In ReLeah Cossett Lent’s introduction of her new book, This is Disciplinary Literacy, she writes about a student in one of her courses sharing about how “American schools have been functioning with a “rattomorophic” view of a learner as a being that can be taught mechanically and interchangeably” (2015). In today’s 21st century world with a focus on communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration across the many disciplines, this view can no longer be true.
In the graduate course I teach, where we are using Lent’s text as a focus for our work, two teachers of varying backgrounds have pulled me aside to say things like “she takes what I have been feeling the last couple years and puts it in words” and “I don’t normally like education books because they are so filled with theory, but this one is so practical that I can use it in my teaching.”
Literacy, at the secondary level, looks different. Lent does an amazing job pulling in how to focus when considering a variety of learners at different engagement levels, and the elements necessary for engagement that Guthrie (2008) points out, such as mastery, relevance, social interaction, choice and control, and self-efficacy.
With the increased focus on student-centered [see Kris Breen’s recent post] and personalized learning, as well as the drive to focus on interdisciplinary learning, having a solid framework to build disciplinary literacy instruction and assessment is the key to creating learners who will be our citizens of the future.
With that being said, if you want to be inspired and walk away with practical applications you can infuse into your classroom the next day, you are not too late. Sign up to come spend the day with ReLeah on Wednesday, February 10th!