Monday, June 4, 2012

SYLLABUS: EDRD 640 Current Trends in Literacy Research and Practice

Furman University
EDRD 640 Foundations & Current Trends in Literacy Research and Practice  (3)
Summer I 2017

Instructor: Dr. Paul Thomas                               Classroom: Hip 104
Office:  Hipp Hall 101F                                       Time:  1-3:45 (June 8 - June 30) 
Phone:  294-3386 (O); 590-5458 (C)         
Office Hours:  By appointment

Blog Support:

Vision and Mission of the Educator Preparation Program

Vision Statement

The Educator Preparation Program at Furman University prepares educators who are scholars and leaders.

Mission of the Program

Furman University prepares teachers and administrators to be scholars and leaders who use effective pedagogy, reflect thoughtfully on the practice of teaching, and promote human dignity. Specifically, educators who are scholars and leaders have in-depth knowledge and understanding of their discipline; use evidence-based practice for effective teaching and communication; and are caring and thoughtful individuals who respond sensitively to the needs and experiences of all students and others with whom they interact.

Furman is committed to a program of educator preparation that calls for collaborative, interdependent efforts throughout the academic community. Furman's Educator Preparation Program is anchored in the university's commitment to the liberal arts, encompassing the humanities, fine arts, mathematics, and social and natural sciences as the essential foundation for developing intellectually competent educators.

Program Standards

Furman University prepares educators who exemplify proficiency in standards related to educator effectiveness. The program of teacher preparation aligns to the South Carolina Expanded ADEPT[i] and PADEPP[ii] standards for educators and the defining characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate: word-class knowledge, world-class skills, and life and career characteristics.  Furman’s program aligns to national standards including InTASC[iii], ISTE[iv], NBTPS[v], CAEP[vi] standards for accreditation, SPA standards for specialized programs, and Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, formerly ISLLC[vii].  Furman’s program of teacher preparation is nationally recognized by NCATE[viii] , now CAEP. 

Candidates develop mastery of the InTASC core teaching standards as they progress through the program:

·      The Learner and Learning
o   Learner Development
o   Learning Differences
o   Learning Environments

·      Content Knowledge
o   Content Knowledge
o   Application of Content

·      Instructional Practice
o   Assessment
o   Planning for Instruction
o   Instructional Strategies

·      Professional Responsibility
o   Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
o   Leadership and Collaboration

In addition, candidates are mentored to ensure they can respond effectively and sensitively to the needs and experiences of all students and others with whom they interact.   Upon acceptance to and throughout their program of study, undergraduate and graduate candidates are expected to demonstrate the following key dispositions:

·      Timeliness
·      Attendance
·      Appearance/Dress
·      Confidentiality
·      Honesty/Integrity
·      Poise/Attitude/Self-Efficacy
·      Cooperation/Rapport/Collaboration
·      Communication
·      Caring
·      Sensitivity to Individual  Differences
·      Sensitivity to Cultural Differences
·      Reflectiveness/Responsiveness
·      Initiative/Leadership
·      Active Learner

Program’s Commitment to Technology and Diversity


In preparing educators as scholars and leaders, Furman's Educator Preparation Program acknowledges the crucial role of technology as a means to locate information, transmit knowledge, gain conceptual understanding, and achieve occupational ambitions. School leaders, teachers, and students must therefore acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will enable them to solve problems and use technology as a tool for collaborating and communicating effectively. This objective is all the more urgent in light of the explosive growth of digital media, as well as the impact of emerging technologies. Furman’s program aligns to ISTE standards and candidates are assessed on the ability to use technology for learning. 


--> Furman's Educator Preparation Program is committed to preparing educators who, as scholars and leaders, understand and appreciate the diverse nature of learners and their cultures.  Furman recognizes the continuing role that schools, teachers, and school leaders play in fostering acceptance and celebration of diversity, both individually and collectively.  As a result, we are committed to diversifying our own pool of teacher candidates, as well as their field placements.  Candidate dispositions, including Caring, Sensitivity to Individual Differences, and Sensitivity to Cultural Differences, are assessed at program transition points. 

