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Knowledge to support the teaching of reading

Catherine E. Snow Harvard Graduate School of Education


06-06-06
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Knowledge to support the teaching of reading: Crucial context


Preparing Teachers for a Changing World (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, eds.)
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A quick summary of the argument


In improving education, we need to think about three levels simultaneously: The students development of knowledge and skills Linked to the teachers development of knowledge and skills And the effective functioning of schools as organizations to support students and teachers
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The Book, This Talk


All those reports about teacher education! Students change: reading development Students vary: addressing all the needs Students encounter difficulties: specialized knowledge Learning to use assessments wisely A model of professional growth in reading
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Why a separate book about reading?


Literacy is the gatekeeper skill The research base is adequate to support better practice But performance is still disappointing, especially at higher grades Literacy teaching encompasses domains we dont traditionally think of as requiring teaching Teaching highly automatized skills is hard
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Challenges in improving reading


Widespread focus of early reading instruction only on 3rd grade outcomes Inoculation theory problem Variability among students in needs and approaches to reading Teachers as the final common pathway for improvements Size of the problem space
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Large problem spaces vocabulary

Small problem spaces

meaning

reading vocabulary

spelling rules letters phonemes

argument structure

phonological representations

Chapter 1. There is a knowledge base for teaching reading


The adult development knowledge base: How People Learn, the accumulated wisdom of cognitive research The reading knowledge base: PRD and NRP The disciplinary knowledge base: the many disciplines that enable us to analyze the nature of writing and of written language

The adult development knowledge base


The Learning, Enactment, Assessment, Reflection Cycle
Knowledge that is usable, elaborate, specific, detailed Useable knowledge: progressive differentiation recurring cycles learning enactment assessment reflection enacted in practice leading to integration

Enact Enact Enact Enact

Learn Learn Learn Learn Reflect Reflect Reflect Reflect

Assess Assess Assess Assess

Enact

Learn

Assess

Reflect

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Knowledge Representation at Three Points on a Teachers Career


Reflective Reflective Expert Stable procedural Declarative Expert

Declarative / Situated

Situated

Stable procedural

Novice

Preservice

Situated

Declarative

Novice

Stable procedural Reflective

Expert

Master Teacher

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The reading knowledge base


Five opportunities to learn from PRD
Motivation to read Functions of print Alphabetic principle Language and metacognition Assessment to guide prevention and instruction

Five specific pedagogical practices from NRP


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The disciplinary knowledge base: Useable Knowledge about Language

Phonemic Awareness Word attack, Phonics Word meaning (vocabulary) Comprehension, Strategy use Fluency

Phonology Morphology Etymology Orthography Semantics Syntax Pragmatics Discourse Metacognition


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Students change: Preschool


Nature/role of Texts
mostly narrative

Language Comprehension
listening comprehension sense of narrative vocabulary

Word Recognition
phonological/phonemic awareness letter/sound recognition

Fluency not an issue


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Students change: Primary grades


Nature/role of Texts
still mostly narrative

Language comprehension
somewhat more complex/academic

Word Recognition
a major task requires both developed knowledge and control over processing

Fluency
requires practice with repeated readings, decodable and/or leveled texts depends on diminution of attention to the task
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Students change: 4th grade and after


Nature/role of Texts
reading subordinated to disciplines
math, science, literature, social studies most expository but even narratives read for analysis, not for plot

growing expertise in learning from text growing expertise in producing disciplinary texts

Language Comprehension
specialized vocabulary

Word Recognition
discipline-specific reading practices and instruction
specific genres specific tasks specialized vocabulary

Fluency

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Students change: one representation of developmental changes in the reading system

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Questions for discussion


What would disqualify someone from teaching first graders to read?
Beliefs that are inconsistent with good practice Absence of knowledge required

What would disqualify someone from teaching ELA or social studies in 4th-12th grades?
Beliefs that are inconsistent with good practice Enact Absence of knowledge required
Learn Assess

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Reflect

Knowledge Representation at Three Points on a Teachers Career


Reflective Reflective Expert Stable procedural Declarative Expert

Declarative / Situated

Situated

Stable procedural

Novice

Preservice

Situated

Declarative

Novice

Stable procedural Reflective

Expert

Master Teacher

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A model of professional growth in reading: Programs need to


Address teacher beliefs to foster openness to new ideas Develop expectations of and skills for continuous learning Ensure development of comprehensive and usable knowledge base Help teachers apply new knowledge to particular contexts and students Promote articulation among key components to promote personal efficacy and professional responsibility
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A model of professional growth in reading: Programs need to


Stay the course, rather than changing focus frequently Be sensitive to local context, rather than generic in response to student needs Encourage careful analyses of teaching and the generation of shared knowledge Achieve a balance between institutional needs and individual needs of teachers
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A model of professional growth in reading: The system needs to recognize


that novice teachers can perhaps at best be expected to do no harm the need for stages of teacher careers, associated with changes in knowledge, experience, responsibilities, and rewards that ongoing learning is as important for teachers as for MDs or car mechanics that school-site support for teacher functioning is as important as what teachers bring that delivering pre-service education is only part of universities responsibilities
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In conclusion
We have a rich and multifaceted knowledge base for teaching reading And ensuring that teachers have access to it may require rethinking teacher preparation The Learn-Enact-Assess-Reflect cycle applies to teacher education and professional development as much as to teacher learning Changes in school organization and district support are as important as improvements in preservice education
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Specific recommendations
Teacher preparation programs
Enhanced language/literacy content For all teachers Made useable through links to problems of practice Focused on reflecting about enacted knowledge

Professional development
Focused on literacy for content area teachers Comprehensive and linked to preservice learning Focused on reflecting about enacted knowledge

Conditions of work
Differentiated teacher careers Using experienced teachers as knowledge resources Local and collaborative learning
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Knowledge to support the teaching of reading: A brief history


NAE project on teacher education, funded by OERI/IES Motivated by challenge of designing good teacher education programs A reading-focused report as part of the work NAE review process
Review Monitor report Revision Re-review and resubmission to monitor

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Key information covered in Preparing Teachers for a Changing World


Pedagogical practices
Theories of learning Enhancing students language development Educational goals and purposes Teaching subject matter Teaching diverse learners

Classroom management
Classroom routines Motivation and discipline

Organizational alternatives Clinical practice, internships, mentoring


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Knowledge to support the teaching of reading: the committee


Core: Susan Burns, Claude Goldenberg, Peg Griffin, Louisa Moats, Annemarie Palincsar, P. David Pearson, Catherine Snow, Dorothy Strickland Additional original members: Richard Anderson, Joan Baratz Snowden Later recruits: Gina Cervetti, Maryellen Vogt Key staff participants: Pam LePage, 27 Helen Duffy