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Transforming Reader Identity: Positive Approaches to Literacy for Older Readers

Older readers often have a fixed sense of what reading means (as seen in the work of researcher and author Dr. Peter Johnston), how often reading occurs in their daily lives, and if they like reading at all. As educators, we sometimes have a lot to work against in terms of family dynamics, negative feelings of self as reader, and the sense that “it’s too late.” Even adults who share their stories of striving in reading sometimes carry a sense of negativity about these emotions and experiences. Our goal is to curb that.

This insightful presentation will help teachers and administrators understand it’s never too late, and there are applicable strategies that can address reframing, motivation, and helping all readers see themselves as more than their challenges. Research proves that early intervention is key, and  there are concrete ways to help middle and high school students make gains and improve literacy and confidence.

In this presentation, our expert will share:

  • How to develop a framework for success
  • Ways to take what is known and tackle what is unknown
  • New ways to frame literacy 
  • Why educators must consider both assets and needs students bring with spoken language, social and cultural awareness, writing and composing, and real-life uses for the content we teach
  • Why specific, systematic instruction is needed, going from part to whole 
  • How instructors can refresh skills for older readers as needed and pay attention to the areas of most significant and critical need by taking what students are already familiar with and adding to it (especially important for working with English Learners)

Presenter

Jason DeHart, Ph.D.

Jason DeHart, Ph.D.

Jason D. DeHart, Ph.D., is a teacher at Wilkes Central High School in North Carolina, and was previously an assistant professor of reading education at Appalachian State University. DeHart's research interests include multimodal literacy, including film and graphic novels, and literacy instruction with adolescents. He taught middle grades English/Language Arts for eight years and continues to work to keep current with trends in education. DeHart’s work has recently appeared in SIGNAL Journal, English Journal, and The Social Studies, and he has a co-edited volume, Connecting Theory and Practice in Middle School Literacy, set to be released by Routledge later this year. He is passionate about literacy, inclusive practices, engaged reading, and authentic writing practices.


 

 


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