My division has this very cool professional development going on in which we choose a topic within a set agenda to research ourselves based on our own burning question. I think my question began as “Who are boys in the 21st Century and how do we meet their needs as literacy learners?” Grand intentions.
I’ve done some background reading on motivation and engagement, as well as a little on the effect of gender on literacy experiences. Just a smattering as yet, but I know already I need to narrow things down and I am also driven in this research much more practically than I was in my Master’s work. I want to change and adapt my current practice. I want to meet the needs of these particular students and it’s February. So now what?
I’ve chosen to prioritize the place of non-fiction in my classroom for the next unit. I am making sure that there is more non-fiction in my room and trying to increase the opportunities for conversation and shared reading-writing experiences. I am a part of a team of teacher in my school looking at developing some exemplars for writing so that students have a visual, concrete guide after which to model their work.
In some ways this work is much more fluid than that of my formal research experience. I am already changing my classroom to reflect my findings. I wonder if I need to be more deliberate and strategic or if the ebb and flow of read, try, reflect is sufficient. By sufficient, I mean will it meet the objectives of my overseers? Come to think of it, I don’t know if we’ve talked about that. Hmmm. Maybe one them will drop by and answer my question. Honestly, I don’t know if they know exactly where things will go.
I think I need to read about the boys. More gender stuff. Long ago in a land so far away, I had a wonderful textbook I thought I didn’t need and sold back to the university which had marvelous psycho-social descriptions of children in various age groups. It was a wonderful book in the way that is rare with texts and I have often regretted selling it and not retaining at least the title for future reference. If I had it, that’s where I would start. I wonder how hard it would be to find. I wonder if I still have some EdPsy notes somewhere. (I’m a tosser by nature, isn’t likely).