CRLA panel discussion on learning strategies seeking p
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 texts.

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