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    Standards 2017: Practicum/Clinical Experiences

    BY APRIL HALL
     | Mar 28, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    AutumnDodgeHeadShot_220
    Autumn Dodge

    Standard 7, Practicum/Clinical Experiences, is a new addition to the document. Never before have the Standards addressed clinical and field experience necessary for being a successful educator.

    Autumn Dodge, assistant professor at St. John's University in New York, was the lead writer on Standard 7 and said it was vital to add this aspect of teacher preparation to the document.

    "This new standard addresses what we see as the need to provide standards and expectations for practicum experience for the different roles," Dodge said. "We needed to define what practicum experiences are, differentiating between field and clinical experiences."

    Dodge said that those preparing literacy specialists, coaches, and coordinators indicated there was a need for guidance about possible practicum experiences for candidates for those roles, including ideas about ongoing mentoring or a network of colleagues to help specialized literacy professionals address challenges in their schools.

    "We commonly have those expectations for preservice teachers, but they are not as clear for specialized literacy professionals at universities," she said. The team received a waiver from CAEP to create and add Standard 7 to the specialized literacy professional roles. Diane Kern, committee cochair and associate professor at the University of Rhode Island, said this is the key reason the Standard was added.

    "For all specialized literacy professionals, we will require classroom experience," Kern said. "It can be their own classrooms or schools."

    "Programs will not be required to have an on-site literacy clinic (e.g., work in extracurricular literacy enrichment programs), although programs with clinical experiences are encouraged to continue this excellent way to prepare candidates to work with children and youths in the role of literacy interventionist." Such clinical experiences can also provide valuable coaching opportunities, under supervision, for novice specialists. Dodge and Kern agreed that an integral part of Standard 7 is allowing for blended learning or exclusively online studies.

    "That is a question teacher educators have been asking us, and we had to clearly define what experiences and supervision were necessary," Kern said.

    "There are a lot of ideas of how to use video clips and online media discussions between faculty supervisors and candidates. There still can be supervisor coaching online," Dodge said. "Candidates can video record their teaching experiences, share with faculty, supervisors, and their peers. Even online, there can be consistent reflection, critique, and revision of their practice."

    The writing team on Standard 7 was

    • Allison Swan Dagen, associate professor of Literacy Studies, West Virginia University
    • Beverly DeVries, professor of Reading, Southern Nazarene University, OK
    • Anne McGill-Franzen, professor and director of the reading center, University of Tennessee
    • Jeanne Schumm, professor emerita, University of Miami, FL

    Review all of Standards 2017 when they are posted and give your feedback during the open public comment period starting April 17.

    April HallApril Hallwas editor ofLiteracy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.

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    Standards 2017: Professional Learning and Leadership

    By April Hall
     | Mar 21, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    Jacy Ippolito, associate professor of Secondary and Higher Education, Salem State University in Massachusetts, was the lead writer on Standard 6, Professional Learning and Leadership, and said the most important shift for Standard 6 comes from the separation of the literacy specialist and literacy coach roles.

    JacyIppolito_w330
    Jacy Ippolito

    “Currently, very few universities and states offer separate credentials for reading/literacy specialists and literacy coaches; while some graduate programs offer coaching courses or experiences for literacy specialist candidates, very few offer separate coaching preparation programs or credentials.” Ippolito said. “Pulling the roles apart is both reflecting and pushing the field to prepare and endorse coaches beyond the specialist role.”

    He said using the term literacy leader is also new to the Standard. “It’s incredibly important for literacy specialists to continue working directly with students, but there are many aspects of the role that go beyond intervention work that include working as a ‘literacy leader’ helping to shape literacy teaching, learning, and assessment schoolwide.”

    He said that the focus for literacy coaches is on facilitating adult professional learning, whereas specialists have a primary responsibility for student learning and helping other staff collect and make use of assessment data. At the same time, specialists must have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work collaboratively with teachers to develop and implement effective instructional practices. Such collaborative work may involve coplanning, coteaching, or coaching.

    “We’re looking at the different roles in a more granular way than the Standards 2010,” Ippolito said. “But we still focus on understanding adult learning and facilitating professional learning; we still focus on individual and group improvement. The keywords across the standard are facilitation and advocacy. In the 2017 Standards, we’re shifting more toward advocacy work with students, schools, and communities.”

    The writing team on Standard 6 was

    • Kevin Marie Laxalt, coordinator for Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Initiative, Nevada Department of Education
    • Debra Price, professor for the Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Populations, Sam Houston State University-Huntsville, TX
    • Misty Sailors, professor of Literacy Education, University of Texas-San Antonio

    Once the entire Standards 2017 are posted, be sure to review the draft and give your input during the open public comment period starting April 17.

    April HallApril Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.


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    Standards 2017: Learners and the Literate Environment

    by April Hall
     | Mar 15, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    Understanding how individual learners develop, and then creating a positive literacy learning environment to meet those developmental differences, is a vital piece of literacy education. Allison Swan Dagen, associate professor of Literacy Studies at West Virginia University, was the lead writer on Standard 5 and said her team's rewrite included expanding on the contextual factors that influence 21st-century learners.

