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    Standards 2017: Practicum/Clinical Experiences

    BY APRIL HALL
     | Mar 28, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    AutumnDodgeHeadShot_220
    Autumn Dodge

    Standard 7, Practicum/Clinical Experiences, is a new addition to the document. Never before has the Standards addressed clinical and field experience necessary for being a successful educator.

    Autumn Dodge, assistant professor at St. John's University in New York, was the lead writer on Standard 7 and said it was vital to add this aspect of teacher preparation to the document.

    "This new standard addresses what we see as the need to provide standards and expectations for practicum experience for the different roles," Dodge said. "We needed to define what practicum experiences are, differentiating between field and clinical experiences."

    Dodge said that those preparing literacy specialists, coaches, and coordinators indicated there was a need for guidance about possible practicum experiences for candidates for those roles, including ideas about ongoing mentoring or a network of colleagues to help specialized literacy professionals address challenges in their schools.

    "We commonly have those expectations for preservice teachers, but they are not as clear for specialized literacy professionals at universities," she said. The team received a waiver from CAEP to create and add Standard 7 to the specialized literacy professional roles. Diane Kern, committee cochair and associate professor at the University of Rhode Island, said this is the key reason the Standard was added.

    "For all specialized literacy professionals, we will require classroom experience," Kern said. "It can be their own classrooms or schools."

    "Programs will not be required to have an on-site literacy clinic (e.g., work in extracurricular literacy enrichment programs), although programs with clinical experiences are encouraged to continue this excellent way to prepare candidates to work with children and youths in the role of literacy interventionist." Such clinical experiences can also provide valuable coaching opportunities, under supervision, for novice specialists. Dodge and Kern agreed that an integral part of Standard 7 is allowing for blended learning or exclusively online studies.

    "That is a question teacher educators have been asking us, and we had to clearly define what experiences and supervision were necessary," Kern said.

    "There are a lot of ideas of how to use video clips and online media discussions between faculty supervisors and candidates. There still can be supervisor coaching online," Dodge said. "Candidates can video record their teaching experiences, share with faculty, supervisors, and their peers. Even online, there can be consistent reflection, critique, and revision of their practice."

    The writing team on Standard 7 was

    • Allison Swan Dagen, associate professor of Literacy Studies, West Virginia University
    • Beverly DeVries, professor of Reading, Southern Nazarene University, OK
    • Anne McGill-Franzen, professor and director of the reading center, University of Tennessee
    • Jeanne Schumm, professor emerita, University of Miami, FL

    Review all of Standards 2017 when they are posted and give your feedback during the open public comment period starting April 17.

    April HallApril Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.


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    ILA 2017 Board Election Opens

    By ILA Staff
     | Mar 28, 2017

    BoardElection_w300The International Literacy Association (ILA) has commenced its annual election for its Board of Directors. Eligible ILA members are encouraged to vote for three at-large candidates and one vice president candidate. You can read about the candidates here

    The ILA 2017 Board Election will be conducted entirely online this year. Voting in the election is easy: Just visit the ILA Election page and follow the directions to cast your ballot.

    Individual ILA members with an active membership and a valid e-mail address will receive e-mail reminders with a link to the online ballot. Eligible ILA members who do not have valid e-mail addresses will receive instructions by mail for how they can vote online.

    All members must use their ILA member account sign-in information to cast their ballot.

    For assistance signing into your ILA membership account, please contact Customer Service at 800.336.7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 302.731.1600 (all other countries).

    For technical assistance with voting, please contact Election-America, Inc. at 866.384.9978.

    The newly elected Board members will begin their terms at the ILA 2017 Conference & Exhibits in Orlando, Florida, in July 2017.


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    Standards 2017: Professional Learning and Leadership

    By April Hall
     | Mar 21, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    Jacy Ippolito, associate professor of Secondary and Higher Education, Salem State University in Massachusetts, was the lead writer on Standard 6, Professional Learning and Leadership, and said the most important shift for Standard 6 comes from the separation of the literacy specialist and literacy coach roles.

    JacyIppolito_w330
    Jacy Ippolito

    “Currently, very few universities and states offer separate credentials for reading/literacy specialists and literacy coaches; while some graduate programs offer coaching courses or experiences for literacy specialist candidates, very few offer separate coaching preparation programs or credentials.” Ippolito said. “Pulling the roles apart is both reflecting and pushing the field to prepare and endorse coaches beyond the specialist role.”

    He said using the term literacy leader is also new to the Standard. “It’s incredibly important for literacy specialists to continue working directly with students, but there are many aspects of the role that go beyond intervention work that include working as a ‘literacy leader’ helping to shape literacy teaching, learning, and assessment schoolwide.”

    He said that the focus for literacy coaches is on facilitating adult professional learning, whereas specialists have a primary responsibility for student learning and helping other staff collect and make use of assessment data. At the same time, specialists must have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work collaboratively with teachers to develop and implement effective instructional practices. Such collaborative work may involve coplanning, coteaching, or coaching.

    “We’re looking at the different roles in a more granular way than the Standards 2010,” Ippolito said. “But we still focus on understanding adult learning and facilitating professional learning; we still focus on individual and group improvement. The keywords across the standard are facilitation and advocacy. In the 2017 Standards, we’re shifting more toward advocacy work with students, schools, and communities.”

