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Teachers Need Literacy To Help Their Students Learn In The 21st Century

By Author: Amelia.White
Total Articles: 41

The approach we have taken in this study adds to our understanding of the resistance of preservice teachers to content area literacy. It also demonstrates how a convergence of perspectives from teacher educators in both literacy and the content areas can be generative of new insights and questions (Draper, 2008; Forman & Ansell, 2001; Lemke, 1990; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008; Tuckey & Anderson, 2008). Such questions include, How does coming to understand the literacy practices of a content area reshape preservice teachers' own understandings of content knowledge and how to teach it The work begun here also suggests that Merrell Boots teachers need to understand not only the literacy practices of their content area but also the literacy practices of their students. What does such understanding look like, and how might it develop what approaches might foster this kind of learning within preservice teacher education.

A basic challenge facing content area literacy instruction has been to convince preservice teachers that literacy belongs in the content classroom. Our approach of focusing on problematic content tasks helped preservice teachers see that literacy practices are actually already there. Rather than focusing on content and literacy, we made progress toward an emergent understanding of the literacy practices of content. We suggest that the discursive metaknowledge of literacy practices of content contributes to a productive notion of powerful content literacy for teachers. Although most teachers would agree that knowing students well is important for motivating learning, our work shows that teachers should also know how students' discursive practices shape opportunities to learn science and mathematics.

Further, teachers' abilities to recognize and address students' struggles with school-based discursive practices may depend, in part, on their abilities to understand how meaning is shaped by authority, how literacy practices Merrell Shoes are dialogic, and how literacy practices are contextual. These are promising avenues for influencing knowledge and dispositions of mathematics and science preservice teachers. In turn, this may help them to meet the needs of diverse learners in this changing literacy landscape.

In summary, we contend that the literacy practices surrounding content understanding in science and mathematics are so familiar to preservice teachers as to be largely implicit. This investigation challenged preservice teachers' basic presumptions about the role of literacy in the learning and teaching of science and mathematics content. In doing so, previously invisible discursive practices were made visible. We believe that teachers who see how literacy is central to understanding content can also see how content area literacy approaches help students learn content better. Teachers will need this kind of powerful literacy to help their students learn in the 21st century.

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