Just when I think I’m getting somewhere on understanding the challenges of addressing the needs of struggling learners, someone introduces me to another focus: namely, collaboration in schools. A colleague recently “reintroduced me” to work of a literacy researcher (Kristin Gehsmann) who recent published: Becoming More Effective in the Age of Accountability: A High-Poverty School Narrows the Literacy Achievement Gap. On the following day, someone sent me a link to the NCLE study on the role of collaboration in literacy learning: http://www.literacyinlearningexchange.org/remodeling
There isn’t any question that collaboration is important to successful student learning. And so is instruction and I’ve been thinking about that, too, due to a comment by Dick Allington on a discussion question I initiated on Linkedin on early identification of dyslexia:
One other email I received in the last few days brings in one other dimension: interest groups. In this case, the interest group represented advocacy for students with learning disabilities.
So, we have at least three perspectives to consider: institutional (collaboration in the schools), instructional (what kind of instruction (programs or practices work best…and for whom) and interest groups (advocates for struggling readers, readers who have a learning disability, are economically disadvantaged, speak another language…for example). How can we make sure that those circles overlap and stay focused on the center—the individual child?
Each of these perspectives has something to offer us as we strive to help all kids to become successful readers. I’d like to think of these 3 circles intersecting, and in the middle, is the individual child…who deserves our best efforts regardless of which perspective we represent.