• Disciplinary literacy and its implications for teacher practice

      Degenfelder, Kayleigh (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      Implementation of the Common Core State Standards has increased the emphasis on literacy in the content areas and caused teachers to reflect on their literacy instruction within content areas. While many teachers appear to use the term "content area literacy" interchangeably with the emerging term "disciplinary literacy," these are two distinct forms of literacy with distinctive instructional practices. The problem related to equating these two terms is that teachers then equate the instructional strategies. A related research question is, how does knowing the difference between content area literacy and disciplinary literacy impact a teacher's instructional practice? This study addresses this question of definition and practice through a research synthesis. Findings indicate that disciplinary literacy refers to distinctive literacy skills and practices specific to disciplinary communities and their way of thinking, that this definition of "disciplinary literacy" carries implications for instructional practices in classrooms although there is yet no consensus about appropriate grade levels for employing these instructional practices, and that this definition and instructional practices meet the demands of both college and career readiness and Common Core Standards. Further findings indicate that disciplinary literacy instructional practices have the capability to be integrated with existing instructional practices, that no research on the implementation of disciplinary literacy has been conducted with practicing K-12 teachers, and that the research with preservice teachers indicates that they develop their understanding and instructional strategies based on their own learning experiences. These findings are then disseminated to teachers through an interactive professional development Workshop. [from abstract]