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A Yearlong Professional Development Initiative
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Literacy professional development leads to instructional improvement by bringing about a change in the participating teachers. This change can be evaluated in a variety of ways, including but not limited to tests of knowledge, personal evaluations, and analyses of the components of the professional development. The study described in this article examined teachers' met cognitive understandings of the strategy known as Question-Answer Relationships or QAR (Raphael, 1986) through the preparation of content area materials and reflective questions. The preparation of classroom materials included the development of explicit lesson Omega Seamaster Replica Watches plans incorporating teachers' descriptions of the strategy in open-ended questions and written think-alouds. Lesson plan components were evaluated by the principal researcher, Nance Wilson (first author), to examine changes in teacher understanding.
The study was designed around a yearlong professional development initiative aimed at helping secondary content area teachers incorporate the teaching of a literacy strategy (QAR) and content instruction to improve content area literacy.
For years there have been calls for an increased emphasis on content literacy (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004; Draper, 2008; Kamil, 2003; Richardson, 2008). This is the result of a recognition that students would benefit from having content area classes that are infused with reading instruction (Fisher & Ivey, 2005; Moore, Readence, & Rickelman, 1983; O'Brien, Stewart, & Moje, 1995). However, many secondary school teachers perceive literacy to be the responsibility of English teachers (Lester, 2000), or they have difficulty balancing literacy and content instruction. The problem, as identified by O'Brien et al. (1995), is that teachers often do not see a Omega Replica Watches connection between literacy skills and content information, as these skills appear to be inconsistent with the traditional goals of the secondary curriculum. Thus, many content area teachers struggle to buy into the teaching of reading strategies (Lester, 2000), and it has been difficult to incorporate literacy strategies into the content areas (Fisher & Ivey, 2005; Hall, 2005).
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