Philosophy of Literacy Education

3054 Words Jul 12th, 2011 13 Pages
Personal Philosophy of Literacy Education Throughout my first year as a middle school Language Arts teacher, I have developed a theoretical understanding of what I believe are the necessary components to providing a meaningful and generative environment in which students develop and expand literacy skills. The teaching of literacy needs to include a balance of reading, writing, speaking and listening activities, and needs to be a social endeavor that provides a variety of instructional strategies to meet the needs of all diverse learners. My teaching strategies, beliefs and personality that I bring to my classroom can be characterized as a blend of two types of philosophical theories: social constructivism and relational teaching and …show more content…
Literacy cannot be learned through multiple lessons taught solely in isolation. Instead, it must be learned in a comprehensive manner, in which various literacy skills are fully-integrated. Vygotsky (1987) is the theorist who appears to have had the greatest influence on literacy researchers working from a social constructivist perspective. Vygotsky’s approach to learning was holistic in nature, and he advocated the study of higher mental functions with all their complexity (Moll, 1990). Research on school literacy learning conducted from a social constructivist perspective suggests that students need to engage in authentic and relevant literacy activities, as opposed to rote memorization or repetitive worksheets contrived for practice (Au, 1998). The fourth element of my philosophy of literacy education is the importance of teaching literacy through bringing relevance, to establish a deep link between the students and the content. My student population is comprised of an array of diverse backgrounds, all coming together in my classroom. Literacy achievement of students of diverse backgrounds can be strengthened by moving from a mainstream orientation to a more diverse orientation, giving greater consideration to issues of ethnicity, primary language, and social class (Au, 1998). Themes in constructivist work encourage creating relevant learning experiences for students as a central part of literacy acquisition, including
Open Document