Shanahan & Shanahan, 2017, in their article, “Disciplinary Literacy: Just the FAQs” address some of the key questions behind the need for Disciplinary Literacy. What does it mean to teach literacy skills embedded within a specific discipline? We will take some time to look at the questions they have heard and how they respond.
Last week we reviewed their first question and answer:
- Why does the Common Core include disciplinary literacy standards?
2. So English teachers are supposed to teach kids to read like scientist or historians?
The idea behind disciplinary literacy is that those teachers who are ‘experts’ in the disciplines should be teaching the literacy demanded through each content area. Disciplinary teachers should be teaching the type of inquiry, reading, and writing that each area asks of students. In this way, disciplinary literacy skills are highly contextualized and connected as opposed as taught outside of meaningful contexts.