Presented by Professor Sue Ellis, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Social class and gender are strongly associated with how easily and how well children learn to read but education policies continue to focus on cognitive, content-based curriculum interventions. These approaches often ignore the social and cultural aspects of literacy learning in ways that risk literacy teaching appearing alien, unkind and ineffective.
This talk re-positions the challenge of narrowing the literacy attainment gap between rich and poor as one that requires teachers to recognise, navigate and reconcile different kinds of evidence. It describes a successful intervention that both raised attainment and narrowed the gap in one local authority with 49 primary schools. The intervention helped teachers re-balance and expand their professional knowledge to create more inclusive and socially responsive literacy activities, resources and pedagogies.
The talk will explain how specific tools and knowledge helped change teachers’ patterns of professional noticing, re-shaping what the teachers attended to and what they ignored, in ways that meant they responded differently to their students.
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