Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Diversity in the Teaching Force

While not directly related to arts integration nor literacy it is a topic that I've been thinking about quite extensively lately.  We are embarking on a path that will increase the number of diverse pre-service teachers. The goals are two-fold. Enriching all students in our program by having diverse viewpoints and personal histories that will help all children understand their increasingly diverse students. At the same time increasing the diversity in the teaching profession so students have role models that look familiar. I am in no way suggesting that African American students should have only African American teachers or vice versa. I am just suggesting that the data we collected shows such disparity that we have to act and act now. Link to the full file is here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

World Literacy Summit

I am spending a few days in Trinity College in Oxford as part of the World Literacy Summit. We are also trying to create a declaration going forward
What has gotten me thinking is the feeling that we are talking about old literacies and we are neglecting new literacies that will really provide a leg up in development.
My question is somewhat neo-marxist in its tone but important to contemplate. Are efforts in the developing world to extend old literacies foundational to integrating them into the 21st century OR are we setting them up to be a century behind so they can stay our industrial periphery while we reap the befits of the information age and knowledge economy?
The best answer I heard was this morning with a focus on adult literacy with Friere's work using the REFLECT process as presented by David Archer from ActionAID International. Let the participants define the parameters of literacy instruction as you help problematize their goals and foster discussion.

I just wonder how much of this work is filtering down to the larger development projects and their evaluation efforts is the true challenge.