From NCCAT Faculty member Dr. Ernest Johnson about work with 13 Title 1 elementary schools in Wilson.
The statistics are consistent: Young male readers lag behind their female counterparts in literacy skills and are more likely to exhibit behavioral and emotional problems that interfere with learning. With the foundation for a strong literacy background being compromised by children spending an enormous amount of time playing video games, surfing the web and watching videos, teachers are pressed to create conditions for reading to be just as exciting as spending time online. Teachers participating in the offsite professional development session are from 13 Title 1 elementary schools in Wilson. Their first day focused on building awareness about why our reading strategies to improve reading will be more effective if teachers gave attention to shifting the Beliefs of students about the importance of reading. There is no one strategy that works for every child and every teacher has their own unique ways to help a child to confront their beliefs about the value of reading and learning. If the appropriate incentives are not provided to change a child’s Beliefs about reading, then the strategies are less likely to have an impact on the students.
The second day of training focuses on strategies that teachers across the country have used successfully to create classroom conditions to make reading more exciting for boys and girls. Teachers will also learn about some processes for building a "learning bridge" that connects reading at school with reading at home.
School teams will return to their schools with many strategies for motivating boys to sustain reading in the classroom and at home. But more importantly, the teams will have a few ideas to share with their teachers about why and how to help a child change their beliefs about the values of reading and doing well in school.