[i] ADEPT – Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Training
[ii] PADEPP – Program for Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Principal Performance
[iii] InTASC – Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
[iv] ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education
[v] NBPTS – National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
[vi] CAEP – Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
[vii] ISLLC – Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium
[viii] NCATE - National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Course Description: Critical reading and discussion of theories, models, and current research designed to improve language arts instruction and develop understanding of reading and writing processes.  Topics include: creating a literate environment conducive to the development of students as readers, writers, thinkers, and reactors; trends and innovations in teaching reading and writing; helping students to build listening, speaking, reading and writing vocabularies; and the implementation of comprehension and study strategies. (IRA Reading Professionals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.3, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.2, 5.4; SC ELA Standards R1-R4, W1-W4, C1-C3, RS1-RS3)

Course Goals:
1. Study the reading process and the relationships among reading, writing, thinking, viewing, and learning. (IRA Reading Professionals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
2. Review the various theories and models of reading and writing and the instructional strategies they suggest. (IRA Reading Professionals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
3. Read and analyze the nature, results, and classroom implications of selected research studies. (IRA Reading Professionals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
4. Examine issues associated with teaching struggling readers, new English language learners, and implementing programs designed to help students improve their reading and writing. (IRA Reading Professionals 2.1, 2.2, 2.3)
5. Understand the political and curricular impact of NCLB and Reading First. ((IRA Reading Professionals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)
6.  Become familiar with, use, and share the words of major contributors to the fields of reading and writing research. (IRA Reading Professionals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
7. Develop teaching and learning strategies that support the South Carolina Reading/English Language Arts Standards. (IRA Reading Professionals 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4)
8.  Reflect on personal teaching practices, assess personal growth and develop a personal growth plan to support and participate in a school’s effort to improve literacy. (IRA Reading Professionals 5.1, 5.2, 5.3)

Required Readings

There is no single, core text for this course. We will read several research articles in
common, but many readings will be customized to the specific needs and interests of the
students within the course. Many of our readings will represent scholarly literacy
research, but others will be more practitioner-oriented articles or book chapters. 

Texts the course draws on:

Barr, R., Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P. B. & Pearson, P. D. (1991). Handbook of reading
research, volume II. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Ehrlbaum.
Farstrup, , A. E. & Samuels, S. J. (2002). What research has to say about reading
instruction, third edition. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Flood, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J.R. & Jensen, J. (2002).  Handbook of research on teaching
the English language arts, second edition.  Mahwah, NJ;  Lawrence Ehrlbaum.
Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P. B., Pearson, P. D. & Barr, R. (2000).  Handbook of reading
research, volume III.  Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Ehrlbaum.

Course Projects and Assignments:

  1. Participation – 25%
This is a discussion-based course so coming to class prepared to discuss the readings and activities is important. Please prepare a one-page writing discussing connections, tensions, and questions you have about the readings.

  1. Book Critique – 15% (See more information below)

  1. Midterm – 15% : Candidates will identify a current issue in literacy education that is misunderstood by the public and then draft a public commentary (750-1250 words) with hyperlinks to research/evidence to clarify the topic. See as examples:;    

  1. Literature Review – 45%  (See more information below)

NOTE: Attendance and Punctuality. See Graduate Education policy for absences (p. 5):

Academic Integrity
Students are expected to be familiar with the statement on “Plagiarism and Academic Integrity at Furman University.”  Work completed by students is expected to represent their own efforts.  When information for assignments is gained through research in books, periodicals, technology, and/or other original works, credit must be given to the original author(s) of the work.  The pamphlet distributed to Furman students clearly identifies examples of plagiarism.  The APA manual gives examples of how to acknowledge the work of original authors.  Furman’s policy on academic dishonesty will be followed if the instructor finds evidence of academic dishonesty.  Plagiarized work will receive a grade of “F.”

Disability Statement
Students who have a documented disability and need academic accommodations are requested to speak with the University Disability Services Coordinator.  All discussions will remain confidential.

