Use of a Metacognitive Tool to Facilitate Teacher Reflection in an Online Graduate Literacy Course

Use of a Metacognitive Tool to Facilitate Teacher Reflection in an Online Graduate Literacy Course

Mary-Kate Sableski, Catherine A. Rosemary, Kathryn Kinnucan-Welsch
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0206-8.ch004
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This chapter describes use of a metacognitive tool to facilitate teacher reflection in an online graduate reading practicum course. The Teacher Learning Instrument (TLI) is a tool designed to support the evidence-based practice of reflection on teaching through collaborative inquiry. The purpose of using the TLI in an online reading practicum course is to facilitate candidates' reflections on teaching struggling readers in one-to-one intervention settings with the goal of refining instruction to improve students' reading ability. The analysis of the assignment data associated with use of the TLI demonstrates the potential of the TLI to inform a collaborative, reflective process among practicing teachers within the context of a practicum course, addressing the requirements of Standard 7. The reflective process and sharing of insights among colleagues make literacy instructional practices visible for close examination in an online environment and thus exposes the complexity inherent in the effective teaching of struggling readers.
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This chapter describes the use of a metacognitive tool to facilitate teacher reflection in an online graduate literacy course. The Teacher Learning Instrument (TLI) is a tool designed to support the evidence-based practice of reflection on teaching. This chapter details the use of the TLI in the context of an online reading intervention course and discusses implementation of the metacognitive tool in the online environment for engaging teachers in reflection on teaching.

Reading Practicum Course Description

The online Reading Practicum course is situated in a state-approved, graduate-level Reading Endorsement program that is aligned with the International Literacy Association’s 2017 Standards for Literacy Professionals. In the Midwestern university where this course takes place, the K-12 Reading Endorsement may be added to an existing teaching license, thereby qualifying teachers as reading specialists in numerous school districts. The fully online Reading Endorsement program requires 16 hours of graduate coursework beyond the 12 hours of prerequisite courses in the teaching of reading required for initial licensure by the state. The state requirements also include 50 hours of field-based practicum experiences. Teachers in this program have two options for applying the courses to other graduate programs offered in the university: (a) Master of Science in Education with a literacy concentration, which involves an additional 12 hours of graduate coursework, and (b) Dyslexia Certificate, a university-issued certificate program that requires an additional six hours of graduate coursework.

The Reading Practicum course presents teachers with an introduction to the field of diagnosis and instructional intervention while extending knowledge of the reading process to make decisions about appropriate tools and strategies for assessment and instruction. The course is based on an interactive, social-constructivist view of the reading process. This view suggests that reading is the process of constructing meaning through the interaction among the reader, the text, and the context of the reading situation (Bloom, 1985). The objectives of the course are to (a) gather data on an individual student and design and implement an assessment-based instructional plan, and (b) integrate strategies to enhance student learning through diagnostic teaching.

The practicum course follows an introductory course focused on the foundations of literacy theory and research specific to assessment and evaluation of struggling readers. Building on this foundation in the practicum, teachers apply the theories to practice through design, implementation, and evaluation of one-to-one reading intervention with a struggling reader for 20 hours over 16 weeks. At the outset of the practicum, the teachers administer literacy diagnostic assessments to determine strengths and needs for improvement. Next, teachers complete 10 lesson plans that utilize a specific literacy lesson structure, Literacy Lesson Framework (Tancock, 1994), to guide their instruction. This framework is designed for one-to-one teaching with struggling readers. The lesson is divided into five components of literacy instruction, including familiar reading, guided reading, word work, writing, and book sharing to insure balanced instruction throughout the intervention (see Table 1). Teachers share lesson plans digitally with the instructor and with their colleagues throughout the term to receive feedback and support.

Table 1.
Literacy Lesson Framework that teachers used in design of their instructional intervention
Literacy Lesson Framework
Grade Level Indicator(s):
Lesson PlanAnecdotal Notes
Familiar Reading:
     • independent level
Guided Reading:
     • introduce book
     • set a purpose, e.g., predicting, questioning, anticipation guide, etc.
     • monitor purpose setting
     • strategy teaching
     • check predictions, questions, anticipation guide, etc.
     • extension activity
Writing Activity:
     • shared/interactive writing
     • process writing
Word Work:
     • word sort
     • making words
Book Sharing:
     • teacher reads aloud

Key Terms in this Chapter

Evidence-Based Practices: Instructional practices based on evidence from research.

Reading Practicum: A graduate level course which engages teachers in one-to-one intervention with a student struggling with reading for an academic term.

Discussion Forum: An online platform in which teachers post responses and engage in discussion in an asynchronous context.

Reflection: A process for self-examining teaching in relation to learner performance.

Metacognitive Tool: A structure or set of procedures for analyzing one’s own teaching practice.

Literacy Block: A set time period within the instructional day to focus on instruction in reading, writing, and other English language arts.

Feedback: The process through which colleagues and instructors provide constructive response in the form of suggestion, critique, or comment on completed or shared written, audio, and video assignments.

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