Planning Professional Learning for Disciplinary Literacy

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Originally posted on the MRA’s Literacy Coaching blog

We’ll continue the disciplinary literacy theme of recent blog posts by talking a bit about our own work designing professional learning experiences for teachers related to disciplinary literacy. Since literacy coaches are often called upon to plan and/or lead this type of work—a role that is reinforced in the new ILA 2017 Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (2018)—we thought we would share a few key learnings from our own practice.

In an effort to avoid the ‘one and done’ workshops that we know have little impact on teachers’ practice, we have worked with schools to co-design embedded professional learning that uses more effective structures to help teachers as they refine their practice. We have relied upon structures like professional learning communities (PLCs) led by teacher leaders (often coaches or content-area experts able to coach colleagues). These disciplinary and cross-disciplinary teams have then engaged in collaborative inquiry cycles, digging deeply into their own practice while simultaneously exploring new ideas. We have found these structures to support each other in helping teachers make space to think about literacy in diverse disciplines. Here are a few key learnings from our work that might help if you are planning professional learning around disciplinary literacy:…

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Disciplinary Literacy Inquiry and Instruction