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The Road Ahead: Boys’ Literacy Teacher Inquiry Project and Report A three year multi-school initiative Supported with funding from the Ministry of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "The Road Ahead: Boys’ Literacy Teacher Inquiry Project and Report A three year multi-school initiative Supported with funding from the Ministry of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road Ahead: Boys’ Literacy Teacher Inquiry Project and Report A three year multi-school initiative Supported with funding from the Ministry of Education Barbara BodkinGrant Clatworthy Director of Continuing Education Principal Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationHawthorne Village PS University of TorontoHalton District SB Ontario Education Research Conference February 2009

2 WHY TEACHER INQUIRY? “We must find a way of bridging the traditional divide between educational theory and professional practice.” Jack Whitehead as cited in Action Research Principles and Practice, by Jean McNiff

3 The Boys’ Literacy Teacher Inquiry Project What did we learn? Successes, challenges… Some surprises… Some confirmations..

4 WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? Challenges Time School structures Staff changes Development of a focus Disseminating ideas and promising practices Validity of test results Limitations of technology Funding

5 WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? About Boys’ Literacy Teaching Practices The power of teaching with a wide variety of reading materials The social nature of literacy learning The power of talk Listen to student voices- boys need choices! Clearer assessment practices leads to precise teaching using differentiated approaches Let them be active and games and competition can help drive motivation Technology is a powerful ally in the classroom

6 WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? About Collaboration Working together for building shared accountability Dialogue and discussion to develop clarity Planning processes that further aligned with other thrusts Refinement of inquiry processes Teaching that was deprivatized Encouragement of a more positive school climate

7 WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? About Teacher Inquiry Processes OISE team provided support in the : Development of a common language and understandings of phases of inquiry Teacher Inquiry is possible! Use of classroom data and other school-wide measures Narrowing of the scope and sometimes the sample, for teacher inquiry Balancing of qualitative and quantitative data Alignment of data collection to the essential question and the determination of conclusions from analysis

8 WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? Impacts of Boys’ Literacy Teacher Inquiry Increased: Respect and understanding for boys as learners employing a wider definition of literacy in elementary and secondary classrooms Growth of data literacy strategies Targeted and frequent feedback for boys “assessing for learning” More precise differentiated teaching Fostering of community networks and parent/guardians – reading in the lives of adults

9 WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? About Data Literacy Use of a wider range of data tools and strategies Extensive use of student surveys, inventories and focus groups- listen to boys! Public display of student achievement data for collaborative analysis Targeted and frequent feedback to students which enhances their engagement with literacy Adjustments in mid-course

10 A KEY DIMENSION: Leadership Role of formal leadership Growth of distributed leadership Development of learning networks 1.Development of teacher and collective self-efficacy 2.Academic press 3.Effective planning for transitions and changes 4.Growth of skills related to working collaboratively and using them successfully

11 Boys’ Literacy Improvement Focused Instruction & Assessment Practices Teacher Inquiry Processes Leadership Development Deepened Enhanced School Culture Coherence & Alignment Sustainability PersonalizationPersonalization PrecisionPrecision

12 Next Steps Support materials : funding and development Teacher professional learning Extend teacher inquiry projects and processes Support for resource Acquisition

13 WATCH FOR: Research Report and Inquiry Teams Reports THE ROAD AHEAD: BOYS’ LITERACY TEACHER INQUIRY PROJECT Sequel to Me Read? No Way! ME READ?AND HOW! ME READ? AND HOW!COMING 2009

14 One School Inquiry Team: Hawthorne Village PS Halton DSB “There is no doubt that my students are more engaged when I incorporate one or more of the arts into their programs. They seem more excited about their learning and now ask if we will be able to act it out or draw their interpretations of text.”

15 One School Inquiry Team: Hawthorne Village PS Halton DSB Why Teacher Inquiry? Provided a focus on literacy Linked to other curriculum initiatives Integrated the arts Built professional learning community within a new school community

16 One School Inquiry Team: Hawthorne Village PS Halton DSB What did we learn about teaching boys? Shared reading as part of instructional model improved engagement and achievement Student opinion surveys shaped our teaching and selection of reading materials Using a wide array of arts- visual, dramatic, music encouraged a wide variety of boys’ and girls’ responses before, during and after reading Community networks and involvement strengthened our school

17 One School Inquiry Team: Hawthorne Village PS Halton DSB How did teacher inquiry help? Built our capacity for data literacy 1. A cohort of boys became a targeted sample 2. We used and customized assessment tools Encouraged us to work together 1. In a new school this project brought us together 2. By collegial discussion we made our assessment practices more consistent for reading comprehension, fluency and motivation

18 One School Inquiry Team: Hawthorne Village PS Halton DSB What evidence demonstrated the impact? Over 70% of the cohort group (mostly boys) indicated they preferred to demonstrate reading understanding through the arts. The most preferred art was drama (acting out!) Writing was 45%! The greatest area of reading improvement was in fluency (linked to the shared reading strategy). There is a correlation between fluency and comprehension. More teachers indicated they integrated the arts in their language program

19 It is teachers, who, in the end, will change the world of school by understanding it. Laurence Stenhouse

20 Where to find materials? Visit the Ministry of Education Web-site: Videos and support booklets Search “ Boys Literacy Teacher Inquiry”

21 VOICES FROM THE PROJECT… A teacher remarked… “ it is important to distinguish the difference between collegiality and collaboration. …where we thought common ground was in place related to various teaching strategies and practices for assessment, it became obvious there were differences in interpretation. Early agreement seems to have more do with comradeship and slowly a more collaboratively evolved explicit understanding of teaching practices developed.” Our Lady of the Valley Catholic, Kenora CDSB

22 A teacher from a cross panel project remarked… “For the [first] time in a long time, instead of being 60 staff captains directing our own ships, we actually sailed together.” A. Y. Jackson Secondary School & W.O Mitchell Public School, Ottawa Carleton DSB VOICES FROM THE PROJECT…


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