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Main Literacy… And Influencing Academics

This quick sequence is focused at literacy leaders – both Literacy Coordinators, Studying Leads, or Curriculum Deputies – with a key position in main literacy to make sure that pupils entry the curriculum and reach assembly the tutorial calls for of faculty. 

Each college coverage ought to be seen via the eyes of a just lately certified trainer on a full timetable, with a tough class or courses. 

Whenever you start with this assumption, it instantly makes you contemplate the issue degree of embedding any shiny improvements, modified curricula, or new educating strategies. Even a seemingly minor new educating technique have to be built-in into a fancy array of present habits, courses, timetabling, and classroom peculiarities. 

Then we contemplate literacy. Its scale and scope are close to limitless: studying, writing, speak routines, spelling, grammar, modifying, textual content decisions, textual content decisions, curriculum planning, and pupils’ literacy limitations and so forth. The checklist goes on. 

With these challenges attending growing educating strategies and trainer habits, it is sensible for literacy leaders to fastidiously about implementing a small variety of significant however manageable literacy developments. 

COM-B – A useful mannequin to think about trainer behaviour change 

It’s useful to attempt to distil down a possible literacy problem/growth, equivalent to ‘enhance the studying of informational texts and curriculum entry’.

First, what particular trainer behaviours are we wish to assist? As an example, it might be we would like academics to appraise the issue degree of all informational texts they’re utilizing. Along with that, it might be we’re after academics pre-teaching ‘keystone vocabulary’, or planning retrieval quizzes on the idea of chosen difficult informational texts. 

We then could contemplate what lively pupil behaviours we’re aspiring to assist, in order that pupils learn informational texts extra efficiently. It might be that we educate them older pupils particular note-taking methods, equivalent to Cornell Notice-making, to assist them chunk down, navigate and file difficult informational texts. 

Upon getting refined the specifics you may then use the COM-B mannequin to mirror additional on the behaviour change we’re after. The COM-B behaviour mannequin, is a part of a ‘behaviour change wheel’ devised by Susan Michie and colleagues. On the coronary heart of the strategy is a helpful consideration of the drivers of human behaviour – academics or in any other case:

You possibly can apply the mannequin to the related literacy strategy you wish to assist:

Functionality: This describes each the bodily and psychological functionality to undertake a behaviour. As an example, do academics have the power and stamina, together with the deep data and expertise to replan classes and focus in on altering the studying strategy to difficult informational texts. In relation to informational texts, there’s seemingly a topic data problem to collate a spread of apt texts and to have the ability to break them down and scaffold them appropriately. 

Alternative: This describes each the bodily alternatives (time for SOL planning and bodily sources – equivalent to new textbooks) and social alternatives (do my division or part workforce colleagues need to make related modifications and need to collaborate?). Maybe the chief actuality right here is giving over the time to make a change and having a workforce of colleagues working with you. With out these helps, alternatives are all the time restricted. Bear in mind the busy RQT on a full timetable? 

Motivation: This describes a reflective motivation (whereat academics plan and mirror upon their work, thereby influencing our attitudes and behaviours), together with our automated motivations (such because the habits that drive our day by day apply). After all, in case you have each ‘functionality’ and ‘alternative’, then motivation is extra seemingly. With informational texts, our curriculum planning could steer our educating approaches, together with our routine approaches to efficiently scaffolding troublesome texts in our topic or part. In reality, academics simply could not recognise there is a matter, and so are simply not motivated to vary.

COM-B and Literacy Priorities

Utilizing this mannequin to mirror on any proposed literacy priorities can show helpful. For instance, if there are challenges with regard to trainer data or method, then CPD is the answer. And but, if motivation is low, or there’s too little time or alternative, then CPD is more likely to show needed however inadequate. 

You possibly can strive it rapidly. You need to enhance the educating of the modifying course of for pupils’ writing in any respect key levels throughout a variety of academics and TAs? Effectively, what trainer downside is that this fixing (motivation)? How a lot topic data and confidence do academics have in explicitly educating sentence variation or spelling patterns (functionality)? The place within the college day are these approaches being embedded and the way do academics discover the time to provide significant suggestions to pupils (alternative)? 

Now, contemplate the strategy to behaviours that drive improved spelling, modifying, and writing accuracy from a pupil perspective. Functionality, alternative and motivation nonetheless apply. 

We could come to new reflections as literacy leaders. A CPD session, or perhaps a sequence of coaching, is unlikely to show a silver bullet. 

Not solely that – it might not be that academics are immune to adjusting their literacy practices in any respect – it might simply show that they aren’t wholly clear what particular behaviour modifications are literally needed within the classroom. As an example, academics could perceive an purpose to learn extra prolonged texts, however they aren’t clear when or how greatest to enact prolonged studying throughout the restricted scope of present curriculum time.

Let’s contemplate each literacy growth, certainly all college enchancment plans, via the lens of that harried, enthusiastic RQT dealing with a stacked timetable. COM-B may assist to higher assist and steer profitable change. If we’re main literacy, in no matter position, let’s guarantee we seize each alternative to affect and assist academics to make profitable modifications.