Lately I have been following the work of Tim and Cindy Shanahan regarding the idea of disciplinary literacy.Â Disciplinary literacy refers to the instructionally-relevant differences in literacy use among disciplines, e.g. Math, History, Chemistry.Â Tim and Cindy specifically refer to the areas of literacy that involve vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and writing.Â They acknowledge that there are fundamental differences inherent to each discipline in how they approach reading textbooks and other materials.
Those involved in adolescent literacy are looking at the effectiveness of the “general strategy” use, a collection of strategies that are applicable across a wide-range disciplines and grades, for students in middle and high school.
Most experts acknowledge that each discipline possesses specialized genre, vocabulary, traditions of communication, and standards of quality and precision, and each relies on specific kinds of reading and writing.
I want to know your thoughts regarding the idea of disciplinary literacy.Â When you think about how your discipline communicates with students and students communicate within your discipline, what does it look like?