DPS Vision for 21st Century Literacy Instruction

Durham Public Schools 21st Century Literacy Instruction

Teachers must prepare students to meet the challenges of 21st century academic, career and vocational pursuits.  All teachers must implement engaging, evidence based instructional strategies that infuse reading, writing, speaking and listening into their daily instruction.  Schools and classrooms that produce students that are 21st century career- and college- ready display the following characteristics:

  • Teachers use differentiated research-based teaching methods to provide direct, explicit instruction for reading/writing skills and strategies and develop students’ critical thinking skills.
  • Teachers in all content areas have common expectations for good reading, model fluent reading, good reader behaviors and the use of effective strategies and skills.
  • At the elementary level, instructional texts used during a full instructional day should include 50% informational texts and 50% literary texts.
  • At the secondary level, instructional texts used during a full instructional day should include 70% informational texts and 30% literary texts.
  • Writing is an ongoing, daily practice in all content areas using such writing process strategies as pair or group work, peer editing, completing multiple drafts, and conferencing.
  • All teachers regularly facilitate formal and informal collaborative academic discussions and foster increasingly independent student conversations that help students gain a deep understanding of content area concepts and knowledge.
  • All teachers provide instruction and reinforce literacy skills and strategies that are effective for their subject areas to have students read/write like subject-area experts.
  • Teachers provide learning experiences that involve the use of technology as a tool for instructional purposes. They teach students to effectively navigate using 21st Century literacy tools.
  • The principal/school leader has a clear commitment and enthusiasm for reading/writing and provides leadership for sustaining a vision of shared expectations for high quality learning.
  • Principals/school leaders and teachers must have a firm understanding of stages of reading development, the five areas of reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension) and understand how to teach reading to a wide range of students.
  • An extended time, dedicated specifically to literacy development, is provided so that students receive instruction during reading, English language arts and/or content area classes.
  • Time and resources are provided for professional development, research materials and workshops for teachers to develop as readers/writers and learn about research-proven classroom strategies.
  • Collaboration includes classroom teachers, instructional facilitators, literacy coaches, administrators and other support staff for sustained professional learning.  (PLCs/teams work to sustain participants in their efforts to examine, implement, experiment, reflect.)

Adapted from The MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan. (2012, May 23). Milwaukee Public Schools Resources. Retrieved October 21, 2012, from http://mpsportal.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/comprehensive_literacy_plan/43262