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Literate citizenry is very critical in the economic growth of every country. Currently, the high rate of globalization requires a workforce that is very efficient in communication, reading and solving various problems. As a result, the ability to sustain an economy of every country is dependent on the effectiveness and productivity of its human resource. Effective education is one of the ways through which literacy amongst the citizens can be attained.
In order for learning institutions to be effective in imparting knowledge to students, they are incorporating valuable learning programs. These programs are mainly intended to enhance adolescent literacy. One of the ways through which adolescent learning process can be improved is through incorporation of literacy coaches (Sturtevant 1). Sturtevant defines literacy coaches as proficient individuals whose role is to promote achievement of learning objectives in their school districts and secondary schools.
Their roles and titles depend on the context of work, teaching and educational experience. Some of roles they play include coaching, teaching and heading reading programs. In addition, they serve as reference in reading and writing for administrators, learning support personnel, teachers and the society.
They also provide expertise promotion based on past and latest literature and studies. In addition they collaborate with other professionals to develop and implement reading schemes for single person or groups of students at the same time acting as advocates for students who have difficulties in reading. The role of literacy coaches can be specifically defined. For example, a literacy coach can act as tutor for students facing problems in reading and a coordinator for writing and reading schemes (Rita & Deford 3).
Based on the views of Cleveland University Heights, literacy coaches act as collaborative consultants to promote K – grade 12 teachers. They also serve as providers of essential understanding and particular literacy materials which support the learning process. Literacy coaches can be defined in seven different ways as outlined below (Cleveland University Heights 3).
- Teachers who have special knowledge, experience and skills in literacy teaching
- Modelers and communicators of research-linked top practices approaches relevant to literacy teachings
- Promoters of teachers by analysis
- Opportunities providers of professional communication and development
- Initiators of teachers support in relation to district literacy essentials
- Promoters of assessment associated implementation of the ELA basic curriculum.
- Interpreters and translators of literacy assessment to guide the development of coaching.
Standard for literacy experts, 2010
This standard details the criteria for establishing and assessing preparation plans for learning professionals. It gives the description of what is acceptable and what is not to reading professions in its context. These standards are based on performance. It also emphasizes on the importance of concentrating on knowledge, disposition and skills which are crucial for effective learning in a particular role. The standard is a product of a deliberative procedure based on professional proficiency and research in the reading area.
Each matrix is defined by fundamentals that give particulars of the standards contents and whose evidence may be used to reproduce assignments, activities or assessment of particular preparation schemes. The elements in the verification column in the 2003 standard have been amended to portray development in the literacy field. For instance, with the significance influence of technology in writing and reading directives, it highlights ways through which reading experts can showcase their skill using the new literacy.
In addition, the standard portrays increased concern for English students, due to increase of their number in school and progression in knowledge of literacy instruction provision for them. It is important to note that these standards also give indicators and elements that specifically describe the roles the reading professional (International Reading Association 2)
Standards are portrayed across all roles in a matrix with roles as columns and standards in rows to enable readers to detect the difference in outcomes among the professional responsibilities. However, standards 2010 list every role separately with complimentary standards to allow readers to search a specific standard alongside its description through out the various roles.
Users of standards, 2010
Some of the institutions which utilize these standards include institutions of higher learning such as colleges and universities. One of the ways through which these standards are utilized includes preparation of programs and promotion of personnel. The personnel who utilize these standards include
- Reading teachers
- Reading teachers
- Literacy coaches
- Reading specialists
- Class reading teachers.
The standard is also utilized by these individuals in assessment of the candidates and effectiveness’s of the program. The NCATE utilizes a criterion which is based on this standard in making decisions related to accreditation of literacy coaches otherwise referred to as reading coaches.
The International Reading Association is responsible for conducting reviews of literacy coaches for NCATE endorsement. In addition, NCATE employs these standards to update their basic teacher standards relevant to language and reading art (International Reading Association 4).
Standards 2010 is applicable in higher education institutions, state departments or units to control both professional program effectiveness and student’s reading preparedness. These standards are based on professionalism and reading research that depicts the performance criteria displayed by skilled reading experts.
The set of standards guide determines the choice of program content when programming as well as learning activities which prepare students for the prospective roles such as reading specialist. Appropriately, the standard gives a guide for the determination of the amount of courses and semester hours to be included in the plan to support high performance in every expertise role. Effective assessment of candidate can be achieved through its alignment with the reading standards.
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How, are assessments conducted using these standards?
Various points precede the clarification of the procedure for measuring candidate outcome and quality of the program by use of standard 2010. To begin with, the standards and the relevant elements should be the target for evaluation. Therefore, evaluation should measure the content, intellect and outlook reflected by the elements and the evidence which may be used to analyze particular elements. The principles for assessment include;
- Measurement of the content
- Competence and disposition projected in the elements
- Sampling of critical skill and knowledge embedded in the standards
- Measurement of complex ideas
- Intelligent reasoning and upper cognitive requirements.
Importantly, assessment should correspond to the element of each standard (International Reading Association 43).
The significance of literacy coaches is increasing in schools across all grades from Kindergarten to grade 12. Since this is a developing profession, there exists fresh excitement concerning possibility of improvement with regard to literacy instruction and improvement in student achievement.
This has resulted from formalization in school guidance. Based on the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA), these professionals are undertaking various tasks in schools. They are concerned with assessment of students, instructional planning and coaching (Rita & Deford 1).
Cleveland Heights. University height city school district browser. Literacy coaches. University Heights, OH: Miramar Boulevard. 2010.Web.
International Reading Association. Standards for reading professionals. New York: International Reading Association, 2010.Print.
Rita, Bean and Deford, Diane. Do’s and don’ts for literacy coaches advice from field. Literacy South Carolina: Coaching Clearing House, 2009. Print.
Sturtevant, Elizabeth. The literacy coach: a key to improving teaching and learning in secondary schools. Merrill: Prentice Hall, 2000. Web.