The California Acceleration Project has gathered compelling evidence that suggests shorter developmental course sequences will increase student access to college courses, as well as student completion of college courses. In other words, the more levels of developmental English or math we require, the fewer the number of students who will ever complete college English or math.
Clearly, we need to consider “accelerating” our developmental English and math sequences.
At the same time, we are obligated to assure that students in our accelerated curricula are learning what they need to know and continuing to meet course outcome standards.
RA complements these goals in accelerated courses.
In a workshop at the 2012 RA Winter Conference, Cindy Hicks articulated the ways that Reading Apprenticeship™ supports instructors’ goals for learning and achievement:
- Reading Apprenticeship™ recognizes and builds on students’ strengths.
- RA classrooms create a climate of collaboration.
- RA classrooms focus on comprehension.
- RA teachers provide appropriate support while emphasizing student independence.
- RA students and instructors focus on inquiry, recognizing that reading and learning are problem-solving activities.
- Rather than “breaking down” literacy learning into a series of discrete skills, RA contextualizes literacy learning.
- RA emphasizes equity: the goal is to make complex academic texts accessible to all students.
This video excerpt from Katie Hern’s Accelerated English Composition class makes it clear how metacognitive conversation and a problem-solving approach to rigorous texts is crucial to her pedagogical approach. [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/16983253[/vimeo]