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Teaching, Learning & Assessment in the English Education Classroom

Teaching, Learning & Assessment in the English Education Classroom

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Published by Ian O'Byrne
This course is designed to provide English Education majors with the theories and pedagogies necessary to understand, develop, and administer valid and reliable assessments of student literacy learning at the secondary school level. Understanding your students’ content knowledge forms the basis for on-going instructional decisions and planning, and forms a critical link in the teaching cycle. Understanding of students’ content knowledge is gained through assessment as we observe, interact, and measure gains as students engage in a lesson. The goal of this course is to provide educators with the understanding and design of assessments needed to anticipate and plan instructional intervention focused on promoting reading and writing in the English Ed. curriculum. The Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing (NCTE/IRA, 2009), the Position Statement on New Literacies and 21st Century Technologies (International Reading Association, 2009), the NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts, and the Initial Report of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) for Best Practice in Online Writing Instruction all helped frame the content and skills presented in this course. Content for the course will include a wide variety of materials that will provide educators with a working knowledge of the psychological and sociological forces that affect adolescent readers and writers. Experiences in this class will range from online/offline discussion, in-school fieldwork, to planning for classroom lessons. Educators will leave this class with the theories and instructional intervention needed to build students’ content area knowledge.
This course is designed to provide English Education majors with the theories and pedagogies necessary to understand, develop, and administer valid and reliable assessments of student literacy learning at the secondary school level. Understanding your students’ content knowledge forms the basis for on-going instructional decisions and planning, and forms a critical link in the teaching cycle. Understanding of students’ content knowledge is gained through assessment as we observe, interact, and measure gains as students engage in a lesson. The goal of this course is to provide educators with the understanding and design of assessments needed to anticipate and plan instructional intervention focused on promoting reading and writing in the English Ed. curriculum. The Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing (NCTE/IRA, 2009), the Position Statement on New Literacies and 21st Century Technologies (International Reading Association, 2009), the NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts, and the Initial Report of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) for Best Practice in Online Writing Instruction all helped frame the content and skills presented in this course. Content for the course will include a wide variety of materials that will provide educators with a working knowledge of the psychological and sociological forces that affect adolescent readers and writers. Experiences in this class will range from online/offline discussion, in-school fieldwork, to planning for classroom lessons. Educators will leave this class with the theories and instructional intervention needed to build students’ content area knowledge.

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Published by: Ian O'Byrne on May 20, 2011
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Assessment in English Ed - W. I. O¶Byrne 1
Teaching, Learning & Assessment in the English Education classroom
University of ConnecticutInstructor: W. Ian O¶Byrne
Course Background
The Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing (2009) as published by a joint task force of the National Council of the Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International ReadingAssociation (IRA) were defined as:1.
 
The interests of the student are paramount in assessment.2.
 
The teacher is the most important agent of assessment.3.
 
The primary purpose of assessment is to improve teaching and learning.4.
 
Assessment must reflect and allow for critical inquiry into curriculum and instruction.5.
 
Assessment must recognize and reflect the intellectually and socially complex nature of reading and writing and the important roles of school, home, and society in literacydevelopment.6.
 
Assessment must be fair and equitable.7.
 
The consequences of an assessment procedure are the first and most importantconsideration in establishing the validity of the assessment.8.
 
The assessment process should involve multiple perspectives and sources of data.9.
 
Assessment must be based in the local school learning community, including active andessential participation of families and community members.10.
 
All stakeholders in the educational community²students, families, teachers,administrators, policymakers, and the public²must have an equal voice in thedevelopment, interpretation, and reporting of assessment information.11.
 
