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The Ohio Reading Teacher 

About: The Ohio Reading Teacher is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Reading (process) & Primary education. Over the lifetime, 82 publications have been published receiving 638 citations.

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TL;DR: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA) as mentioned in this paper has become one of the most frequent educational news items in the public press, on the Web, and in professional journals.
Abstract: Ranking as one of the most frequent educational news items in the public press, on the Web, and in professional journals (see sidebar), the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA) has truly captured national conversation. But one thing is missing from all this talk, and that is any mention of just what it is we're at risk of leaving our children behind. NCLBA, which was signed into law in January 2002 (PL107-110), presumably is a comprehensive effort to improve education for all children in the US by providing them successful schools with qualified teachers in every classroom and fair assessments of learning. Few of us would seriously argue against these goals. Some, however, have questioned the implications of NCLBA (e.g., Lewis, 2002; Linn, Baker, & Betebenner, 2002). In fact, the title itself, "No Child Left Behind," suggests that a strong political agenda accompanies its stated goals. Connotations of "Left Behind" What images come to your mind when you hear the phrase, "left behind"? A skittish racehorse caught in the starting gate? An out-ofbreath traveler narrowly missing a bus or train? A family continuing a road trip only remember they left their youngest child at the rest stop? Now extend these images to the context of education. Does learning have a definitive "starting gate" and "finish line"? Is learning a race? Do some children miss the learning train because they arrived at the station too late or because they're standing on the wrong platform? In many ways, the NCLBA requirements fit these images. The states' adequate yearly progress (AYP) targets may indeed constitute finish lines for learners. Children who learn differently or uniquelyand which of them don't?-may be too late for the learning train, particularly when qualified teachers need only to pass tests of content and not pedagogic knowledge and practice; indeed, under NCLBA, developmental learning becomes an oxymoron. And what about the artistically gifted children who learn best in ways not legitimized by NCLBA's limited definition of scientific research NCLBA? Aren't they waiting on the wrong platform? Add to these images the "one size fits all" perspective of "Reading First," which aligns instruction, materials, and teacher preparation with that narrowly defined scientific research, and the increased testing and accountability requirements across the 50 states. It becomes easier to see why some of my Texas colleagues paraphrase the law as "no child left standing." Under NCLBA, learning is reduced to content that is transmitted and then tested. Period. Independent, engaged, life-long learners are not part of the image. Neither are the truly qualified teachers. Think of those you've known. You would likely describe them as people who nurture independent learning, who share learners' interests, and who are learners themselves. They do not talk of children as being "left behind," except perhaps through a national curriculum and legislated policies that disrespect the interest, control, and power of the learner in the learning process. New Science, New Talk Maybe it's the scientific research base as defined by the NCLBA that needs to be left behind. It is, after all, rooted in 17th Century Newtonian concepts of the universe. New seiences, such as quantum physics, self-organizing systems, and chaos theory, are more useful in understanding the complex systems of the 21st century (Wheatley, 1999). …

444 citations

Journal Article

15 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: Culturally responsive pedagogy as mentioned in this paper is a pedagogical framework and practice in which educators pay specific attention to the cultural and diverse contexts in which learning takes place (Ladson-Billings, 2011).
Abstract: This article presents culturally responsive pedagogy as a means to practicing cultural scaffolding in the language arts and English classrooms. Students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds characterize 21st century classrooms. These diverse heritages need to not only be recognized, but also utilized in literacy instruction. Having students write an ethnoautobiography is one way to encourage students to celebrate their cultural selves, while also teaching literacy and critical thinking skills. The theoretical underpinnings of culturally responsive teaching pedagogy are discussed and an example activity is outlined.IntroductionTeachers are presented with unique challenges in classrooms with culturally and linguistically diverse students (Ladson-Billings, 1994). As educators in a pluralistic society, it is necessary that teachers be adaptive, culturally aware, and sensitive to the challenges of teaching students who may not share the same ethnic and cultural heritages. When educators understand the beliefs, biases, and behaviors of their students, they can make culturally informed decisions about how to make teaching and learning most effective.Culturally Responsive Teaching and PedagogyCulturally responsive teaching (CRT) is a pedagogical framework and practice in which educators pay specific attention to the cultural and diverse contexts in which learning takes place (Ladson-Billings, 2011). It involves paying attention to the differences and similarities between teachers, students, and the learning environment (Gay, 2002). The cultures of the school, of teachers, and of the community are often asynchronous to those of culturally diverse students (Gay, 2000). These discontinuities can interfere with the students' academic achievement, their motivation to learn, and their ability to acquire new knowledge (Gay, 2000). In order for teachers to deliver content knowledge to students in meaningful ways, they must also be aware and consider the cultural frame of reference through which each student will mediate that knowledge.Culturally responsive pedagogy assumes that the cultural diversity of students is a strength and favorable resource for improving learning for all students (Gay, 2000, 2013). The terms culturally responsive and culturally relevant pedagogy are interchangeable terms, but certain researchers prefer one over the other. CRT is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning (Ladson-Billings, 1994, 1992b). Gay (2002) insists that educators must engage in constructivist cultural scaffolding in their teaching practice. Cultural scaffolding means utilizing students' cultures and cultural experiences to facilitate and improve academic and intellectual achievement (Gay, 2002). Furthermore, CRT must also be guided by effective cross-cultural communication and language (Gay, 2002). Cultural scaffolding and effective communication are especially important for those students who are learning to read and write in a second language (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). When considering the case of English language learners, culture is of particular interest because of the various cultural backgrounds and experiences students bring to the classroom.The challenges of teaching in a culturally sensitive way include self-reflection and self-contextualization. In other words, how do I, as an individual, make myself aware of my own cultural biases? Educators need to examine the ways in which cultural assumptions affects assessment, interventional goals, child development, learning theory, and the preparation of personnel (Ladson-Billings, 1994, 1995b). An effective and responsive literacy program makes considerations for both the student's second language acquisition skills (motivation,.personality, learning style) and those aspects of the child's specific needs (attitude, cognitive functioning, behaviors) (Garcia & Tyler, 2010). …

