Free Online Course: Content Literacy Instruction
I recently learned of a free online professional development course available called “Reading and Writing in the Disciplines”. It was produced by WGBH Educational Foundation and made available by the Annenberg Foundation. It can be accessed for free at the website Annenberg Learner: Teacher Resources for Professional Development Across the Curriculum.
The course consists of eight units that are divided into two parts:
- The first part (Units 1-4) is intended for teachers in all subject areas and provides an overview of disciplinary literacy, essential concepts related to proficient writing and communication, and general instructional and assessment practices that promote literacy development.
- For the second part (Units 5-8), educators select a subject area and focus from these areas: history/social studies, mathematics, science, English. They are then guided to content that is devoted to literacy demands in that subject area.
Embedded throughout are readings, reflections, interactive activities, and video clips of classroom instruction. The content is excellent and based on best-practices research. In addition, educators who take the course can participate in a “Teacher Talk” email discussion. They can also purchase graduate credit for taking the course.
After reviewing the full course, I have to say that it is an excellent introductory course about content literacy instruction in grades 6-12. It provides the kind of background knowledge that I wish every content teacher who we work with would have before they participate in Keys to Literacy training. Check it out!