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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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    Standards 2017: Curriculum and Instruction

    By April Hall
     | Feb 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.

    Beverly DeVries PhotoStandard 2 addresses curriculum and instruction in the classroom. Lead writer Beverly DeVries, professor emerita of reading at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma, said it is closely related to others, particularly Standard 3, Assessment and Evaluation, and Standard 4, Diversity and Equity.

    In other words, Standard 2 identifies the skills, knowledge, and dispositions literacy professionals need to align their curriculum and instruction with their individual students or with the classroom community.

    The Standard also addresses collaboration in the creation of curriculum, whether with the research from professional associations like ILA and institutions of higher education, with the Department of Education, or with local school districts.

    “There has to be a connection between schools and the local universities,” DeVries said. “We believe they should collaborate on curriculum and instruction with a lot of integration.”

    She said that when writing the latest revision, her team used feedback they received from reviewers, for example, incorporating more emphasis on inclusion and differentiation. She also said the diversity of her team helped inform their work.

    The team for Standard 2 included the following:

    • Dana Robertson, assistant professor, elementary and early childhood education, University of Wyoming
      • Susan Piazza, associate professor, Western Michigan University
        • Cindy Parker, educator/education management, Lexington, KY

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

        April Hall is 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: Foundational Knowledge

        By April Hall
         | Feb 14, 2017

         

        helen perkins headshot
        J. Helen Perkins

        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.

        Standard 1 in ILA’s Standards 2017 addresses “foundational knowledge,” or the role of theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading, writing, and communication in the preparation of literacy professionals. J. Helen Perkins, associate professor at the University of Memphis and lead writer on Standard 1, said her team didn’t approach the standard as an expansion from Standards 2010 but rather as a rewrite to include the latest research in the field. The Standard 1 writing team also included the following:

        • Anne McGill-Franzen, professor and director of the Reading Center, University of Tennessee
        • Jeanne Schumm, professor emerita, University of Miami
        • Vicky Zygouris-Coe, professor of Education, University of Central Florida

        “The Standard is much more rigorous, and there are high expectations that require a deeper understanding of literacy access and acquisition,” Perkins said.

        She noted that the writing team gave a lot of consideration to reciprocity, or the idea that when students improve in reading, other communications will improve in turn. Perkins emphasized that Standard 1 now requires literacy professionals to not only have the knowledge base but also be able to demonstrate that knowledge.

        Perkins shared that Standard 1 now has a focus on multimodal literacy, which wasn’t even addressed in Standards 2010. She noted, “Students are reading and writing in completely different ways now.”

        She said of the Standards 2017 drafting process that she enjoyed the collaborative work with the other writing teams and learned a lot within her own team. In two years of conference calls and virtual work sessions, the Standard 1 team compiled an extensive list of research sources. Significant effort went into examining that list and determining what was really relevant to foundational knowledge. “Whatever we were putting into Standard 1 was very clearly research-based,” Perkins said. “I think the product will be well worth the labor we put into this.”

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

        April Hall is 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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