Families must be involved as active, essential participants in the assessment process.Available at http://www.ncte.org/standards/assessmentstandardsThe syllabus is also informed by the U. S. Common Core State Standards (2010), and morespecifically research and media skills key design considerations, which states:³To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in atechnological society, students need the ability to gather,comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information andideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume andextensive range of print and non-print texts in media forms old andnew. The need to conduct research and to produce and consumemedia is embedded into every aspect of today¶s curriculum.´(Common Core State Standards, 2010, p. 4) 
 
Assessment in English Ed - W. I. O¶Byrne 2
Course Description
This course is designed to provide English Education majors with the theories and pedagogiesnecessary to understand, develop, and administer valid and reliable assessments of studentliteracy learning at the secondary school level. Understanding your students¶ content knowledgeforms the basis for on-going instructional decisions and planning, and forms a critical link in theteaching cycle. Understanding of students¶ content knowledge is gained through assessment aswe observe, interact, and measure gains as students engage in a lesson. The goal of this course isto provide educators with the understanding and design of assessments needed to anticipate and plan instructional intervention focused on promoting reading and writing in the English Ed.curriculum. The
Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing 
(NCTE/IRA, 2009), the
 Position Statement on New Literacies and 21st Century Technologies (International Reading  Association, 2009),
the
 NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts
, and the
 Initial  Report of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) for Best  Practice in Online Writing Instruction
all helped frame the content and skills presented in thiscourse. Content for the course will include a wide variety of materials that will provide educatorswith a working knowledge of the psychological and sociological forces that affect adolescentreaders and writers. Experiences in this class will range from online/offline discussion, in-schoolfieldwork, to planning for classroom lessons. Educators will leave this class with the theories andinstructional intervention needed to build students¶ content area knowledge.
Course Objectives
Students successfully completing this course will be able to:
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of assessment strategies, both formal and informal, and use theresults to affect student achievement and engagement of ALL learners.
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of effective online and offline reading processes, strategies andtheir use in the English Education classroom.
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of effective writing and content creation strategies used byadolescents and possibilities for instruction in the English Education classroom.
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of lesson planning and appropriate instructional methods tosupport adolescents¶ reading and writing skills across all content areas.
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of the varied needs of ALL readers and writers in the EnglishEducation classroom, including but not limited to special needs students, Englishlanguage learners, and struggling readers.
y
 
Use a variety of curricular materials in the planning and implementation of instructional practices, including online and offline sources, to support ALL learners.
 
Assessment in English Ed - W. I. O¶Byrne 3
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of scaffolding strategies and their use in the promoting readingand writing strategies by ALL learners.
y
 
D
emonstrate knowledge of new literacies strategies and other instructional methods in bringing technology use into the English Education classroom.
y
 
D
emonstrate an ability to communicate professionally with all members of the school andlocal community in regard to student achievement and instructional practice.
y
 
D
emonstrate an understanding of the use of journals, professional developmentopportunities, and membership in content area organizations to further professionalgrowth.
Resources for the CourseRequired Texts
Popham, W. J. (2010).
Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know
(6th edition).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Rationale: Selected because the text provides in-depth examples of classroom assessments aswell as how these assessments can scaffold student learning. The author addressescontemporary classroom issues, including instructor accountability, and formativeassessments. The text also provides research and theory on traditional assessment topicssuch as assessment validity and assessment reliability. The text also includes ³
D
ecisionTime´ activities that provide scenarios in which teachers need to explain testing andinformed decisions made from testing results to students, parents, teachers, andadministrators. This text effectively incorporates the majority of theories andinstructional methods needed to address the assessment of literacy skills of all learners.Smagorinsky, P. (2007).
Teaching English by Design
. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Rationale: Selected because it provides instruction into the core, essential questions of understanding and design of instruction and provides practical solutions for the teacher.This book is necessary in helping educators understand the design of practical tools andstrategies for use in designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments. The authors seek to bring coherence and focus to instruction through the extension, connection, andintegration of units across the curriculum.
Required Supplemental Readings
Batalova, J., Fix, M., & Murray, J. (2007).
 M 
easures of change: The demography and literacy of adolescent English learners²A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York 
.Washington,
D
C: Migration Policy Institute.

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