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Literacy in the Subject Areas

Literacy Instruction in the Content Areas

Getting to the Core of Middle and High School Improvement

Before there were Common Core State Standards, there was this rallying call from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The authors—SLI’s Cynthia Greenleaf and the Alliance’s Rafael Heller—report on the discrepancy between students’ limited preparation to access and participate in high-level literacy in multiple disciplines and the literacy demands for college and career success.

In describing the kinds of “generic” literacy strategies that can be useful across subject areas, they also argue convincingly that content area teachers must be supported and expected to apprentice their students in the particular ways of reading, thinking, writing, and talking specific to different disciplines. They make a strong case for supporting content teachers’ professional development within a broader policy framework for building student capacities in advanced content literacy.

AUTHORS
Rafael Heller, Cynthia L. Greenleaf
Alliance for Excellent Education, 2007

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From the Text

“If students are to succeed in the content areas, teachers will need to demystify the reading and writing that go on there.”

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