Location

Room 210

Type of Presentation

Workshop (1 hour and 15 minutes)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Current literature on the teaching of reading and writing in the context of a content area has transitioned from “content area literacy” to “disciplinary literacy.” Content-Area literacy focuses on students’ ability to use reading and writing in order to learn the subject matter in a content area classroom. It emphasizes reading strategies that are generalizable for reading informational texts across multiple content areas. Disciplinary literacy, on the other hand “emphasizes the unique tools that the experts in a discipline use to participate in the work of that discipline” (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008).

Often, educators differentiate between “learning to read/write” and “reading/writing to learn.” A disciplinary literacy approach, taught in tandem with information literacy goals, reveals the folly of separating the two processes. Educators equip students to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners by developing their proficiency as information consumers and producers. Instead of viewing disciplinary literacy instructional practices as extra or supplemental, educators can embed intentional teaching strategies that serve as powerful tools in the development of students’ skills. The ultimate outcome is not about facilitating students’ success in a single course or content area but rather in equipping them to interpret and use information for authentic purposes.

Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents: Rethinking content-area literacy. Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 40–59.

Presentation Description

Current literature on the teaching of reading and writing in a content area has transitioned from “content area literacy” to “disciplinary literacy.” This transition aligns with the goals of information literacy - being able to locate, critique, use, and communicate texts in various media - with the added layer of doing so as a disciplinary expert. Educators struggle with equipping their students in these endeavors. This session will provide ideas for teaching practices that foster information literacy through a disciplinary stance.

Session Goals

Attendees will better understand the parallels between information and disciplinary literacy. In addition, attendees will leave the session with an understanding of effective instructional approaches for building students' critical thinking within disciplines and through information literacy.

Session Objectives

At the conclusion of the session, attendees will be able to...

1. Compare/contrast disciplinary literacy and information literacy.

2. Discuss the ways that critical and creative instructional and learning strategies facilitate disciplinary literacy.

3. Identify practices that empower students as consumers and producers of information literacy.

Keywords

Disciplinary literacy, teaching practices

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 29th, 10:45 AM Sep 29th, 12:00 PM

Disciplinary Literacy and Information Literacy: Parallels and Paradigms

Room 210

Current literature on the teaching of reading and writing in the context of a content area has transitioned from “content area literacy” to “disciplinary literacy.” Content-Area literacy focuses on students’ ability to use reading and writing in order to learn the subject matter in a content area classroom. It emphasizes reading strategies that are generalizable for reading informational texts across multiple content areas. Disciplinary literacy, on the other hand “emphasizes the unique tools that the experts in a discipline use to participate in the work of that discipline” (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008).

Often, educators differentiate between “learning to read/write” and “reading/writing to learn.” A disciplinary literacy approach, taught in tandem with information literacy goals, reveals the folly of separating the two processes. Educators equip students to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners by developing their proficiency as information consumers and producers. Instead of viewing disciplinary literacy instructional practices as extra or supplemental, educators can embed intentional teaching strategies that serve as powerful tools in the development of students’ skills. The ultimate outcome is not about facilitating students’ success in a single course or content area but rather in equipping them to interpret and use information for authentic purposes.

Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents: Rethinking content-area literacy. Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 40–59.