National Writing Project

Redefining Content Area Literacy Teacher Education: Finding My Voice through Collaboration

Publication: Harvard Educational Review
Date: September 8, 2008

Summary: In this essay, Roni Jo Draper shares her journey as a content area literacy educator, her belief that content literacy should promote mastery of the intellectual discourse of the discipline, and her ideas about how to increase collaboration between literacy and content area specialists.

 

Introduction

Roni Jo Draper reflects upon her professional journey as a content area literacy teacher educator, describing how she first became a literacy teacher educator and how she later came to collaborate with a group of teacher educators who specialize in disciplines such as music, theater, and mathematics.

Drawing upon naturalistic data from the group's participatory action research project, she explains how their collaboration shaped her understanding of her own professional role and expanded her definitions of texts, content area literacy, and literacy itself.

Informed by insights she gained through the project, Draper argues that content area literacy instruction should promote mastery of the intellectual discourse within a particular discipline. She also suggests ways to increase collaboration between literacy and content area specialists working in the field of teacher education.

Excerpt

If Dan's students were engaging in deep mathematics discussion, learning mathematics by developing images and describing and justifying their thinking with manipulatives, pictures and written explanations—activities I considered literacy—and he did this all without considering literacy explicitly or tapping into literacy instructional practices, what could I offer to improve the mathematics learning and literacy of his students?"


For more information, please visit http://www.hepg.org/her/abstract/641.
Roni Jo Draper, "Redefining Content-Area Literacy Teacher Education: Finding My Voice through Collaboration" Harvard Education Review 78:1 (Spring 2008) pp 60–83.

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