Practitioner Reflexivity, Program Cohesion and Student Literacy Success
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
Dr. Michelle McAnuff-Gumbs
Literacy Coordinator, Heritage High, George Hicks Campus