Archive article #99–04

Book Club Workshop:
Learning about language and literacy through culture

Taffy E. Raphael

ABSTRACT

This paper describes a master’s-level course developed within one of CIERA’s projects— Re-Engaging Low Achieving Readers. One of the assumptions underlying this project is that changing literacy practices within classrooms must begin with innovative professional development. The Book Club Workshop, as this course is called, enables the prospective teachers within it to engage in three types of activities: reading and reflecting on autobiographies and autobiographical fiction, uncovering and writing about their own literacy histories, and creating a Book Club unit for use in their own classrooms. The hope is that the participants in the course will make connections between their own lives and literacy experiences and their roles as teachers as they progress through this class.

This article lays out the process of the course development at Oakland University and the course’s relationship to the issues being addressed throughout this line of research. A syllabus containing relevant readings and professional activities and a sample assignment is included.

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