Academic journal article Reading Horizons (Online)

Exploring How Secondary Pre-Service Teachers' Use Online Social Bookmarking to Envision Literacy in the Disciplines

Academic journal article Reading Horizons (Online)

Exploring How Secondary Pre-Service Teachers' Use Online Social Bookmarking to Envision Literacy in the Disciplines

Article excerpt

Introduction

Disciplinary literacy, or an emphasis on literacy particular to learning in the academic disciplines, has become a focus of research when considering how to best support literacy in middle and secondary grades, where content is prioritized (Draper, 2008; Lee & Spratley, 2010; Moje, 2008; Shanahan, 2009; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). Historically, however, content area literacy, a more generalizable approach to literacy instruction that implements crosscontent reading and writing strategies, has been promoted in these grades to improve students' content literacy learning (Moore, Readence, & Rickleman, 1983). The shift from content area literacy to disciplinary literacy has been gradual, and sometimes overlapping, to encourage educators to embrace a literacy mindset that considers unique acts of analysis, communication, and production of text specific to disciplines, such as English, mathematics, history, and science in upper grades. This new mindset deemphasizes discreet skills and instead focuses on the social construction of knowledge to reflect disciplinary learning; as a result, content areas become a study of norms and social cultural practices of disciplinary domains (Moje, 2015).

Content area literacy, on the other hand, often focuses on organizing textual information, which secondary teachers have viewed as irrelevant or addons to their instruction (O'Brien, Stewart, & Moje, 1995). As a result, secondary teachers resisted the prospect of incorporating content area literacy into their classrooms (Hall, 2005; O'Brien et al.,1995), making way for disciplinary literacy as a more relevant and appealing approach to literacy instruction at the secondary level (Moje, 2008). Although content area literacy and strategy instruction are still considered important and useful, particularly for struggling learners (Faggella-Luby, Graner, Deshler, & Drew, 2012), it may still be considered for use to organize and make sense of disciplinary text (Gillis, 2014; Hynd-Shanahan, 2013; Moje, 2015). The disciplinary literacy perspective holds much promise for establishing successful and appealing literacy methods in 6-12 classrooms by emphasizing unique content practices disciplinarians use to study and how to promote literate learning specific to these practices. In sum, this perspective shifts literacy instruction from generalizable reading and writing strategies to instruction, to these specific tools, techniques, and approaches of study in individual disciplines (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008; 2012; Moje, 2008; 2015).

In part, this shift occurred as literacy research began to focus on social contexts and their influences on learning. Such focus underscored the discrepancies between disciplines and how learning in each might vary if students were to actively consider practices disciplinary experts use (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). Further, a more concentrated study of discourse, texts, and practices of individual disciplines emerged to promote literacy learning that more seamlessly aligns with content instruction than do generalizable content area literacy strategies (Moje, 2008; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). For example, disciplinary literacy in history may focus on teaching students how to source, contextualize, and corroborate primary resources of information (Wineburg, 1991), while disciplinary literacy in science may instead emphasize inquiry-based practices specific to scientific understanding (Lemke, 1998). Further, such specific attention to literacy, that aligns with authentic learning in the discipline, may be more appealing to teachers who are trained to prioritize content learning and are somewhat uncomfortable with implementing literacy instruction in their middle and high school classrooms (Moje, 2008; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008).

Indeed, the concept of disciplinary literacy has become a central topic in education, with literature rapidly emerging that considers what it means to be literate in the disciplines (Conley, 2012; Moje 2008; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008) and how teacher and student educators might promote such literacy (Colwell, 2012; 2016; Fang & Pace, 2013; Girard & Harris, 2012; Nokes, 2010; Pytash, 2012). …

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