The text environment and learning to read

Windows and mirrors shaping literate Lives

Authored by: Misty Sailors , James Hoffman

The Routledge International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  February  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415469036
eBook ISBN: 9780203863091
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183141


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If we accept John Dewey’s (1956) assertion that the school curriculum should reflect life not just preparation for life, then a proper literacy curriculum should offer learners opportunities to engage in the range of literacy activities they encounter inside and outside of schools – in the present and in the future. Ideally, the environment for literacy learning should reflect this perspective of curriculum and should act as both a window into literacy lives outside of school and a mirror back into the literacy activity within a school. The window perspective on the literacy environment suggests the need for opportunities for learners to look out into the world as well as opportunities for the world to come into the classroom. The mirror perspective is one that emphasizes the power of reflection on learning on the individuals and community within a classroom or school. We will expand this critical stance and theoretical principles to explore the responsibilities for teacher educators, researchers, and staff developers to ‘disclose the undisclosed’ and support teachers in the challenges they face.

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