My intention is that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well-served by this course and that students’ diversity be viewed as a resource and benefit to our collective learning.  I also intend that diversity of K-12 students and notions of sociopolitical equality are central issues in the course.  Disagreement is part of life.  I understand that there are times when we may disagree, but we will not intentionally humiliate, intimate, or embarrass each other.  If we unintentionally do so, we will apologize.  Please remember nonverbal gestures also communicate messages that can humiliate, intimidate, or embarrass people.  I welcome your ideas of how I might improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

An initial listing of readings for each topic is provided below, but refer to the LINK provided for current readings to choose among. Each class session should be preceded by reading selected texts and submitting a reflection before the class in order to facilitate class discussion.

Please review the contents of each Topic folder in Google Drive since MORE CHOICES are added regularly.

Topic 1:
Historical Perspective

LaBrant, L. (1937, February 17). The content of a free reading program. Education Research Bulletin, 16(2), 29-34.

LaBrant, L. (1946, March). Teaching high-school students to write. English Journal, 35(3), 123-128.

Rosenblatt, L. (1956). The acid test for literature teaching. English Journal, 45(2), 66–74. [In Rosenblatt, L. (2005). Making meaning with texts: Selected essays. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.]

Topic 2:
Politics: Reading First and NCLB
Web page analysis

NRP Five Components of Reading Instruction

Yatvin, J. (2002). Babes in the woods: The wanderings of the National Reading Panel. (Located at

Reading First audit

Krashen website

Krashen, S. (2006). Did Reading First work? (Located at

Edmondson, J. (2004). Reading policies: Ideologies and strategies for political
engagement. The Reading Teacher, 57(5), 418-428.

Fuller, B., Wright, J., Gesicki, K. & Kang, E. (2007). Gauging growth: How to judge No
Child Left Behind? Educational Researcher, 36(5), 268-278.

Topic 3:
NCTE Features of Literacy Programs1. On Reading, Learning to Read and Effective Reading Instruction: An Overview of What We Know and How We Know It (

2. A Call to Action: What We Know About Adolescent Literacy and Ways to Support Teachers in Meeting Students’ Needs (

3. A Decision-Making Matrix (See link below)
Barr, R. & Dreeden, R. (1991). Grouping students for reading instruction. In Barr, R., Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P. B., & Pearson, P. D. (Eds.), Handbook of Reading Research, vol II. (pp. 885-910). New York: Longman.
Cambourne, B. (2002). Holistic, integrated approaches to reading and language arts instruction: the constructivist framework of an instructional theory. In Farstrup, A. E. & Samuels, S. J. (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction. (pp. 25-47). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Freppon, P. A. & Dahl, K. L. (1998). Balanced instruction: Insights and considerations. Reading Research Quarterly 33(2), 240-249.
Heydon, R., Hibbert, K., Iannacci, L. (2005). Strategies to support balanced literacy approaches in pre- and inservice teacher education. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(4), 312-319.
Kasten, W. C. & Wilfong, L. G. (2007). Encouraging independent reading towards lifelong readers and learners. International Journal of Learning, 13. Located at
Pardo, L. S. (2004). What every teacher needs to know about comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58(3), 272-280.
Pearson, P. D. & Hiebert, E.H. (2007).Vocabulary assessment: What we know and what we need to learn. Reading Research Quarterly42 (2), 282-296.
Spiegel, D. L. (1998). Silver bullets, babies, and bath water: Literature response groups in a balanced literacy program. The Reading Teacher, 52(2), 114-124.
Wharton-McDonald, R., Rankin, J., Mistretta, J., & Ettenberger, S. (1997). Effective primary-grades literacy instruction = Balanced literacy instruction. The Reading Teacher, 50(6), 518-521.
Topic 4:
Early Literacy

Kiel, J. (1998). How language is learned: From birth through the elementary years and beyond. In Weaver, C. (Ed.), Lessons to share on teaching grammar in context. (pp. 1-17). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Whitmore, K. F., Martens, P., Goodman, Y. M. & Owocki, G. (2004). Critical lessons
from the transactional perspective on early literacy research. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 4(3), 291-325.

Pressley, M. (2001). Effective beginning reading instruction. Executive Summary and
Paper Commissioned by the National Reading Conference. Chicago, IL: National Reading Conference.

Purcell-Gates, V. & Duke, N. (2007). Learning to read and write genre-specific text:
Roles of authentic experience and explicit teaching. Reading Research Quarterly42(1), 8-45.

Topic 5:
Response to Literature

Beach, R. & Hynds, S. (1991). Research on response to literature. In Barr, R.,
Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P. B., & Pearson, P. D. (Eds.). Handbook of Reading Research, vol II. (pp. 453-489). New York: Longman.

Harris, V. J. & Willis, A. I. (2003). Multiculturalism, literature, and curriculum issues. In
Flood, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J.R., & Jensen, J. M. (Eds.) Handbook of research on
teaching the English language arts, (2nd ed.).(pp. 825-834). Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Ehrlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Marshall, J. (2000). Research on Response to Literature. In Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P. B., Pearson, P. D., Barr, R. (Eds.) Handbook of reading research, volume III. (pp. 381-402). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Ehrlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Rosenblatt, L. (2003). Literary theory. In Flood, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J. R., & Jensen, J.
M. (Eds.) Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts (2nd ed.). (pp. 67-73). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Ehrlbaum and Associates, Publishers.

Topic 6:
Writing Instruction, Spelling, Grammar

Hillocks, Jr., G. & Smith, M. W. (2003). Grammars and literacy learning. In Flood, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J. R., Jensen, J. M. (Eds.) Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts, 2nd ed. (pp.721-737). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Landrum, J. E. (2007). Students: Do experts follow the rules you’re taught? Journal of
Teaching Writing, 23(1), 1-16.

Templeton, S. & Morris, D. (2000). Spelling. In Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P. B.,
Pearson, P. D., & Barr, R. (Eds.) Handbook of reading research, volume
(pp. 525-543). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Ehrlbaum Associates,

Weaver, C. (1996). Teaching grammar in the context of writing. The English Journal,
85(7), 15-24.

Topic 7:

Frey, N. & Hiebert, E. H. (2005). Teacher-based assessment of literacy learning. In Flood, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J. R., & Jensen, J. M. (Eds.) Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts (2nd ed.). (pp. 608-618). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Ehrlbaum and Associates, Publishers.

Goodman, Y. (2005). Informal methods of evaluation. In Flood, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J. R., & Jensen, J. M. (Eds.) Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts (2nd ed.). (pp. 600-607). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Ehrlbaum and Associates, Publishers.

Johnston, P. & Costello, P. (2005). Principles for literacy assessment, Reading Research
Quarterly, 40(2), 256–267.

Ketter, J. & Pool, J. (2001). Exploring the impact of a high-stakes direct writing
assessment in two high school classrooms. Research in the Teaching of English, 35(3), 344-393.

Topic 8:
Adolescent Literacy

Alvermann, D. E. (2001). Effective literacy instruction for adolescents. Executive
Summary and Paper Commissioned by the National Reading Conference. Chicago, IL: National Reading Conference.

Biancarosa, C., & Snow, C. E. (2006). Reading next – A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy: A report to Carnegie corporation of New York (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). Writing next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools – A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education

Lewis, C. (1999). Teaching literature to adolescents. Reading Research Quarterly, 34(1),

Topic 9:
Content Area Literacy

Fordham, N. W. (2006). Crafting questions that address comprehension strategies in
content reading. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 49(5), 390-396.

Neufeld, P. (2005/2006). Comprehension instruction in content area classes. The Reading
Teacher 59(4), 302-312.

Raphael, T. E. & Au, K. H. (2005). QAR: Enhancing comprehension and test taking
across grades and content areas. The Reading Teacher, 59(3), 206-221.

Topic 10:
Bilingual education and English as a Second Language

Ernst-Slavit, G., Moore, M. & Maloney, C. (2002). Changing lives: Teaching English and
literature to ESL students. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(2), 116-128.

Gerseten, R., Baker, S. K., Shanahan, T., Linan-Thompson, S., Collins, P., & Scarcella, R. (2007). Effective literacy and English language instruction for English learners in the elementary grades: A practice guide (NCEE 2007-4011).Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from

Reyes, I. (2006). Exploring connections between emergent biliteracy and bilingualism.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 6(3), 267-292.

Topic 11:
New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures.
Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92.

Chandler-Olcott, K. & Mahar, D. (2003). Adolescents’ anime-inspired “fanfictions”: An
exploration of Multiliteracies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(7), 556-566.

Chandler-Olcott, K. & Mahar, D. (2003). "Tech-Savviness" meets Multiliteracies:
Exploring adolescent girls' technology-mediated literacy practices. Reading Research Quarterly, 38(3), 356-385.

Kist, W. (2000). Beginning to create the new literacy classroom: What does the new
literacy look like? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 43(8), 710-718.

Lewis, C. & Fabos, B. (2005). Instant messaging, literacies, and social identities. Reading
Research Quarterly, 40 (4), 470–501.

Ranker, J. (2007). Designing meaning with multiple media sources: A case
study of an eight year old student's writing processes. Research in the
Teaching of English, 41
(4), 402-435.

Ranker, J. (2007). A new perspective on inquiry: A case study of digital video production. English Journal, 97(1), 77-82.

Topic 12:
Poverty and Deficit Thinking

[See for an updated listing of research/resources debunking Payne's deficit view.]

Journal of Educational Controversy
Volume 4, Number 1, Winter 2009
The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty: Rethinking Poverty and Education

*Bomer, R., Dworin, J. E., May, L., & Semingson, P. (2008). Miseducating teachers about the poor: A critical analysis of Ruby Payne's claims about poverty. Teachers College Record, 110(11).

Dworin, J. E., & Bomer, R. (2008, January). What we all (supposedly) know about the poor: A critical discourse analysis of Ruby Payne’s “Framework.” English Education, 40(2). 101-121.

Dudley-Marling, C. (2007). Return of the deficit. Journal of Educational Controvery, 2(1). Available on-line:

*Gorski, P. (2006, February 9). The classist underpinnings of Ruby Payne’s Framework. Teachers College Record.

Gorski, P. (2008, April). The myth of the “culture of poverty.” Educational Leadership, 65(7). 32-36.

*Ng, J. C., & Rury, J. L. (2006, July 18). Poverty and education: A critical analysis of the Ruby Payne phenomenon. Teachers College Record.

*See the Payne response and two counter-responses from TCR (included in your Topic 12 folder).

Payne, R.K. (2009). Using the lens of economic class to help teachers understand and teach students from poverty: A response. Teachers College Record, Date Published: May 17, 2009, ID Number: 15629, Date Accessed: 5/21/2009 1:52:39 PM.

Bomer, R., Dworin, J. E., May, L., & Semingson, P. (2009, June 3). What’s wrong with a deficit perspective? Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 03, 2009 ID Number: 15648, Date Accessed: 6/12/2009 8:39:17 AM.

Gorski, P. (2006, July 19). Responding to Payne’s response. Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 19, 2006 ID Number: 12605, Date Accessed: 6/12/2009 8:37:26 AM.

Thomas, P. L. (2009). Shifting from deficit to generative practices: Addressing impoverished and all students. Teaching Children of Poverty, 1(1).

Thomas, P. L. (2010, July/September). The Payne of addressing race and poverty in public education: Utopian accountability and deficit assumptions of middle class America. Souls, 12(3). TBD.

Tentative Schedule


June 8-9

6/8—Introduction to course; select and organize course readings

6/9—Discuss book critique; explore books to read; Topic 1: Historical Perspective

Read appropriate texts related to topics BEFORE class meetings.
June 12-16

6/12— Topic 2: Reading First and NCLB

6/13— Topic 3: Balanced Literacy

6/14— Topic 4: Early Literacy

6/15— Topic 5: Response to Literature

6/16— Topic 6: Writing Instruction, Spelling, Grammar

Read appropriate texts related to topics BEFORE class meetings.
June 19-23


6/20— Topic 7: Assessment

6/21— Topic 8: Adolescent Literacy

6/22— Topic 9: Content Area Literacy

6/23—Topic 10: Bilingual education andEnglish as a Second Language

Read appropriate texts related to topics BEFORE class meetings.
June 26-June 29

6/26— Topic 11: Multiliteracies

6/27— Topic 12: Poverty and Deficit Thinking

6/28—Share: Book Critique
Share: Literature Review

6/29—All assignments due

Read appropriate texts related to topics BEFORE class meetings.

