Wondering about Words?
Words and their varied meanings matter, and since educators understand that LITERACY IS THINKING, Oldham County Schools has developed an exciting partnership with Bellarmine University to bring increased opportunities for teacher development and scholarship in disciplinary literacy. In the academy, middle and high school social studies and science teachers work to build knowledge of how literacy operates across disciplines. As the example above demonstrates, the word factor has a range of connected but different meanings, meanings that shift by context (time and place) as well as purpose (task and intention). Disciplinary literacy is specialized literacy, taking basic and intermediate literacy skills and building on these to emphasize the ways of thinking that disciplinary experts use to read, write, speak, and listen.
Using the latest research, the Disciplinary Literacy Academy seeks to uncover the “expert blindspots” teachers develop so they can provide the supported instruction students often need when confronted with difficult academic texts. In support of this goal, the Academy fosters seven characteristics of effective teachers. These are discreet characteristics, but when paired with the concept of disciplinary study, teachers can build knowledge about how different fields represent thinking to make judicious decisions about best practice instruction.