Supporting teachers' literacy work in key groups

Year: 1994

Author: Soliman, Izabel, Watson, Kathy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper is based on an ongoing project investigating how academics can support the work of teachers who are attempting to involve parents in developing children's literacy, thereby fostering a sense of partnership with teachers in practical enquiry and critically reflecting upon their own evolving roles in the process.

The project is conducted in connection with a pilot program of professional development offered to teachers by the New South Wales Department of School Education, in which small groups of teachers and parents are encouraged to work together on issues which they believe require improvement and development in their schools.

In this project, two groups of teachers, one in a primary and the other in a secondary school, have joined together and chosen to investigate the challenges of literacy learning in Years 6 and 7, over a 12-month period. The two academics, who have linked up with the teachers, are supporting them and have encouraged the primary teachers to form a parents' reference group to provide feedback on their expectations of children's literacy development. In the secondary school, teachers are involving parents through the development of "interactive" homework which they are designing to encourage pupils to talk to an adult at home about what they are learning at school and thus improve the family member's knowledge about the pupil's schoolwork.