All assignments due by 6/29/2017

Book Critique Guidelines

As teachers, we often read professional literature with an eye to understanding our classrooms better – we may, for instance, be intrigued by depictions of particular students or interactions, find ourselves weighing the promise of a given instructional method, or wondering at the unresolved complexities of our work. What I’m asking you to do here may feel strange at first, even a bit dehumanized – that is, I’m asking you to read with researchers’ eyes, scrutinizing the nuts and bolts of a particular study. I want you to reserve a certain skepticism as you read, thinking critically about your selected book as you locate the author’s (or authors’) approach within the methodological concerns we’ll be discussing in class.
            For the class session of your critique sharing, please bring in a one-or two-page handout that provides a brief summary of the book and an overview of your analysis.
            Here are some issues to consider:
Concerning Audience/Purpose
·       Who is the intended audience for this book (teachers, researchers, teacher-educators, etc.)? What gives you this impression?
·       What do you see as the book’s purpose? How effectively does it fulfill that purpose?
Concerning Methodology
·       Do you have a sense of where this work is “coming from” – e.g., in terms of theoretic grounding, a concern over gaps in previous research, the researcher’s experiences and biases, etc.?
·       How might you categorize the general methodological approach the author has taken (e.g., sociolinguistic, ethnographic, case study, naturalistic observation, etc.)?
·       To what degree are methodological decisions and procedures explicitly detailed?
o   Are research questions  provided?
o   Are we given a list of data sources?  Does the author “triangulate” by providing varied data sources and multiple perspectives?
o   How much do we know about data collection procedures? (If, for instance, a study relies heavily upon interview data, are interview questions provided? Is the degree of interviewer control characterized?
o   Is there an attempt to describe the researcher’s role – to depict the researcher’s biases, level of participation, and effects?
o   What do you know about how the data was analyzed?  How did the researcher arrive at conclusions and interpretations? How were examples and illustrations selected? Is there any indication that the researcher conducted a systematic search for disconfirming evidence or counter-examples?
·       Do these pieces form a coherent picture – e.g., is the methodology compatible with the author’s conceptual frame and research questions, etc.?
Concerning the Style of Presentation
·       Whose voice is foregrounded here (the informants’, the author’s)? how much do you know about the author – and how is this information useful/not useful?
·       Is the account engaging? Why – or why not?
·       What drives the author’s use of story? (e.g., are narrative vignettes integrated into an overarching pattern of analysis, or is the account more purely narrative?)To what extent are stories or narrative vignettes explicitly interpreted?
Concerning Your Evaluation of the Book’s Plausibility/Validity
·       To what extent do you trust or believe this account?
·       On what grounds might one judge the plausibility or validity of work such as this?
·       Would you call this work “research”? Why – or why not? How is this designation related – or not related – to your judgment of the work’s plausibility?
Book Critique Scoring Guide

Does Not Meet Expectations
Meets Expectations
Exceeds Expectations

  • The intended audience is mentioned
  • The book’s purpose is explained.


  • The theoretic grounding of the book is explained.
  • Methodological decisions and procedures are described.
  • A link between the methodology and conceptual frame is provided.

Presentation Style

  • The author’s style is discussed.
  • Additional information about the author is provided.

Plausibility/Validity of Research

  • Reasons for your evaluation of the book’s plausibility/validity are provided.
  • A judgment about believability is offered
  • An evaluation of this work as research is offered.

