About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6604-6611
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1713

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

TEACHING BEYOND THE TEXT: WHAT TO DO IF JOHNNY CAN’T READ SO GOOD? A GUIDE TO EDUCATING DIVERSE SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM

A. Pride

Columbia College Chicago (UNITED STATES)
Diversity in the classroom can make for a rich learning environment. Oftentimes this represents a range of student life experiences, viewpoints that are formed by said experiences, and the like. This societal microcosm may be helpful to broadening student awareness beyond the scope of his or her own socialization. However, frequently, student diversity is marked by a schism in the level of educational preparedness. In a college with a generous admissions practice for undergraduate study, it is very conceivable to instruct a course with a student population possessing widely varying skills sets: those who are well-read and verbosely articulate seated alongside some who shrink at the thought of speaking out loud in class. The reasons for this differ as much as the students themselves: the inherent challenges for some when English is their second language; students who are products of public school systems in economically depressed areas. The question then becomes what to do when confronted with said challenges, particularly in classes where reading and communicative skills are essential exercises of participation. This proposed paper will speak to this quandary with anecdotal and researched-based analysis.

For developing writing teachers and teachers in-training, problem solving to address the diversity of skills in the classroom can be a scary proposition. It can require thinking beyond the box of the training manual and inventing new and engaging ways that draws on the best of what the challenged student has to offer, while at the same time, stimulating the intellectual curiosity of the more prepared student—all with an eye kept on the goals and the outcomes of the course.

So where to begin? Included here are some of the approaches to be examined. Student assessment: research supports the value of standardized evaluations and tests with respect to student assessment, but in the context of determining student needs in the classroom, a more nuanced consideration most often is necessary. The teacher must critically ascertain the strengths and challenges of the student, relative to class performance, work product and behavior. Tutoring support can help to improve technical proficiency, but paired with it, students need to feel comfortable in the classroom if they are going to become fully engaged.

This leads to another important inclusion: establishing a sense of community. A student’s sense of his or her own value is at the core of the social dynamic in the classroom. Some of the key elements include ensuring that every voice is respected; directing discussions and responses that encourage permission for inclusion; discouraging censorship and personal bias.

This proposed paper will also include a pedagogical discourse on the Story Workshop™ approach to the teaching of writing, designed for the range of skills in the classroom. The aforementioned workshop calls upon imaginative perceptions and seeing-in-the-mind, and oral tellings that are a precursor to the writing activity. The exercise makes participation accessible for everyone, in that the demands of the exercise meet each student at his or her specific skills level, and ensures an equal degree of student engagement. Research will be included that speaks to the impact of various aspects of the writing exercise noted, and the positive outcomes for otherwise disenfranchised students.
@InProceedings{PRIDE2017TEA,
author = {Pride, A.},
title = {TEACHING BEYOND THE TEXT: WHAT TO DO IF JOHNNY CAN’T READ SO GOOD? A GUIDE TO EDUCATING DIVERSE SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1713},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1713},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {6604-6611}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Pride
TI - TEACHING BEYOND THE TEXT: WHAT TO DO IF JOHNNY CAN’T READ SO GOOD? A GUIDE TO EDUCATING DIVERSE SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1713
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 6604
EP - 6611
ER -
A. Pride (2017) TEACHING BEYOND THE TEXT: WHAT TO DO IF JOHNNY CAN’T READ SO GOOD? A GUIDE TO EDUCATING DIVERSE SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 6604-6611.
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