Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

A New Beginning

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

A New Beginning

Article excerpt

Welcome to 2007!

With all beginnings there comes excitement and some trepidation about the possibilities that lie ahead. As a teacher, I remember my enthusiasm for the new year and the opportunity of coming to know a class full of strangers. I was also aware that without commitment and excitement at the beginning of the year, I should consider another career. Teaching is hard work. The children in my classrooms deserved my best efforts. Commitment, passion and energy were prerequisites and made a significant difference to how I taught and my students learned. I wanted to end the year feeling satisfied that I had given my best.

As educators, we are constantly reminded of our failures and the time is nigh for us to stand up and state that we are doing a superb job and getting better at it. The articles in this issue highlight creative and innovative ways of teaching literacy. The authors do not steer away from difficult issues but seek new ways of finding solutions. These articles address assumptions that impinge on our everyday literacy teaching, including boys and reading, pedagogy and technology, becoming aware of the assumptions we have about learners, multiliteracies and writing, and group work.

Maxine Broughton and Jacqueline Manuel examine the age-old issue of improving boys' attitudes to reading. Their willingness to ask the question: 'What do Australian boys think about reading?' reveals insights applicable to every classroom.

For as long as I can remember, we have accepted that learning in small collaborative groups is a highly effective learning approach. Jessica Mantei's article 'Literacy learning through computer-based technologies: Rethinking small group work' questions the approach in the context of computer-based learning. As new pedagogies driven by technology emerge, it is time for us to reexamine some long-held beliefs about how students learn best. The article 'Using iPod technology to engage students with the deconstruction and reconstruction of audio text' by Jeff Vardy and Lisa Kervin describes the innovative use of new technology in classrooms. The article highlights how the inclusion of these on-demand technologies has the potential to transform and enrich learning experiences for many students, with the proviso that the technology be used authentically and be pedagogically appropriate for the experience. …

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