Teaching as Inquiry – Literacy in Year 12 Geography – Some concluding comments #7

Over the course of 2017 I looked at Literacy in my Year 12 Geography class. While writing skills or written expression is difficult to measure in an absolute way I would argue that the level 2’s had significantly improved in their writing over the course of 2017.

As noted in previous post I employed various strategies working towards this gradual improvement such as:

  • Emphasis the importance of writing structure in the subject
  • Employing similar strategies and explanations used in other departments by borrowing some resources from an English teacher at the school
  • Providing feedback and feed -forward alongside opportunities to self assess through discussion and exemplars.
  • And lastly, adjusting my teaching strategies to accommodate low literacy through class discussion, chunking and watching videos in addition to written material.

While I can’t say with certainty one strategy worked in particular it this inquiry has changed the way I teach and has provided me with some useful tools to use across all year levels;

Key takeaways:

  • Adjust/adapt written text to suit the learner in the classroom
  • Class discussion and chunking are valuable to assess students knowledge, clarify points and provides extra teaching opportunities in addition to providing students a space to verbally communicate their ideas prior to the writing process
  • Providing feedback on written expression is important but as teachers we need to be sensitive- writing is hard for most people – too much all at once can be disheartening.
  • Modelling good writing and providing exemplars can provide a useful opportunity for class discussion and a space for students to reflect on their own writing with out feeling “picked on”

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