Literature Review
Brief Description of the Assessment and Its Use in the Program:

The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate knowledge of literacy research in a particular area. The Literature Review Paper allows students to hone in on current research about particular literacy topics of interest and relevance and share that information with their peers. Students will access library resources related to literacy; cite the contributions of individuals to the field of literacy; and demonstrate understanding of key findings in literacy research. Students will read scholarly articles; analyze and synthesize their findings; and write a literature review paper using APA style. Finally, in an oral presentation to peers, the results will be shared for discussion and interaction among colleagues. To become involved and communicate with other professionals in the field, students enrolled in EDRD 640 will be encouraged to submit their papers for review by Reading Matters, the journal of the South Carolina Chapter of IRA. They will also be encouraged to join local, state, and national literacy organizations and participate in professional conferences.

Description of how this assessment specifically aligns with the IRA Standards.

Alignment of Assessment to SC ELA and IRA Standards

Alignment of Assessment #7 to IRA Standards
IRA Standards
Literature Review Paper
1.1       Understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components , including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections
Literature Review
1.2       Understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components.
Conceptual Framework, SC ELA Standards, and Standards for Reading Professionals
Implications for Education
1.3       Understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement.
Summary and Conclusion
4.1       Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
Literature Review
Conceptual Framework
Summary and Conclusion
6.1       Demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.3       Participate in, design, facilitate, lead and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
Implications for Education

The Project

You will locate, analyze, and synthesize findings from 6-10 articles on a specified literacy topic. The paper you write in APA format will include:

· An introductory section that describes the focus and scope of the paper. (IRA 1.3, 4.1)

· A literature review section in which the articles are disseminated and discussed. Do not include bibliographic information at the beginning of each article. Merely cite the article, using APA form, and put the bibliographic information in the reference list. (IRA 1.1, 4.1)

· A summary and conclusions section in which you show what this group of articles is saying as a whole about the topic (how it addressed the question raised in the introduction). Assuming the role of facilitator of professional learning (literacy coach), identify ways in which this information could be used to inform parents and other educators. (IRA 1.3, 4.1)

· Implications for education that explains how historically shared knowledge of the profession changes over time and demonstrate areas for needed professional development and growth (IRA 1.2, 6.3).

· You will present an overview of your paper to the class for discussion/interaction. (IRA 6.1)

Scoring Tool


Does Not Meet Expectations
Meets Expectations
Exceeds Expectations
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
The focus and scope of the paper is unclear.
The focus and scope of the paper are described.
The focus and scope of the paper discuss importance and relevance to the field of literacy.
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
Literature Review
Articles are not fully summarized, analyzed and discussed.
Six-10 articles about the topic are summarized, analyzed, and discussed in relation to the focus of the paper.
Article information is disseminated and discussed analytically and synthetically.
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4

1a., 1b., 1c

SC ELA Standards R1-R4, W1-W4, C1-C3, RS1-RS3
Does not include ties to the Conceptual Framework, SC Standards or Standards for Reading Professionals in portfolio or presentation
Mentioned and cited Conceptual Framework, SC ELA Standards, and Standards for Reading Professionals (specifically demonstrates knowledge of reading research and major components of reading and how they are integrated)
Strong ties between student artifacts, Conceptual Framework, SC ELA Standards, and     Standards for Reading Professionals
(specifically demonstrates knowledge of reading research and major components of reading and how they are integrated)
1.1, 1.2, 1.3., 1.4
Summary and Conclusions
Article information is not analyzed conclusively.
The information in the articles reviewed are summarized as a whole and analyzed conclusively.
Summaries and analyses between articles are woven together meaningfully.
1.1, 1.2, 1.3., 1.4,
5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
Implications for Education
Minimal discussion of how theory and research influences classroom practice
Ways the theory and research in the articles can influence classroom practices are discussed.
Theory and research are meshed seamlessly with classroom practice.

Reference List
Reference list is not complete or correct.
A complete reference list in correct APA format is included.
A complete reference list in correct APA format is included.
5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
Oral presentation is not clear and/or contains conventional error.
An organized oral presentation is made to the class.  The presentation is visual, free of conventional error, and organized for clear understanding.
An organized and detailed oral presentation is made to the class. The presentation is visual, free of conventional error, and organized for clear understanding.

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