NUI Galway’s School of Education recently hosted a seminar in Disciplinary Literacy for teachers, teacher educators, researchers and others involved in teacher professional development.
Disciplinary literacy refers to the language, thinking and literacy practices underpinning learning and development within different school subjects and contexts.
Professor Elizabeth Birr Moje, Associate Dean of Research and Community Affairs in University of Michigan and Dr Brendan Mac Mahon, School of Education, NUI Galway, shared their expertise in this area and their experiences of helping young people negotiate this difficult and sometimes confusing terrain.
In her talk, Professor Moje drew from her research to exemplify what disciplinary literacy is and to illustrate the process of teaching both young people and their teachers how to navigate the many literacy contexts they encounter in and out of school. Professor Moje's goal as a literacy researcher, teacher educator, and former high school teacher, is to inform teaching practice and policy in ways that support young people to negotiate the literacy of their school subjects.
Dr Brendan Mac Mahon welcomed the national strategy on Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life, and focused on the role that post-primary teachers of all subjects have in developing students' literacy skills. He presented findings from his own research and outlined implications for the implementation of the strategy and the challenges which will be faced.
Dr Mary Fleming, Head of Education at NUI Galway, said: “The attendance from across the spectrum of teacher education and professional development at this event emphasises the importance and current relevance of this topic in the field of education.”