Civil Discourse. Is it/should it be taught in school?

What kinds of conversation/discourse/discussion skills are taught in school?  Do we need those skills?  Your thoughts?

Goodbye to the Loudest Drunk in NPR’s Online Bar

 

Oral Language AND Literacy: Not either/or

Oral Language AND Literacy: Not either/or

A short excerpt from an article published in Reading Rockets

http://www.readingrockets.org/blogs/shanahan-literacy/role-early-oral-language-reading-comprehension?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReadingRockets_StrugglingReaders+%28Reading+Rockets%3A+Struggling+Reader+Resources%29 ….

“Recently, Chris Lonigan and I (Timothy Shanahan) wrote a short article for Language Magazine. It’s focus is on “The Role of Early Oral Language in Literacy Development.” I think both Chris and I have bona fides in the “phonics/decoding/foundational skills” community and have the scars to show it. But we are both also advocates of the so-called “simple view” of reading — students need to know how to decode from print to language and they need to know how to understand language. This is a both, not an either/or.

Here is a link to the article. Hope you enjoy it.”

And here is a short excerpt from that article:

“Response to intervention in preschool holds promise for successful early language development but several key issues must be considered. For one, preschools often serve disproportionate numbers of children who need Tier 2 or Tier 3 services, which causes staffing concerns. Also, more research is needed on the effect of interventions for children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English language learners, and children from underrepresented ethnic groups.
The NELP report, along with other studies of children’s early language development, suggests that early oral language has a growing contribution to later reading comprehension — a contribution that is separate from the important role played by the alphabetic code. As such, improving young children’s oral language development should be a central goal during the preschool and kindergarten years.”

Dialogue is important, process is important, and so is content!

From Knowledge Matters, a short except

http://tntp.org/room-to-run/knowledge-matters

“In Chris Hayes’ second-grade classroom at Westergard Elementary School in Reno, Nevada, this is how her students will finish off their unit on the Civil War—synthesizing their knowledge, forming opinions based on evidence, and writing and talking about it.”

“Here’s the assignment this group of second graders will tackle: “A hero is a person who is admired for courage and achievements that help others. Using evidence found in the following documents, your knowledge of our readings, and at least four of the vocabulary words above, rank all of these people in order from least heroic to most heroic. Then, write about your top three most heroic choices. Make sure to use details to support your reasoning for why these people are heroic.”

……..

“We hear kids this age having complex conversations with each other, and our reaction is that it’s cute. But it isn’t cute. It’s what we should expect them to do,” Mrs. Hayes says. “The kids are engaged. They think learning is fun. But I don’t teach this way because it’s fun. That makes it too simple. What we’re doing for them is very important.”

“It’s important not just because these second graders are building critical content knowledge that helps them become stronger readers, writers, listeners, and speakers (and that will be built upon in higher grades). It’s also important because in asking her students to do so much active thinking and engaging on these topics, Chris Hayes is laying the foundation for her students to persevere through more challenging work in the years to come. She is building students who own their learning.”