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Trent's School of Education Taking the Lead on Literacy


Reading Conferences and Standardized Marking Classes Unique to Ontario

Friday, September 16, 2005

(Peterborough) Students at Trent University's School of Education and Professional Learning rounded out their orientation week with unique literacy-based reading conferences specially designed for teacher candidates from all subject areas.

"They are the only teacher candidates in the whole province learning how to do this," said Deborah Berrill, director of the School of Education. "This initiative includes candidates who are going to be physics teachers, computer teachers and even chemistry teachers."

The two conferences – one for elementary and the other for secondary candidates – were held Friday, September 2.

The candidates learned how to do one-on-one tutoring with students identified as reading below their grade level.

"We're trying to stress, and the province is trying to stress, that literacy support is every teacher's responsibility," she said, adding that reading doesn't just include text books. "It can include reading graphs, timetables and maps."

The candidates also learned how to analyze students' written responses to reading passages through a moderated marking class.

"Across the province, much attention is being given to helping teachers ensure strong assessment practices. Part of that includes helping teachers become more consistent in how they do grading. This class is teaching candidates how to look at the writing their students will be submitting to them. It's really at the forefront in assessment practices and using assessment to inform instruction, " she said.

Orientation week kicked off two weeks before regular classes resumed at Trent. This early start prepared candidates for their school placements with students, which began this week.

This year there are about 125 secondary candidates, 155 elementary candidates and 155 part-time candidates for a total of 435.

"We are delighted with the diversity of candidates," said Berrill. "Their heritages are multiple – wider than we initially realized and we're thrilled."

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For more information, contact Deborah Berrill, director of the School of Education and Professional Learning, at 748-1011, ext. 7376.


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Last Updated October 5, 2005