    AllisonSwanDagen_headshot
        Allison Swan Dagen

    Dagen said there are two major differences between the 2010 and 2017 revisions. First is the addition of the literacy learner. This means understanding both learner development and learner differences, not only for those who are having difficulties but also for students with typical and exceptional literacy achievement.

    The second difference was an explicit focus of Standard 5 on digital technologies in the learning environment. There is no doubt that the last seven years has brought a flood of technology both in and out of the classroom. As research has indicated, technology is beneficial only if there is purpose and mindfulness of how that technology is used. "Our Standard 5 writing team approached this new standard with the strong belief that the content be anchored in meeting shifting needs of the 21st-century literacy learner," Dagen said. "We need specialists in schools who know how to collaborate with peers to integrate digital technologies in safe, appropriate, and effective ways in the classrooms."

    She said this does not set aside printed materials, as they are equally important to meeting students' literacy needs.

    The rest of the Standard is about creating a climate that addresses issues such as setting, grouping, and routines, including how learning can be both face-to-face and also occur in a virtual space.

    "We want complete integration of technology and traditional media in the classroom," Dagen said. "We just need to look at the contextual factors that influences learning for all."

    The writing team on Standard 5 was

    • Celia Banks, coordinator of language arts for K–6 programs, U-46 School District in Elgin, IL
    • Jill Castek, associate professor of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies, University of Arizona
    • Jennifer Shettel, associate professor, Millersville University, PA

    Remember to review the entire Standards 2017 when it is posted for open public comment on April 17 and be sure to make your voice heard.

    April Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.

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    Standards 2017: Diversity and Equity

    By April Hall
     | Mar 07, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    When writers sat down to address Standard 4, they had quite a task ahead of them. The idea of “diversity” has exploded since 2010 and, more than that, the team expanded the standard to address Diversity and Equity.

    Doris Walker-Dalhouse headshot
    Doris Walker-Dalhouse

    “We were really looking at a broadened definition of diversity and including many more elements and aspects of diversity,” said Doris Walker-Dalhouse, lead writer on Standard 4 and a professor in the College of Education at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. “We wanted to recognize religious, cultural, and gender expression and identity in addition to differences in physical and cognitive abilities.”

    As for adding the second aspect of the Standard, Walker-Dalhouse said, “The equity and advocacy for equity is a stronger focus with the new standards because of increasing diversity in schools.

    “It’s about being inclusive, wanting all students to be academically and socially capable of interacting with others to create a more socially just world,” she said. “We need to make sure all students have the kind of learning experiences they need to contribute to and succeed in this type of world.”

    She said educators need to look at students’ families and their communities as resources and strive to make connection between students’ in-school and out-of-school literacies and learning. Each community and schools within these communities face different challenges in achieving equity, whether in funding, resources, and/or policies that negatively impact a high number of English learners, children in poverty, children with diverse family structures, or children with other aspects of diversity. This mindfulness will help educators be advocates for their students and for what they need.

    “Students come from different home environments, have different funds of knowledge that should be tapped and incorporated into the methods and materials used to promote their learning,” Walker-Dalhouse said. “Educators who strive to be responsive to diverse students seek greater understanding of diversity through professional reading, reflection, and actions in creating learning environments that engage all students. They examine their personal attitudes and beliefs about diverse students and promote critical thinking about the impact of injustices and stereotypic thinking in their work with students. Most important, they take appropriate action(s) to effect change.”

    The writing team for Standard 4 was

    • Lori Helman, associate professor, University of Minnesota
    • Liliana Reyes, professor of Early Childhood Literacy Education, Language, Reading, & Culture, University of Arizona
    • Autumn Dodge, assistant professor, St. John’s University, Queens, NY
    Remember to review the entire Standards 2017 when it is posted for open public comment on April 17 and be sure to make your voice heard.

    April Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing, and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.

     
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    Standards 2017: Assessment and Evaluation

    By April Hall
     | Feb 28, 2017

    virginia goatleyA draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    Assessment and Evaluation are the focus of Standard 3 of Standards 2017, addressing how teaching candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective literacy instruction.

    When lead writer Virginia Goatley, professor and chair of the Literacy Teaching and Learning Department at University of Albany-SUNY, and her team approached this Standard, the first step was to include more educators in the assessment process, including literacy coaches and specialists. Assessments do not solely fall to the classroom teacher, she said.

    Goatley notes Standard 3 is meant to work closely with Standard 2, Curriculum and Instruction: “Standard 2 will provide guidelines for Curriculum and Instruction, while Standard 3 addresses how to assess it. We focus on using multiple sources of data and letting that data drive decision making in instruction.”

    “As professionals, we understand the value of assessment. If you have teachers who are using data to inform instruction and are considering multiple forms of data, there are implications for necessary intervention. We’re saying you need to be strategic.”

    Goatley and her team did not take on the politics or controversy of assessment, although there are expectations for specialists to be advocates for students with various audiences and stakeholders.

    The Standard 3 writing team was:

    • Darion Griffin, senior associate director of Educational Issues for the American Federation of Teachers
    • Debra Miller, professor of education, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD
    • Jennifer Jones-Powell, associate professor, Radford University, VA

    Peruse the entire Standards 2017 draft when it is posted for public comment on April 17 and be sure to make your voice heard.

    April Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing, and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.

     

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