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Educator’s perceptions towards the use of the novel in the secondary language arts curriculum Tom Waterson :

Educator’s perceptions towards the use of the novel in the secondary language arts curriculum Tom Waterson

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Dr. Jack Stillinger

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Nina Baym

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The subject of Conflicts in Feminism is not feminism in general but feminist theory--more precisely, feminist theory as elaborated mainly in the English departments of American colleges and universities. I suppose therefore that feminist theory has defined itself as the study of feminist discord, and that its practice, while attempting to mediate that discord, must of necessity refer to and possibly also exacerbate it. While furiously debating each other, feminist theorists agonize over their belief that feminism ought to be particularly characterized by cooperative, supportive behavior among its adherents: that, in a phrase, feminism ought to represent the "different voice" of women (Gilligan). Put more theoretically, feminist theory constantly analyzes and destabilizes every feminist attempt to ground practice in one definition of woman, while nevertheless clinging to a notion of women as a single group on behalf of whom it is doing its work. Ultimately the greatest agony of feminist theory in particular, as opposed to feminism in general, may be that it has been unable to develop theoretical practice in a different voice, but only does theory as usual. - Nina Baym – The Agony of Feminism

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U.S. Department of Education released results of their adult literacy assessment Prose Scale Results: The prose scale = the knowledge and skills needed to search, comprehend, and use information from continuous texts The percentage of college graduates with proficient literacy = 40 % in 1992 31% in 2003

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“It's appalling -- it's really astounding. Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder.’” -- Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association. The Washington Post, December 25, 2005

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“It is now 2025 and tens of millions of Americans continue to enjoy books and magazines as recreational pursuits, and this happy habit will undoubtedly remain part of the landscape for generations to come. But just as every citizen is not forcibly trained to enjoy classical music, neither should they be coerced into believing that reading is necessarily pleasurable. For the majority of students, reading and writing are difficult enterprises with limited payoffs in the modern world. ” - - Michael Rogers, columnist -- MSNBC.com Thurs., Sept . 21, 2006

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= = ?

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“Education has reached a crisis point . . . the familiar territories of curriculum seem eerily irrelevant. . . Cope & Kalantzis 2000 p.147

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The ‘basics’ appear to be vacuous now because the main ground has shifted from the old-fashioned page-bound written texts . . .

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What literacy teaching used to promise to do, we don’t seem to need any more; and even if it is of some use, some of the time, it’s certainly not enough . . .

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[T]he essence of what education does needs to change.”

Study will examine two potential sources of this change . . .:

Study will examine two potential sources of this change . . . The Classroom (Instructors) Teacher Education – ( Preservice instructors, teacher educators)

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The English curriculum “should be less dominated by the novel” because it “takes up too much class time and fails to involve many students” (Ryan, 2001p . 8). Reading Tale of Two Cities – Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twolve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen

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“The English classroom is the focal center of formal school literacy, and is where students are exposed to literacy practices that are supposed to orient them to their place in society” (Luttrell and Parker 2001, p.240 ) =

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“The preservice faculty often talked about the importance of teaching functional literacy . . . what they largely taught was an emphasis on appreciation of literature . . .” ( Rowsell , et al. 2008, p.120 ).

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Rowsell , et al. (2008) concludes that “too often in teacher education we think we are introducing student teachers to certain approaches when in fact we are largely teaching them verbalizations, without much understanding. “

Use of novels will be considered in three dimensions of instructional purpose:

Use of novels will be considered in three dimensions of instructional purpose Reading Skills Motivation New Literacy

Dimension 1:

Dimension 1 To what extent do novels develop reading comprehension skills?

The Habits of Successful Readers :

The Habits of Successful Readers They get their minds ready and think while they read. They connect what they already know with what they are trying to learn. They are curious and ask questions while they read. They predict what will happen next. They draw inferences (read between the lines). They act as word detectives. They monitor their understanding.

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Dimension 2 : The use of novels may affect the level of motivation a student feels: “Motivation can determine whether adolescents engage with or disengage from literacy learning. If they are not engaged, adolescents with strong literacy skills may choose not to read or write” (Policy Research brief by the National Council of Teachers of English, 2007).

