Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Research We Have, Research We Need


In this concise, thought-provoking book, prominent researchers analyze existing knowledge on adolescent literacy, examine the implications for classroom instruction, and offer specific goals for future research. The volume reviews cutting-edge approaches to understanding the unique features of teaching and learning in secondary schools. Particular attention is given to how teaching literacy across disciplines can improve students' content-area learning, and the book includes chapters dedicated to literacy in math...

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Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Research We Have, Research We Need

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In this concise, thought-provoking book, prominent researchers analyze existing knowledge on adolescent literacy, examine the implications for classroom instruction, and offer specific goals for future research. The volume reviews cutting-edge approaches to understanding the unique features of teaching and learning in secondary schools. Particular attention is given to how teaching literacy across disciplines can improve students' content-area learning, and the book includes chapters dedicated to literacy in math and science classrooms. Also addressed are key findings and unresolved questions regarding fluency instruction, struggling adolescent readers, responding to the literacy needs of African American adolescents, and literacy coaching.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This superb volume is a 'must read' for anyone interested in understanding what it means to study content literacies with a strong theoretical background. The editors bring together several content areas in one volume to showcase what adolescent literacy means across contexts. Finally! I can't wait to use this book in my content methods classroom in the future."--Mary K. Thompson, PhD, Department of Learning and Instruction, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

"This splendid book is a welcome contribution to the literature on adolescent literacy. Nearly every page provides a stimulating gem of an idea that those who are committed to understanding youth and their literacy will find thought provoking and useful."--Patricia L. Anders, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Language, Reading, and Culture, College of Education, University of Arizona

"Only rarely does a book come along that so provocatively focuses our attention on issues of adolescent literacy. This volume offers a nuanced understanding of the challenges facing educators as they promote literacy and content-area learning and at the same time support students in developing identities that provide spaces of opportunity. Readers learn about promising instructional practices and lines of investigation, with an emphasis on the nexus between in- and out-of-school literacies. One cannot read this book without seeing adolescent literacy in new ways. I would definitely use this book in my doctoral seminar in disciplinary literacy, and will also consider it for my master's preservice teachers' course in middle and high school literacy."--Cynthia Hynd Shanahan, EdD, Department of Literacy, Language, and Culture, University of Illinois at Chicago

"The perspectives in this book will both inform the reader and stimulate interest in where the field is heading in the future. The authors explore vital issues surrounding the development of instructional practices that can enable adolescents to learn meaningfully in formal and informal school environments, and can build bridges between cultural knowledge and in-school learning."--Marino C. Alvarez, EdD, Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, Tennessee State University

"Education students representing a variety of perspectives and disciplines will find this book valuable. The contributors are clearly knowledgeable about their areas of expertise, and their passion for each topic shines through. I see signposts toward many a worthwhile dissertation in their recommendations related to the 'research we need.' Savvy graduate students will follow those signposts with the help of the chapter reference lists, which are useful contributions in their own right."--Kelly Chandler-Olcott, EdD, School of Education, Syracuse University

Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy

"Will give inquiring teachers many different perspectives on what is going on in their classrooms and what needs to be refined to improve literacy. This book made me think about the root problems with which adolescents are faced when it comes to literacy. I recommend this book to any person who is interested in thinking about and improving literacy: educators, literacy specialists, local literacy activists, administrators, and the literacy community....What I as a reader and a teacher walked away with after reading this book was not a book of lesson plans but rather a confirmation that literacy is a complex issue and that there is still much research that needs to be carried out....Whether you are a teacher, administrator, researcher, or parent, there is a chapter in this book that will make you think and rethink."--Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
A compilation of articles by fifteen professionals in the fields of reading and teacher education, this valuable text expands on presentations at the second annual conference of the Literacy Achievement Research Center at Michigan State University in the Fall of 2006. Focusing mainly on adolescent reading needs, "an area previously neglected among reading professionals," the chapters explore the differences between adolescents and elementary and secondary students' literacy both within and out of content areas. The need to examine individual and cultural ecologies as they relate to content, skills, and practices is emphasized. The text reviews research that has been done and discusses research that is needed, in particular the tendency for professionals to limit their perspective on content, strategies, or discourse rather than taking a more multifaceted approach. The eight chapters include research on adolescent fluency, literacy development in African American males, strategies to improve performance in content areas, and literacy coaching, for example. It is thoughtful reading for anyone involved in improving adolescent reading achievement. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593857028
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/27/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 162
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark W. Conley, PhD, is a professor and coordinator of the undergraduate and graduate Literacy Programs in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. His research focuses on literacy assessment, content-area literacy, and literacy policy. He is the author of Connecting Standards and Assessment through Literacy and Content Area Literacy: Learners in Context.

Joseph R. Freidhoff, BA, is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technologies Program at Michigan State University. His areas of research include new literacy practices of preservice teachers, teacher collaboration and community, and teaching and learning in online environments. He currently teaches an elective course to help preservice teachers design technology-rich projects to implement during their internship year.

Michael B. Sherry, MEd, is a doctoral candidate in Michigan State University’s Department of Teacher Education. A former middle and high school literature and drama teacher, he earned a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Michigan State University while teaching abroad in a French international school. Back in the United States, he studies preservice English language arts teachers’ decision-making processes, particularly how they learn to make improvisational, responsive decisions.

Steven Forbes Tuckey, MEd, is a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University. His research focuses on science and mathematics curriculum design, responsive pedagogy, technology and writing in the sciences, and history and philosophy of science and mathematics. These research interests emerge from his extensive experience within secondary and postsecondary classrooms teaching science, mathematics, and teacher education.

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Table of Contents

1. Fluency for Adolescent Readers: The Research We Have, the Research We Need, Timothy Rasinski and Gay Fawcett

2. Intervening When Older Youths Struggle with Reading: Teach Me What I Need to Know Next, Kathleen A. Hinchman

3. The Literacy Development of African American Male Adolescents: The Influence of Contexts and Texts, Alfred W. Tatum

4. Responsive Literacy Teaching in Secondary School Content Areas, Elizabeth Birr Moje

5. Strategies That Improve Adolescents’ Performance with Content-Area Texts, Mark W. Conley, Joseph R. Freidhoff, Kristine Gritter, and Deborah Vriend Van Duinen

6. What Is Mathematical Literacy?: Exploring the Relationship between Content-Area Literacy and Content Learning in Middle and High School Mathematics, Jon R. Star, Sharon Strickland, and Amanda Hawkins

7. Literacy in Science: Using Agency in the Material World to Expand the Conversation, Steven Forbes Tuckey and Charles Anderson

8. Literacy Coaching, Cathy M. Roller

Concluding Reflections, Mark W. Conley

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