Can I bring my cars in case we write a story? Supporting struggling readers
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The research describes the experience of a beginning special education teacher who examined and adapted her teaching practices to attempt to meet the learning needs of the young struggling readers and writers with whom she was working. Autoethnography allowed the researcher to probe and analyze her classroom practice. As the researcher shares her teaching experiences simplistic solutions to reading difficulties are discounted as ineffective. The hegemony of standards-based instruction and assessment practices are challenged. An educational system whereby some students are labeled as deficient due to their sociocultural or socioeconomic differences is viewed through a critical lens. The researcher proposes that fostering students’ freedom to express their knowledge using multimodal expression while supporting students within their zones of proximal development is the key to enhancing literacy learning. Creating learning opportunities that allow students to build on their strengths and pursue their interests ameliorates the injustice of the typical skill drill lessons regularly prescribed for students struggling in school. Teachers need to be respected as professionals who can make programming decisions that are specifically designed to support students at their level of need.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteeBrenna, Beverley; Martin, Stephanie; Prytula, Michelle
Copyright DateMarch 2013