Improving Content Area Literacy

From: the NCTE
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Report “Preparing STEM Teachers: The Key to Global Competitiveness” was released as part of a Congressional Briefing last week. The document highlights more than 50 programs at institutions across the country dedicated to increasing the number of effective K–12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators. Why does this matter to those of us who teach English language arts and composition? NCTE’s “Teaching Composition: A Position Statement” provides the answer: In the classroom where writing is especially valued, students should be guided through the writing process; encouraged to write for themselves and for other students, as well as for the teacher; and urged to make use of writing as a mode of learning, as well as a means of reporting on what has been learned. The classroom where writing is especially valued should be a place where students will develop the full range of their composing powers. This classroom can also be the scene for learning in many academic areas, not only English . . . . Teachers in all academic areas who have not been trained to teach writing may need help in transforming their classrooms into scenes for writing. The writing teacher should provide leadership in explaining the importance of this transformation and in supplying resources to help bring it about. [emphasis mine] (“The Scenes of Writing”)

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