Thursday, May 9, 2013

Literacy in the Content Areas

According to the Hunt Institute, the problem with eduction is that many students are unsuccessful in reading and comprehending books, documents, texts, websites and other media in the content areas upon high school graduation. Without literacy in the content areas, the supply of professionals in this area will dwindle because the education system is not meeting the needs of students who want to enter the field.

Therefore the standards in these areas--science and social studies, for example--do not merely teach students how to find and cite information, but, instead, to be able to read the media to understand and analyze what it does and doesn't say.

The standards were not only developed by educators, but also by professionals in the content area fields, so that they reflect the need for students to be literate in science and social studies and other technical subjects. 

In the video below, David Coleman, gives an example of building knowledge through reading and writing a document not merely to refer to it, but to have a command of the subject matter.

No longer will you as a teacher be able say I teach science through hands-on learning, but rather, I teach science thorough reading because scientists spend a good part of the day doing that.