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“School texts . . .are typically static and even demotivating.” “The literate demands of schooling are not relevant to the literate demands of the world adolescents have come to value” (Moje, Oversby, Tysvaer, and Morris 2008, p. 112, 113).

Dimension 3:

Dimension 3 Do novels develop skills related to our expanding notions of literacy?

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“. . . if we mourn the loss of print literacy as we think we once knew it, then we may find ourselves schooling young people in literacy practices that disregard the vitality of their literate lives and the needs they will have for their literate and social futures at home and in their communities” (Lewis and Fabos 2005, p. 498) Long, Boring Books

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“In general, students do not posses the proper skills required in today’s information era” and what is needed is a curriculum devoted to developing “information literacy, computer literacy, and digital literacy” (Bounik & Giat 2001, p.1, 3). New Literacy


Significance Study may deepen our understanding of the decline of comprehension skills and whether this decline is cause for alarm / action: Proficient Readers

Significance con’t:

Significance con’t Expanding the literacies honed and developed in the secondary English classroom.

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The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the perceptions of secondary English teachers, teacher-education students, and teacher education professors in the use of the novel as a central tool for literacy instruction.

Methodology :

Methodology Qualitative, phenomenological case study. Survey Interviews Focus Groups

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Language Arts Instructors Future Language Arts Teachers Language Arts Teacher Educators Skills Motivation New Literacy

Research Question 1:

Research Question 1 What are the literacy perceptions of secondary English teachers, teacher-educators, and preservice student teachers towards the novel as an instructional tool?

Research Question 2:

Research Question 2 To what extent do the perceptions and expectations of all three groups in regards to the use of the novel concur with one another, and to what extent are there gaps and inconsistencies in their perceptions and expectations towards the use of the novel in the secondary classroom.

Works Cited:

Works Cited Bean T., Bean, S.K. , and Bean K.F. (1999). Intergenerational coversations and two adolescent multiple literacies : Implications for redefining content area literacy. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy , 42 (6), 438 – 448. Bouhnik D, and Giat , Y. (2009). Teaching High School Students Applied Logical Reasoning. Journal of Information Technology Education Innovations and Practice , 8, 38-54.

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Romano, Lois. (2005, December, 25). Literacy of College Students is on the decline. Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn /content/ article/2005/12/24/ AR2005122400701.html June 2009. Lewis, C. and Fabos , B. (2005). Instant Messaging, literacies , and social identities. Reading Research Quarterly , 40 (4), 470 – 501. Luttrell, W. and Parker C. (2001). High School Students’ literacy practices and identities, and the figured world of school. United Kingdom Reading Association . 235 – 247. Moje , E.B. , Overby , M., Tysvaer , M., and Morris K. (2008). The Complex World of Adolescent Literacy: Myths, Motivations, and Mysteries. Harvard Educational Review. 78 (1), spring, 107 – 154.

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NCTE Policy Brief. (2008). Adolescent Literacy: A Policy Research Brief Produced by the NCTE . Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/mPolicyResearch/AdolLitResearchBrief.pdf. June 2009. NCTE Position Statement. (2008). The NCTE definition of 21st Century Literacies . Adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, February 15, 2008. Retreived from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/21stcentdefinition June 2009. Rowsell , J., Kosnik , C., & Beck, C. (2008). Fostering multiliteracies pedagogy through preservice teacher education. Teaching Education , 19 (2), 109-122. Ryan, J.M. (2001). Sharing Culture? Sharing Texts in Seven to Ten English. Paper presented at the Joint Conference of The Australian Association for the Teaching of English and the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association.

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Rogers, M. (2006) What is the Worth of Words? Will it matter that people can’t read in the future. Blog posted to www.msnbc.com . Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14823087/GT1/8506/ June 2009. U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics. National Assessment of Adult Literacy: A first look at the literacy of America’s adults in the 21st century. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/PDF/2006470.PDF in June 2009

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