I recently had the great misfortune to contract tonsillitis. Out of the myriad of unpleasant symptoms, the one that was the most difficult was loosing my voice. It was frustrating not to be heard. There were a few situations, especially with larger groups of people, when I started to withdraw from the conversation. It was just too much effort.
This experience made me appreciate the value of Reading Apprenticeship, an approach to secondary literacy through the Strategic Literacy Initiative at WestEd. The Reading Apprenticeship framework focuses on students developing, expanding and building the confidence in their voice in discipline specific ways.
In a traditional secondary classroom, it is not unusual for the main modality of learning to be lecture. Students sit, listen and regurgitate on demand. The teachers do most of the work and students are peripheral to the learning process.
In converse, Reading Apprenticeship classrooms have students at their center. Students are viewed as competent learners. Strategies and scaffolds are provided to enhance and expand independent learning. Interaction and supports from peers is critical. Students are held accountable for their learning as teachers become facilitators of learning.
In the Reading Apprenticeship framework, students have a voice and with that voice comes engagement, reflection, ownership, accountability and much more. I am left with the conclusion that having a voice is essential for increases in student achievement, especially for our most at-risk learners. What do you think?
Check out the new Reading Apprenticeship blog – filled with fascinating information on the latest research, resources, and ideas to assist all students with reaching high expectations.Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/sergei24/2493843892/sizes/o/