Discussion and Recommendations
08/24/2010

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Online PR News – 24-August-2010 – – This study began with my concerns regarding the transfer of strategies learned in my preservice course to secondary classrooms. Clearly, some transfer occurred. The participants seemed to learn to employ various strategies, but they have missed the big point of their preservice course in content area literacy— that along with teaching their students the content, they are also teachers of reading as it pertains to their discipline.

The number of pages students read in and out of class is shocking, particularly for college preparatory courses, if one is not familiar with the NAEP's student self-reports of number of pages read per week inside and outside of school (cited earlier in this article). Between the biology class and the English class, students Clearance MBT Shoes(http://www.mbtshoes4sales.com) would read approximately 18.8 pages a week for these two classes alone. If those same students were enrolled in a social science class, it is reasonable to assume they would be required to read from some text as well, thus raising the number of pages read to perhaps 25 per week. Is this an adequate number? Does it constitute enough "practice"?

The use of strategies may be connected to the small number of pages of text the teachers required of their students. Given the few opportunities students had to read text—and with the workarounds—it is not surprising that teachers' use of strategies was limited. These two conditions—few pages read and few strategies employed—leave one with questions: How will our students become better readers? How will they advance to college-level reading?

Strategy use by first-year teachers is much more complicated than simply a count of use or nonuse. Looking at the source of the materials and the reasoning behind choices revealed that when the participants did employ reading strategies, their decision-making regarding strategy use was not primarily motivated by the need to improve students' reading comprehension of content area text. Rather, strategy choice was a matter of organizing information, a form of accountability, or a mechanism to reduce the amount of reading required by the student. Inadvertently, the teachers were "doing pedagogy co-opted for purposes of handing down authoritative knowledge from textbooks" (Conley, 2008, p. 98). In addition, as Ross and McDaniel (2004) suggested, the strategies used by the participants required minimal engagement with the text by the teacher, and, unfortunately, also by their students.

It is important to highlight that many of the activities and ideas of these first-year teachers were excellent. The care that went into their lessons is laudable. Each lesson was grounded in the state content standards, and the plans indicated that the participants made many efforts to engage students in learning. The interviews were replete with examples of how much the teachers cared about their students.

The participants took very seriously that all of their students should learn the content standards. They worked around the necessity for their students to read for all of the right reasons—because their students either MBT Shoes On Sale(http://www.mbtshoes4sales.com) could not or would not read the textbook. By becoming the main conduit for information, the participants tried to ensure that they did not leave any child behind. In so doing, however, opportunities for students to become better readers of discipline-related materials were limited, making autonomy in their learning less likely.