The Equity and Engagement Challenges of Teaching Reading in Middle School

The Equity and Engagement Challenges of Teaching Reading in Middle School
April 2020
Edmund "Ted" Hamann, Ph.D., Stephanie Malone, Ph.D.

Promotion of changes in school practices often clarifies what is supposed to be done differently, but much less commonly is there careful consideration of according to whom. Yet the latter is highly salient to whether a change message will be found viable, relevant, and credible to a practitioner who might gain from integrating the new strategies into their practice. This Equity by Design Brief attends to this second dynamic (as well as the first) by having a current teacher explain her current challenges, how she came to view those challenges, how she changed various practices (including recruiting students in self-diagnosing their own struggles), and then chronicling how students began to learn more successfully after the changes. Her lessons about gaining student trust and engagement in problem-solving have important equity implications given longstanding patterns that make school less trustworthy and less engaging to some types of students than others.

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