All teachers as teachers of literacy?

In a recent article, Denise Smith Amos, from the Cincinnati Enquirer, noted that with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards all content area teachers will become literacy teachers, as well as teachers of their content.

While I certainly appreciate the idea that each discipline has it’s own distinct approach to navigating text, I have two concerns with this notion. First, suggesting that all teachers are teachers of literacy, undermines the sophisticated understandings actual literacy educators have about teaching kids to comprehend text. Second, most science teachers, for example, did not choose their field because they wanted to teach kids how to read science books. Rather than referring to a science teacher as a literacy teacher, we should instead create interdisciplinary teams that work together to develop students’ understandings of science and scientific concepts, and how to negotiate complex scientific text. This approach recognizes the unique skill set each educator brings to the table, and allows each educator to focus on his/her specialty.


Giddy About Policy

This afternoon, I had the good fortune of planning my summer course on educational policy. It is a doctoral course for students across our college who are interested in educational policy broadly, and literacy and teacher education specifically. As a two-week intensive course, we are living and breathing policy. Students then have most of the summer to develop a white paper on a particular policy domain. Planning the course today has re-invigorated me, and I cannot wait to work with the students this summer.