There is no doubt that a teacher wants the best for every student in their classroom. Teachers of literacy should be working with each and every student in the classroom to reach their individual potential in literacy education. It is proven that there is a profound relationship between what socioeconomic group a student belongs to and the literacy level they generally attain.
Traditionally, early code breaking skills have been exclusive to those students that have already mastered the basics of language and broken the code, including phonics, spelling, grammar etc. These students were already analysing texts and making meaning from texts – two far more advanced steps in the traditional model of literacy education. This was problematic in that those students with lower literacy levels, a majority of which came from low socioeconomic groups. These students were struggling with breaking the code, so it was no wonder they were unable to analyse texts and become fluent in critical literacy.
In the past there was a differing view of a whole language approach as opposed to a basics language approach. Many critics said their piece and moved on. In the late 1980s, critical literacy became readily accepted as an important part of literacy education.
I will aim to teach a classroom that reflects the world I want to see my students grow up to lead – a world of social equity. I intend on avoiding the traditionally limited view of what literacy is. By taking a blanket approach to literacy and going ‘back to basics’, for everyone, every child is gaining the same skill set, just at varied levels. This creates a generation of students who are all able to be critical of literacy, and the world around them.
I intend to give each and every student in my classroom the opportunity to apply skills gained to real life situations. I will explicitly teach these skills using different resources for differing skills sets. If we want the future generations to be changed, we must make changes now, changes that will last, changes that will change lives.