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Research Dialogue Series #1

20 March 2018 3:45pm-5:30pm ACU Leadership Centre, Level 3, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane

Seminar 1
Professor Karen R Harris
Self-Regulated Strategy Development Instruction: Built for Teacher Ownership and Differentiation

Professor Karen R Harris is the Warner Professor of Education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. She is also a Professorial Fellow at Learning Sciences Institute Australia, Australian Catholic University. Her research focuses on theoretically based interventions for the development of academic and self-regulation abilities among students who are at-risk and those with disabilities, as well as effective models of in-service teacher preparation for writing instruction for all students. She developed the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model of strategies instruction and is co-author or co-editor of several books, including Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students and Making the Writing Process Work: Strategies for Composition and Self-Regulation.

Teachers in typical elementary through secondary classrooms respond to a wide range of abilities in reading and writing, with students ranging in achievement in both by several grade levels. Differentiation is both important and a challenge. An essential characteristic of SRSD is responsiveness to students’ individual needs, which is why SRSD is a teacher driven problem-solving approach as opposed to a scripted approach. Illustrative aspects of SRSD instruction that are adapted to students’ strengths and needs include: level of explicit instruction needed, time to master strategies and their use, supports for motivation and engagement, time spent writing collaboratively, peer supports, gradual release of teacher support based on student performance, goals established for both writing and self-regulating the writing process, and a flexible and recursive approach to the stages of SRSD instruction. Examples of differentiating to provide effective writing instruction for students who are more advanced writers, students who dislike and or struggle with writing, and students with disabilities are provided. The need for more work and research in supporting teachers to differentiate at the whole class level is explored.

Seminar 2
Professor Steve Graham
Writing & Reading, Reading & Writing: Is It One, Both, Or the Two Together

Professor Steve Graham is also the Warner Professor of Education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University and a Professorial Fellow at Learning Sciences Institute Australia, Australian Catholic University. His research interests include writing development and instruction, learning disabilities and the development of self-regulation. Steve is the former editor of Exceptional Children, Journal of Writing Research and Contemporary Educational Psychology, as well as the current editor of Journal of Educational Psychology. He is the co-author of the Handbook of Writing Research, Handbook of Learning Disabilities, APA Handbook of Educational Psychology, Writing Better, Powerful Writing Strategies for all Students and Making the Writing Process Work.

Does reading and reading instruction improve writing? Does writing and writing instruction make for better readers? What happens when the two are combined together? This presentation presents the results of three meta-analyses designed to answer these three questions. Each of these meta-analyses examined intervention studies (true- and quasi-experiments) where students in grades 1 to 12 received either writing, reading, or balanced reading/writing instruction. Comprehensive searches of the published and unpublished literature were conducted, and included studies involving typically developing reader and writers as well as those who experience challenges with literacy development. Studies were analyzed to determine their strengths and limitations, providing an indication of the confidence that can be placed in the findings. The results of each of the analyses identifies a variety of practices that can support reading and writing development. The findings point to the need to provide more integrated reading and writing instruction, but an argument is also presented for providing separate instructional time for each of these skills as well.

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2018 Research Dialogue Series #1