Hello Listers,

Pat Bower from Mt. SAC and I are organizing a panel discussion at
this year's CRLA conference, "If not Skills-Based, Then What?" which
addresses the topic of instructors transitioning from skills-based to
strategies-based reading instruction. In addition to Pat and myself,
Dave Caverly will serve as a panelist. At this point we're looking to
add one or possibly two more panelists who would like to present on
their approach to strategy-based reading instruction. We envision the
session to being rather informal as well as interactive. I've pasted
a copy of our proposal below, so that if you are interested you can
get a better idea of what we have in mind.

The panel is scheduled for Concurrent Session #4; Friday, November
15, 10:45 am - 11:45 am.

If you'd like to participate, please email me (off list) a brief
overview of what you envision talking about, that is your approach to
strategy-based reading instruction, so that we can ensure a good fit
on the panel and avoid duplication with the other panelists.


CRLA 2002 Session Proposal:  "If Not Skills-Based, Then What?"

Program Description:
Research on brain-based learning and the developmental reading student
suggest that students should develop reading strategies for comprehension,
rather than learning discrete skills. But how does one translate
these new developments in research and theory into the classroom?
Come learn how others made the transition from skills to strategies
and have utilized strategies-based approaches.

Research in Developmental Education and brain-based research has created a
new paradigm for delivering reading instruction: utilizing strategies to
build understanding.  Similarly, recent sociolinguistic and cognitive
research on reading and literacy emphasizes the strategic nature of
learning from text. However, these trends in the realm of research
and theory have not been widely translated into the college reading
classroom. In most classrooms, skills-based instruction persists,
despite the conflict of this approach to the current research and
theory. This dissonance may be due to the lack of understanding on
how to implement and manage a strategies-based
course. Truly this task requires meeting the challenge of "making the
connections between research and practice."  In this session, we will
investigate ways to make the transition from skills-based to
strategies-based reading courses that rely on the use of authentic

The topic will be approached as a roundtable discussion.  The concept of
what it means to employ strategies-based  curriculum and instruction
will be introduced, defined and exemplified. A variety of strategies
(defined as those outcomes which the students have mastered to help
them comprehend) will be presented and practitioners will discuss how
particular strategies and a strategy-based approach in general can be
implemented in the classroom. Participants are encouraged to enter
the discussion, personalize the session content to their own
instructional environment, and seek guidance on ways to facilitate
the transition from a skills-based to a strategies-based curriculum.

This topic is particularly appropriate for an interactive round table
format for several reasons. First, in an effort to move beyond a
"cookbook" approach to reading instruction often fostered by a
skills-based curriculum, it is important for participants to see a
variety of ways that strategies-based curricula have been developed
and implemented. Second, a panel format will make it evident to
participants that they must come to understand the notion of strategy
in their own unique terms because each of the panelists will express
somewhat different-but equally viable-ideas about strategies and
strategy-based instruction. Third, the panelists will draw from
different bodies of recent research thereby clearly demonstrating
that various research traditions have converged upon these same
conclusions about the strategic nature of reading for learning.
Fourth, it seems likely that participants will have questions about
application of these new ideas, and a panel format is ideal for
initiating dialogue on this process.

Dominic J. Voge
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education
Language, Literacy and Culture
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"I have spent a lifetime learning to read." --Goethe
"The best educated human being is the one who understands most about
the life in which he is placed."--Helen Keller