RM Winter 2016 FLIP

design a unit of study extending from the disciplinary inquiry. This process scaffolded PST understanding of how to create historical inquiry questions, build text sets, identify text complexities, and use formative assessment to determine appropriate scaffolds for students. PSTs expanded notions of literacy teaching by routinely experiencing the literacies within their teaching discipline. 2. Literacy learning needs to occur within a professional learning community in collaboration with practicing teachers-- the preparation of PSTs cannot occur without apprenticeship and engagement with current teachers. But, what happens when Margaret encounters the norms of literacy instructional practice by other social studies teachers during her field placement and student teaching? How might the literacy pedagogy of fellow teachers validate or contradict disciplinary literacy teaching? And, in what ways could a re- envisioning of the partnership between teacher education programs and local schools built shared disciplinary literacy teaching frameworks? In Powerful Teacher Education (2013) , Linda Darling-Hammond catalogues seven preservice preparation programs that are succeeding with innovative practices. One of their common practices includes connecting strongly with the classrooms in which student teachers are placed. It is not enough to expand the academic grounding in literacy-- new teachers need to be supported in placements that blur the boundaries between the development of theoretical knowledge and the application of that knowledge in classrooms. Clemson University, where we work, currently integrates methodology classes with lab settings; however, we need to be more targeted in those placements, particularly if we are asking students to both consider disciplinary literacy practices and to understand literacy practices as complex, situated and fluid. The relationship with mentor teachers is key in ensuring both that students are working with a teacher who shares this ideology and who will help them find spaces to explore literacy, both as practiced in a classroom and in the actual lived experiences of student lives. To this end, Clemson’s faculty-in-residence initiative places a faculty member in a local school for a semester in order to facilitate collaborative inquiry amongst teachers. As Phillip, acting as an instructional coach, meets with social studies teachers to support their disciplinary literacy instruction, Margaret’s placement at the same school affords her an opportunity to both participate in the design of responsive disciplinary literacy instruction and build shared beliefs and practices. PSTs need to see practicing teachers enact disciplinary literacy teaching practices, yet due to the relative newness of disciplinary literacy teaching, practicing teachers also need to develop first hand experience teaching for disciplinary literacies. With Phillip guiding the group through the same three stage process of experiencing disciplinary literacies, deconstructing literacy practices, and designing additional scaffolds for adolescent learners, all teachers-both preservice and inservice—can be provided with the professional learning spaces to inquire into the disciplinary literacy needs of students. Therefore, schools of education must harness the potential power of R2S and engender authentic school-university partnerships where practitioners, PSTs, and literacy professors jointly share

Transforming pedagogy to support adolescent literacy Our hope is that this commentary can offer practical advice for helping teachers and schools of education use the Read to Succeed Act to envision and enact responsive disciplinary literacy teaching. Literacy scholars have started teaching disciplinary literacies to PSTs who identify with a particular discipline (Park, 2013; Wilder, 2014). Park noted “even if the pre-service teachers resisted the idea of teaching disciplinary literacy, they accepted that adolescents, on any given day, are being asked to navigate a range of disciplinary discourses, knowledge, and even identities” (p. 381). Those identities, discourses and knowledge extend throughout and beyond the schooling experiences of students, and expanded notions of adolescent literacy link literacy practices with power and the critical literacy movement (Freire, 1986; Shor, 1992). Coburn et al. remind us “when the policy promotes instructional approaches that are ambitious or unfamiliar, teachers are more likely to implement them in superficial ways rather than making fundamental changes in their instructional approach” (2011, p.573). Therefore, in order to facilitate this learning for PSTs (and therefore disciplinary literacies for adolescents), we offer four recommendations for teacher preparation programs: Since many PSTs hold limited understanding of the ways reading, writing, speaking and reasoning are used to construct disciplinary knowledge, PSTs need ample opportunities to experience disciplinary literacies and inquiry. Redesigning content area literacy courses to include disciplinary-specific literacy inquiry can deepen a PST’s disciplinary literacies and disciplinary literacies pedagogy. Even when multiple disciplines are represented in the same course, PSTs can be guided through a three phase cycle of inquiry into disciplinary literacies. At Clemson, Margaret and her fellow social studies education PSTs enrolled in Phillip’s junior year disciplinary literacies course, participated in historical inquiries, doing what they seldom experienced in high school or undergraduate history courses—creating and defending historical arguments. First, PSTs experience disciplinary literacy using reading, writing, and discourse practices to construct arguments about unsettled questions hotly debated by historians. For example, social studies PSTs applied historical reading heuristics (Wineburg, 1991) to their collaborative reading of “Condemning the Errors of Martin Luther” by Pope Leo X, “The Ship of Fools” painting by Jheronimus Bosch, “Against the Robbing and Murdeirng Hordes of Peasants” by Martin Luther, and a PBS secondary source entitled “The Reluctant Revolutionary” to debate whether Martin Luther’s reforms lead to a religious revolution in Europe. Then, PSTs used reflective writing prompts to deconstruct their use of historical reading heuristics (sourcing, contextualixing, corroborating, and close reading) while analyzing the complexity of texts, identifying requisite background knowledge, and exposing the limits of their own ability to read, reason, and construct arguments across multiple texts like historians. Finally, in stage three, Phil guided PSTS through a disciplinary-specific pedagogical framework to envision additional scaffolding needs for adolescents and to 1. Provide PSTs with ample opportunities to experience and deconstruct literacies within their teaching discipline.

Reading Matters Commentary

Reading Matters | Volume 16 • Winter 2016 scira.org | 77 |


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