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Exploring New Literacies in a Teacher Education Course: Developing Conceptions and Instructional Approaches. Cheryl Rosaen, email@example.com Michigan State University Marj Terpstra, firstname.lastname@example.org Calvin College MSU Literacy Achievement Research Center.
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Cheryl Rosaen, email@example.com
Michigan State University
Marj Terpstra, firstname.lastname@example.org
MSU Literacy Achievement Research Center
Presentation at theannual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, December, 2010
This study examined 25 teacher candidates’ written work produced during an Exploring New Literacies Project. Candidates learned about new literacies through course readings and their own research, employed a new technology in teaching colleagues about a new literacy, recorded notes on their learning, created and updated concept maps representing their effective literacy instruction ideas, wrote a final reflection on their learning, and constructed a new literacies lesson plan. The analysis revealed that students developed a more comprehensive view of new literacies, but did not fully employ these understandings in their instructional planning. Implications for further course project development and further research questions are identified and discussed.
We hope to stimulate dialogue among teacher educators around pedagogical challenges and promising approaches.
Goal 1:expand teacher candidates’ conception of literacy and prompt reflection on their learning
The New Literacies Project
Explore one new literacy
New Literacy Choices
Blog: What does it mean to provide “effective literacy instruction” to diverse learners and how do the new literacy and new technology you explored inform your thinking?
• View colleagues’ products
• Evaluate and provide written feedback to one colleague
• Respond to one colleague’s blog
“…self-study is about the learning from experience that is embedded within teachers creating new experiences for themselves and those whom they teach” (Russell, 1998, pp. 5-6)
2 Teacher Educators
Instructor, senior-level literacy methods course
Technology Support Educator
2 Cohorts of Elementary Teacher Candidates (n=51)
Concept Maps (3 per student):
Written work of 2 blog groups per cohort (n=12)
Virtual Class blog reflections and lesson plans (n=51)
Instructor lesson plans, project descriptions, record of correspondence
Most teacher candidates reported a broadened conception of literacy
My conceptual understanding of literacy has changed since the beginning of this class. During one of the first days of classes I made a literacy concept map which basically was confined to the areas of traditional language arts instruction. For instance, I thought literacy primarily was composed of the learning of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
During the middle portion of this course we were asked to define literacy and post it on our class wiki. At this time my understanding of literacy had changed to include critical thinking and new literacies like: cultural literacy, numeracy literacy, digital information media literacy, environmental literacy, social literacy, political literacy, visual literacy, and emotional literacy.
As I reflect now, I think that literacy incorporates all of this and so much more.This became clear to me when using my new technology, scrap blogging. This is because it made me realize our world is ever changing and that there are always new mediums and topics to learn and become literate in. It is our jobs as teachers to filter through all this new material and find out what is going to impact our students’ future the most and what knowledge they need to function as a successful member in society (and the world). (Marcy, Blog Entry, March 23)
Although most candidates could talk about what K-6 students would need to know and be able to do, less than half developed lesson plans that integrated new literacies with the new technology
included experiences that were similar to the tasks teacher candidates completed during TheNew Literacies Project.
supported K-6 students in learning about a new literacy while they also learned to use a new technology to share their learning.
specificity and support in the project improved as we clarified our own thinking about new literacies and the goals for the project