Primary school students learning to read using phonic sounds. Photo: Justin McManusIt’s a frustration commonly voiced by teachers and educators: the media dedicate far more coverage to issues that are often the least important when it comes to effective teaching and learning.
Now there’s a measure of that priority gap.
A global survey by the US-based International Literacy Association asked more than 1500 teachers, policy-makers and literacy academics to rate 17 literacy topics as either “hot” or “important”.
Hot was defined as trending –?debates or issues that receive the most attention in the classroom, in conversations with other educators, and in the media.
Important was defined as those topics most critical to advancing literacy for all learners.
The survey found that educators believe standards and assessments (including national tests and the global PISA tests) get far more attention than they deserve, while early literacy is actually the most important topic when it comes to boosting literacy skills.
Parent engagement was considered the most important topic that gets the least emphasis.
But the survey report’s authors were surprised that there was not more importance attached to digital literacy, with 37 per cent saying it was not at all, slightly or moderately important in their country, despite being an extremely hot topic. That meant it was ranked less important than early literacy, professional learning and development, diversity, parent engagement, independent reading and several other topics.
The five hottest topics were assessment/standards; diversity; digital literacy; early literacy and disciplinary literacy (which includes STEM literacy).?
Australia contributed the third-largest response to the survey, after the US and Canada.
Respondents to the survey included classroom teachers and reading/literacy specialists teaching 5-14-year-olds, academics and people working in government,?with an average of 11 years of professional experience.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.