ERIC Number: EJ886589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 8
Response to "Reviewing Adolescent Literacy Reports: Key Components and Critical Questions"
DiGisi, Lori L.
Journal of Literacy Research, v42 n2 p115-123 2010
The International Reading Association's Position Statement on Young Adolescents' Literacy Learning states, "It is during the middle years of schooling that most students refine their reading preferences, become sophisticated readers of informational text, and lay the groundwork for the lifelong reading habit." As the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data cited in the essay review by Elizabeth Birr Moje suggest, this is not happening for many adolescents. As a literacy specialist who has worked with adolescents for more than 20 years, the author applauds Faggella-Luby, Ware, and Capozzoli's work toward synthesizing the reports on adolescent literacy. While the literacy instruction of struggling readers has been a topic for decades, and the debate over whether content area teachers should be teachers of reading has been discussed since the 1970s, the current discussion surrounding what literacy instruction looks like in middle and high schools begs a comprehensive look at the continuum of adolescent literacy development and a synthesis of what is known about adolescent literacy. In this article, the author presents and discusses some questions that should be addressed in a comprehensive look at adolescent literacy development. Teachers of adolescents operate in complex environments requiring that specific information be taught in set periods of time. Teachers of adolescents work with students who are innately curious and read to learn, students who can read but choose not to, students who avoid reading, and students who work diligently but struggle desperately to read. These students come with 10-15 years of reading history and sets of beliefs about what they can and cannot do and what they value. Teachers of adolescents work in a place that is counter to the digital culture where many students spend their out-of-school hours. Teachers of adolescents love their students and want them to be critical readers with knowledge enabling them to have strong voices in a democratic society. Teachers of adolescents show up every day, face the challenges they are given, and strive to improve the literacy and lives of the young people they meet. The author contends that it is the duty of researchers and policy makers to understand the complexities of their work and give them the tools to do this demanding work efficiently and with results. (Contains 2 notes.)
Descriptors: Reading Habits, Adolescents, Literacy, Reading Instruction, Reader Response, Government Role, Teacher Effectiveness, Evaluation Utilization, Theory Practice Relationship, Research Reports, Performance Factors, Barriers, Reading Achievement, Evaluation Methods, Academic Standards
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A