the question, What are some principled practices for engaging students’ literacy learning at the middle level, especially in content area classes where reading and writing are integral not only to their academic success but also to their identities as students who will be expected to take increasing responsibility for their own learning? She urges teachers to “listen to their own students for guidance in adapting their instruction,” but adds, "having personal access to good directional ideas is not enough. Finding ways to turn those ideas into sound instructional practices (based on principles derived from equally sound research) requires something more.” She recommends “four principled practices for the journey”: 1) Middle graders needs to generate and share their ideas about complex content area texts with others. 2) Middle graders thrive in active learning environments. 3) Middle graders need support in developing a critical awareness of what they read, view, and hear. 4) Middle graders need opportunities to connect literacies that span in- and out-of-school learning.

     

     Access to this resource has been provided by the National Council of Teachers of English, an NCLE Stakeholder Organization.

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