On December 8th and 9th I attended a training on Disciplinary Literacy. The presenter of this training was Dr. Thommie Piercy, a professional development associate for The Leadership and Learning Center. In this post, I want to share the central ideas of Dr. Piercy’s learning session on Disciplinary Literacy.
Today’s Urgency – What ACT Reveals About College and Career Readiness in Reading
• Reading demands in the workforce, college, and life have held steady or increased over the last half century, yet K-12 texts have declined in sophistication (CCSSI, 2010, Appendix A, p. 2)
• This gap between the end of high school text readability demands and university text is increasing (Williamson, 2008, p. 618; ACT 2011)
• This difference is greater than the difference between the end of 4th and 7th grades (MetaMetrics, 2011, p .2).
• Students’ ability to read, understand, and respond to questions about complex texts was the main differentiator of student success (CCSSI, Appendix A, 2010, p. 2; ACT 2006, p. 16).
|Disciplinary Literacy• The CCSS for ELA are shared by science and history teachers• Disciplinary Literacy honors unique, reading demands in different contents• Content teachers focus on how to teach literacy required in their discipline, not on teaching how to apply general reading skills and strategies in content areas• Emphasis on Close Reading
• Greater expectations for reading multiple texts, including non-text sources, (experiments and videos)
|Standard 10• In response, the Common Core State Standards have woven text complexity expectations into every grade, beginning with Grade 2, through the progression of Standard 10. Kindergarten and Grade 1 are exposed to complex texts.• Increased Text Complexity is a key requirement in the Common Core document (CCSSI, 2010, Appendix A) ©
|Reading• Focus on text and its complexity, rather than the text being irrelevant• Cognitive skills are applied within the text at a specific difficulty range• Texts have a Standard, (10), dedicated to increasing complexity levels through Learning Progressions• Informational texts have an increased focus with specific expectations, distribution is not an option
• Implications for stretching students compared to placement in leveled readers
|Writing about Text• Emphasis on argument and informative/explanatory writing• Writing about sources (evidence) requiring high information, rather than as a separate subject area• Writing is closely connected with comprehension instruction for Reading, increasing the amount of writing|
|Speaking and Listening• Inclusion of formal and informal talk• Texts are not only a form of basic information||Argumentation• Texts are treated as a form of argument, not only a form of basic information• Critical thinking skills needed for Reading and Writing are central to the focus on argument• Determining underlying argument, including author perspective, requires explicit instruction• Focus on evidence is greatly increased|
|Language• Stress on academic and domain-specific vocabulary Technology• Greater emphasis on technology, not generalizing reading and writing skills to apply to technology||Literacy is a Shared Responsibility•Ascending levels of reading comprehension•Balance of literature and informational texts•Emphasis on within-text and across-text engagement and the use of evidence•Tremendous attention toward growing analytical thinkers, critical consumers, expressing voice
•Literacy standards for history/social studies, science and technical subjects
•Implications for cross content collaboration