Inquiry at the Crossroads of Policy and Learning: A Study of a District-Wide Literacy Initiative
by Laura D'Amico & Mary Kay Stein ó 2002
The literacy improvement efforts of New York Cityís Community School District #2 serve as the locus of a study into the relationship between educational policy and practice. Based on 100 observations of classroom literacy instruction, a review of documentation related to the districtís Balanced Literacy Program, and interviews with teachers, staff developers, and district leaders the investigators found strong parallels between how the district children learn to read and district teachers learn to teach. These parallels are due in part to the ways in which District #2ís professional development system is anchored in the Balanced Literacy Program. They also stem from District #2 leadersí beliefs in authentic and social forms of learning, beliefs that researchers found to have resonance with sociocultural theories of how individuals develop complex knowledge and skills. The result is a coherent system in which district policy regarding student learning is consistent with that of teacher learning.
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