Rose in Context
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Rose in Context The Teaching of Reading in Initial Teacher Education KATHY HALL National University of Ireland, Cork UCET, Sept. 11 th , 2007 overview Preparing reading teachers: the context Reading pedagogy: goals and influences An expansive view of reading

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Rose in Context

The Teaching of Reading in

Initial Teacher Education


National University of Ireland, Cork

UCET, Sept. 11th, 2007

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  • Preparing reading teachers: the context

  • Reading pedagogy: goals and influences

  • An expansive view of reading

  • Competences of successful teachers

  • Knowledge of debates, reform efforts

  • Conceptualizing learning, pedagogy, research

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1. Preparing reading teachers: the context

  • Standards, accountability and league tables: what to attend to

  • Diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism

  • Vast amount of knowledge, research evidence and understanding now available

  • Debates in the media

  • Reform efforts, policy initiatives

  • Student experience: School and College

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2. Goals & Influences


Local Community


School Literacy

Curriculum and Pedagogy

Classroom Literacy

Literacy and

Learner Identities

Text Critic

Text User

Literacy Dimensions

and roles

Text Comprehender

Text Producer


Conventions of Print

(Hall, 2006, adapted fromTaylor et al, 2001)

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An expansive view of reading

  • Literacy teaching throughout pupils’ school career

  • Critical, independent thinkers

  • Range of texts

  • Exposure to literature

  • Visual and hyper-textual modes of communication

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Successful teachers: what makes a difference?

  • Authentic literacy experiences

  • Integration and application

  • Coaching/mentoring & instructional density

  • Formative assessment

  • Dialogic classrooms

  • Engagement/intellectual challenge

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Knowledge of debates and reform efforts

  • 1970s the code

  • 1980 comprehension

  • 1990s literature

  • Hierarchies: privileging some aspects over others? (Raphael,06)

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Conceptualizing Learning, Pedagogy and Research

  • Individualistic Psychology

  • Cultural Psychology (Social-practice based, relational perspective)

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Individualistic Psychology

  • Individual mental capacity

  • Learning as individual possession

  • Learning can be measured

  • Individual differences matter

  • Age-dependent patterns of growth

  • Uniform developmental trajectory

  • Can specify discrete sequential set of skills to be systematically taught

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Individualistic Psychology (contd.)

  • Strong emphasis on programmes

  • Learning as transferable

  • Positioning of the teacher

  • Positioning of the researcher

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Cultural Perspective

  • Fundamentally different and more complex

  • Meanings and intentions

  • Cultural mediators

  • Learning as changes in participation

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Cultural Perspective (contd.)

  • Learning concerns the whole person

  • Learning: participating

  • ‘What we learn with the greatest investment is what enables participation in the communities that define us as knowers’ (Wenger, 1998, 60)

  • Breaks down dualisms

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Cultural Perspective (contd.)

  • ‘It probably makes more sense to talk about how learning acquires people more than it makes sense to talk about how people acquire learning. Individually we may spend our time trying to learn, but this phenomenon pales before the fact that, however hard we try, we can only learn what is around us to be learned’ (McDermott, 1996, 277)

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Cultural Perspective (contd.)

  • What is of concern is the practice: how do learners become imbued with the practice?

  • Doing (vs knowing)

  • While opportunities to participate are essential, they are not equally available to all

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Teaching reading as science, art, craft

  • The psychology of reading development

  • Knowledge of language structure

  • Competence in helping children learn language, learn through language, and learn about language

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a) learning to read is a complex process that requires many skills and abilities

b)the beginner reader and the student teacher benefit tremendously from teachers/tutors/lecturers/mentors who understand the reading process, assessment, and different approaches to developing reading

c)the beginner reader and the student teacher benefit also from being in a school where headteachers and leaders know about the reading process, where reading success is prioritized and where leadership obtains the right balance between facilitating teacher autonomy, creativity and initiative in matters of teaching approach & direction and willingness to re-examine practice.

Key messages