Practitioner Reflexivity, Program Cohesion and Student Literacy Success

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The paper highlights the critical role of teacher reflexivity in promoting program cohesiveness and student success in a middle-school literacy program. Exploration rests on the basic premise that the teacher who engages in reflective practice is more likely to accurately identify and effectively meet students’ literacy needs and is better able to negotiate an appropriate learning path given the most rigid of programs. Such a teacher, the research claims is, in addition, better able to operate effectively in situations in which ideological differences regarding appropriate literacy practices exist and in which a clearly defined literacy program is absent. In addition, the reflective practitioner is more likely to initiate and build a more clearly–defined program that benefits students and the institution in the long run. The researcher/practitioner adopts an emic perspective and engages in a retrospective analysis of her own practice over a two-year period to determine critical period of reflectivity. Reflections are supported by critical documents/records in a bid the highlight key products of reflective practice and how these led to greater program cohesion, growing acceptance of the specialists’ strategic direction, and ultimately literacy outcomes observed. Documents analysis and self-observation form the basis of data used in this study. The researcher proposes that teachers high on reflexivity are more likely, even within the most rigid or loose of structures and ideological environments, to provide appropriate instruction that meet students’ learning need and to ultimately generate a more structured program that ensures a higher level of student success.

Keywords: Reflective Practice, Program Cohesion, Reading Success, Adolescents
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Michelle McAnuff-Gumbs

Literacy Coordinator, Heritage High, George Hicks Campus
Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

I am an experienced teacher-educator having served for 10 years at Jamaica's oldest teacher-training college (Bethlheme Moravian Teachers' College). Currently, I am a school-based literacy Coordinator with the Government of the Cayman Islands. I am a past student of the Ohio University where I studied as a Fulbright Scholar between 2000 and 2002. I earned a Master of Arts degree in Applied Linguistics/TESOL under the program and later a Ph.D while working as Research Assistant with the Core Literacy Grant (IRA) awarded to the University. I have been invited to present my work at several conferences including theIRA World Congress in Costa Rico (2008) and the International Association of Applied Linguists (2008).

Ref: L08P0436