10 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: This paper explored the effectiveness of combining Project READ and Guided Reading as intervention strategies employed with at-risk first grade students in efforts to bring them up to their grade-level peers in the state of Ohio.
Abstract: Introduction In the state of Ohio and nationwide, teachers are under great pressure to help students meet high-stakes accountability measures in the form of state-mandated proficiency tests. Given the recent re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), often cited as the No Child Left Behind Act (Bush, 2001), and its focus on achievement testing of students from grades three through eight, these pressures are not likely to lessen in the foreseeable future. While all teachers should embrace accountability for their students' performances, even veteran teachers are sometimes at a loss to prepare students for tests that purportedly measure particular grade level competencies when many of those students come into the grade level under-prepared and, therefore, "at-risk" of not being able to perform at grade level. To combat this reality, teachers need to engage in early diagnosis and intervention targeted to close the gap from the level at which an at-risk student begins the year and the level at which his or her grade level peers are performing. The general purpose of this article is to explore the effectiveness of combining Project READ and Guided Reading as intervention strategies employed with at-risk first grade students in efforts to bring them up to their grade-level peers. Balancing Approaches to instruction to Assist Readers at Risk There are a number of different processes that must be working in harmony in order for children to learn to "break the code" necessary for skillful reading. They must process letters that make up words that are written in sentences that have meaning. These sentence meanings are not fixed on a page but are interpreted by students in relation to the prior experiences that the children bring to that page. Because of the complexity of these tasks, reading teachers have often found themselves at odds as they have felt pressured to find themselves in a particular camp, often looking for contrariness among phonics, skills-based or whole language approaches. In an effort to end some of these pressures to form camps, the National Reading Panel (2000) attempted to identify the "science base" for reading instruction and identified some of the component parts, including phonemic awareness, systematic phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, and the use of multiple comprehension strategies, that make up some of the current knowledge that we have on reading instruction from empirical studies. While the NRP report itself appears to have heated up the war, especially by being more definitive about the use of instructional approaches that are aligned with phonics and skills-based practices, their recognition of the significance of teachers using a combination of comprehension strategies with students and their call for more research on how teacher characteristics influence successful instruction in comprehension appear to provide credence for some of the tenets of whole language advocates. There can be no doubt, though, about the influence of the NRP report on policy at both the federal and state levels. In Ohio, for instance, we are seeing these influences reflected in the content of the Summer Institute for Reading Intervention (SIRI) that reached some 15,000 P-4 teachers in the summer of 2002. Ultimately, however, there appears to be a push toward balancing these approaches to take advantage of their strengths in working with diverse children (Pressley, 2002). Especially for young readers, it is important that they break the code of the sound-symbol relationship so that they can improve the lower order processing that allows skilled readers to make sense of text. While teachers work with these students on increasing their phonological awareness, though, they also work with them on processing the meaning of written text. The intent of integrating phonological awareness with reading is to balance instruction to take advantage of the skills that the readers bring to their literacy development, rather than their apparent deficits. …

8 citations

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