    The writing team on Standard 6 was

    • Kevin Marie Laxalt, coordinator for Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Initiative, Nevada Department of Education
    • Debra Price, professor for the Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Populations, Sam Houston State University-Huntsville, TX
    • Misty Sailors, professor of Literacy Education, University of Texas-San Antonio

    Once the entire Standards 2017 are posted, be sure to review the draft and give your input during the open public comment period starting April 17.

    April HallApril Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.


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    Standards 2017: Learners and the Literate Environment

    by April Hall
     | Mar 15, 2017

    A draft of ILA’s eagerly awaited Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017) will be available for public comment from April 17 to May 8. In the weeks leading up to the public comment period, we’ll take a look at the significant changes proposed in Standards 2017, which will be submitted for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approval in fall 2017 and published in early 2018. Once approved by CAEP, ILA’s new set of seven standards will become the ruler by which preparation programs for literacy professionals, specifically reading/literacy specialists, are measured.

    Understanding how individual learners develop, and then creating a positive literacy learning environment to meet those developmental differences, is a vital piece of literacy education. Allison Swan Dagen, associate professor of Literacy Studies at West Virginia University, was the lead writer on Standard 5 and said her team's rewrite included expanding on the contextual factors that influence 21st-century learners.

    AllisonSwanDagen_headshot
        Allison Swan Dagen

    Dagen said there are two major differences between the 2010 and 2017 revisions. First is the addition of the literacy learner. This means understanding both learner development and learner differences, not only for those who are having difficulties but also for students with typical and exceptional literacy achievement.

    The second difference was an explicit focus of Standard 5 on digital technologies in the learning environment. There is no doubt that the last seven years has brought a flood of technology both in and out of the classroom. As research has indicated, technology is beneficial only if there is purpose and mindfulness of how that technology is used. "Our Standard 5 writing team approached this new standard with the strong belief that the content be anchored in meeting shifting needs of the 21st-century literacy learner," Dagen said. "We need specialists in schools who know how to collaborate with peers to integrate digital technologies in safe, appropriate, and effective ways in the classrooms."

    She said this does not set aside printed materials, as they are equally important to meeting students' literacy needs.

    The rest of the Standard is about creating a climate that addresses issues such as setting, grouping, and routines, including how learning can be both face-to-face and also occur in a virtual space.

    "We want complete integration of technology and traditional media in the classroom," Dagen said. "We just need to look at the contextual factors that influences learning for all."

    The writing team on Standard 5 was

    • Celia Banks, coordinator of language arts for K–6 programs, U-46 School District in Elgin, IL
    • Jill Castek, associate professor of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies, University of Arizona
    • Jennifer Shettel, associate professor, Millersville University, PA

    Remember to review the entire Standards 2017 when it is posted for open public comment on April 17 and be sure to make your voice heard.

    April Hall was editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.

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    A Tribute to Susan Mandel Glazer

    By Linda B. Gambrell
     | Mar 08, 2017

    The education community lost a leading literacy advocate in February with the passing of Susan Mandel Glazer, a past president of the International Reading Association (IRA), now the International Literacy Association (ILA). Glazer was a professor at Rider University in New Jersey for 45 years, where she founded the Center for Reading and Writing as well as the graduate program for reading specialists. A prolific author and researcher, Glazer will be greatly missed. The following is a tribute written by Linda B. Gambrell, also a past president of IRA, who served on the Board of Directors alongside Glazer.

    Susan Mandel Glazer headshotSusan Mandel Glazer was a literacy scholar and trailblazer who was committed to serving struggling readers and was recognized for her many contributions to literacy education worldwide. We were fresh out of our doctoral programs when I met Susan, and she was already involved in establishing what would become her lifelong passion: the Center for Reading and Writing at Rider University.

    Sadly, Susan, a past president of IRA, passed away in February at the age of 78. Although she will be remembered for her many publications and presentations, she will continue to be known most of all for her spearheading leadership in serving students who struggle with reading and writing.

    I first met Susan at an IRA conference in the mid-1970s. She was making a presentation with one of her mentors, Morton Botel, and I was presenting with my mentor, Robert M. Wilson. The four of us crossed paths in the convention center and our mentors introduced us.

    A couple of years later, my husband had a job transfer and we moved to Yardley, PA. We made a quick trip to the area to look for a house, and we booked a room in a nearby hotel. As we walked in, it was clear there was a huge IRA state conference in progress. As we were checking in, I looked up to see Susan walking out of the exhibit area.

    As fate would have it, this was a very fortuitous encounter. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Susan would not be surprised to learn that when she heard my husband and I were moving to the area, she immediately took us under her wing. She introduced me to literacy leaders throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, she invited us to lovely dinners, and she took us to the best restaurants in the area. Susan was gracious and giving, and she had a deep and abiding love for her profession. She was a magnificent teacher, a productive scholar, and an innovator in developing university centers to serve struggling readers and writers.

    I had the pleasure of serving on the IRA Board of Directors during Susan's presidency from 1994–1995, along with Rich Vacca and Jerry Johns. Rich remembers Susan as "the consummate literacy educator. She loved her work, her students, and her colleagues. We will miss her dearly." Jerry and Susan shared an intense commitment to students who struggle with literacy learning. He remembers her "dedication to the reading and writing clinic at Rider University, along with her many professional publications that resulted in significant contributions to our field."

    Susan was an exceptional literacy leader and scholar. Her enthusiasm for literacy, warm smile, and contagious laughter will be missed by all who knew her.

    LindaGambrell_80w copyLinda B. Gambrell, past president of IRA, is a distinguished professor of education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate literacy courses. She has served as a reading/literacy development consultant throughout the United States and internationally.

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