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Extra resources for Raising Standards in Literacy (Language and Literacy Inaction)

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Let us turn briefly to the issue of how publishers and (in England) the group who write the National Curriculum for English are envisioning the field, and the extent to which these are in harmony with the results from research. 18 Colin Harrison What do publishers, the National Curriculum and the NLS have to say about developing comprehension? In 2000, the American publisher Scott Foresman (Scott Foresman Reading, 2000) brought out a new basal. Some sections from the teacher’s manual seem remarkably familiar, and could have been written twenty years ago.

This chapter argues that for standards of achievement in writing to be raised we need to make the research basis for national literacy initiatives 24 Mary Bailey more explicit, and to question policy where it is not supported by research. We need to ensure that more teachers are confident in their understanding of children’s writing development and the rationale for effective pedagogy. The National Literacy Strategy in England: policy and practice The implementation of the National Literacy Strategy in England can be used as an illustration of how the research–policy–practice link can be disrupted, despite the best intentions of those who drafted it.

It is important to note the distinction between cognitive process models of writing at a theoretical level, and the ‘process approach’ to teaching writing in the classroom (Graves, 1983) at a pedagogical level. The two approaches have developed somewhat independent parallel paths. Teachers in the United Kingdom have been more likely to be aware of the ‘process approach’ of Graves, but cognitive models of writing have had an impact on our understanding of teaching and learning in writing, and thus on pedagogy.

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