Meeting Difficulties in Literacy Development: Research, Policy, and Practice

Meeting Difficulties in Literacy Development: Research, Policy, and Practice

Meeting Difficulties in Literacy Development: Research, Policy, and Practice

Meeting Difficulties in Literacy Development: Research, Policy, and Practice

Synopsis

Addressing the sensitive issue of difficulties in literacy development this practical book outlines what is meant by 'literacy' and the barriers to literacy development such as social class, ethnicity, culture and gender. It emphasises practical strategies and programmes to help reduce these barriers at school, family and community levels. Throughout, the highly qualified team of authors relate cognitive, psychological, and socio-cultural perspectives to current curriculum policies, controversies and ethical considerations. This book enables practitioners to reflect critically upon the choices available to them in assessing and supporting students who experience difficulties in literacy development. Topics covered include a thorough consideration of dyslexia, bilingualism, the conceptualising of literacy, equity issues, and suggestions for assessment and planning for pupils. This is essential reading for students on initial teacher training courses and teachers on CPD courses in the area of special needs, literacy and dyslexia. It is also a companion course guide for the Open University's new Difficulties in Literacy Development course.

Excerpt

In recent years there has been an awareness of the importance of competence in literacy to individuals' life chances and the socio-economic well-being of the nation. This has resulted in a growing focus on national standards in literacy internationally. As a consequence, the issue of difficulties in literacy has assumed increasing importance. Debates over how to address difficulties in literacy have increasingly become the focus of policy-makers and central government agencies as well as practitioners in many countries, and have provided an impetus for particular initiatives and interventions in the literacy curriculum. The perceived need to draw up coherent policy frameworks for raising standards of literacy has led to approaches to national curricula which are very different in their level of control and prescription in different countries. These curricula also reflect differing emphases on, and recognition of, cognitive and socio-cultural views of literacy.

This book breaks new ground by drawing upon a wide range of perspectives related to cognitive, psychological as well as socio-cultural viewpoints and critical literacy to help inform practice, policy and research into difficulties in literacy development. It relates cross-disciplinary research in the area of difficulties in literacy to current curriculum policies, controversies and ethical considerations. The book explores different conceptualisations of literacy and their implications for what might constitute barriers to literacy acquisition from both individual and social-cultural perspectives. It highlights the important issues for practitioners that stem from these different views of literacy. From the perspective of the practitioner who is dealing with literacy in complex, real-life learning situations, these issues encompass both psychological and social factors. For this reason the book explores different psychological models that underpin the process of literacy acquisition, particularly reading, and outlines a cognitive viewpoint on

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