Ability to integrate a range of instructional approaches and resources is crucial

New York, N.Y. – For more than 50 years, experts have debated the best way to teach all students to read and write successfully. Now, a white paper by Generation Ready Chief Academic Officer Sheena Hervey concludes that the most successful teachers are able to skillfully integrate a range of instructional approaches and resources to meet the diverse learning needs of their students.

As the only national provider of leader and teacher professional learning services that uniquely combines deep instructional job-embedded expertise and innovative technology tools, Generation Ready’s roots are in literacy instruction. Hervey comes from New Zealand where she worked as a teacher, administrator and literacy advisor and also played a role in implementing national standards.

“Today’s classrooms are complex and dynamic learning environments,” said Hervey. “Identifying the factors that affect student achievement has been an object of study for some time, but now there is documented evidence of the most effective features of teaching that lead to positive outcomes.”

Titled “What is Effective Teaching of Literacy,” the paper documents that effective teachers:

• Know the literacy processes and the teaching practices that determine how their students learn
• Know what their students need to understand and to do to meet higher standards
• Know their students as individual learners
• Have high expectations for students and encourage them to take risks
• Have flexibly to use a range of instructional practices
• Engage students in challenging learning experiences

“It’s clear from the data that becoming literate is a social process in which students are active learners,” Hervey said. “There are multiple paths to common outcomes in literacy learning. Effective teachers recognize this.”

One of the greatest challenges for teachers of literacy is ensuring that students have the comprehension strategies needed to cope in the increasingly complex world of print, Hervey said. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) acknowledge this and have put increasing focus on preparing students for difficult texts they will face both in and out of school.

In 2010, Hervey and Generation Ready education consultants partnered with the New York City Department of Education for Text Complexity, one of the five pilots for the implementation of the CCSS. The pilot involved 20 middle and high schools serving high need communities and focused on literacy and the challenge of increasing the complexity of texts students read. As a result of the work, teachers were able to deepen their understanding around text complexity and change their instructional practice to ensure students had the strategies they needed to engage confidently with increasingly complex texts.

According to Hervey, supporting teachers in developing the strategies needed to help students develop the stamina and resilience to tackle complex texts and also integrating a range of instructional practices and resources will be crucial. “It is what happens, moment by moment in their classrooms, that makes a difference when it comes to student achievement,” noted Hervey.
To read the entire white paper visit www.generationready.com.

About Generation Ready

Generation Ready is the only national provider of leader and teacher professional learning services that uniquely combines deep instructional job-embedded expertise, innovative technology tools, and a targeted digital content library that ensures sustained professional growth and improved student learning. For the past 20 years, our primary focus has been improving instructional practice in the classroom. Our professional learning services are experienced, evidence-based, collaborative and customized. Created through acquisition by Weld North Holdings LLC in September of 2012, Generation Ready combines the deep expertise and resources of two long-renowned education organizations – Editure/AUSSIE Professional Development and JBHM Education Group. Our mission is to support teachers and school leaders in order to educate a stronger, more vibrant generation of students prepared to meet life’s challenges. For more information, visit www.generationready.com.

# # #
Media Contacts:

Celina Fabrizio Becky Mazzanobile
P: 614-224-8114 ext. 242 P: 917-501-6805
cfabrizio@paulwerth.com becky.mazzanobile@generationready.com

About the Author: