is the foundation for all other learning, the means by which youngsters
develop critical thinking skills. It is the vehicle through which
humans can make sense of our world and ourselves."
educators of elementary and middle school children realize too late
that literacy development is critical in a student's academic development,
as students with weak literacy skills often don't show severe academic
problems until upper elementary or middle school. Literacy is "both
broader and more specific than reading. Literate behaviors include
writing and other creative or analytical acts and at the same time,
invoke very particular bits of knowledge and skills in specific
subject matter domains (e.g., history, physics, mathematics, etc.)
(Anderson and Pearson, 1984, in Snow, Burns, and Griffin, 1998)."
obvious but of equal importance, literacy development is also a
critical factor in a student's cognitive development and capacity
to learn. A student who has developed a strong foundation in literacy
has also developed a strong foundation to learn and is better prepared
to tackle more rigorous and complex subjects in middle school and
development can be a challenging and difficult process for some
learners and their teachers. This is because literacy is
set of complex skills, as well as cultural practice, that both determines
the skills that comprise it and the values placed on how the skills
are employed. This requires a literacy curriculum for all readers-those
who struggle as well as the avid and proficient-a curriculum that
engages students in meaningful literacy events in which they see
the value of the skills, strategies and dispositions directly and
indirectly taught. It also underscores teachers' need to understand
the depth of literacy practices and ability to adapt instructional
programs to insure students can and do participate in literacy practices."
important is literacy that the education world is replete with approaches
to its instruction. At the same time, distinct camps of philosophy
governing literacy instruction divide education professionals, causing
confusion, aggravation, and frustration. The most conclusive and
recent research to date tells us that although there are ways to
help prevent reading difficulties for some students, particularly
those most at risk for learning problems, there is no magical solution.
Determining what instructional strategies and methods are best is
not a simple task. As described above, literacy is a cultural and
personal process, unique to each student. The "right"
formula for one student may not be the most appropriate for another.
However, some key principles may guide the creation of appropriate
curricula and development of literacy plans.
on-line resource is intended to summarize principles from the most
recent and conclusive research, providing a springboard for ideas
and resources that may support educational endeavors.
learn more about Literacy, click here:
directly to the Reading Instruction product,
go directly to the English as a Second Language product,
To go directly to the Deaf Literacy product,
like to offer our deep appreciation to the individuals who reviewed
the information related to Study Skills and provided invaluable suggestions
for improving the content. Thank you to Dr. Virginia Collier, a professor
at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginaia and to Ms. Diana
Kellner, a teacher in Granby, Colorado.
also welcome your feedback on the information, as well as any comments
that would help us enhance the content. Please send us an email