Dr. Lesley Morrow – Literacy Development



most of my work has been in schools with teachers and one of the most important things is professional development for teachers another very important thing is the family the child spends more time with the family than they do in school and prior to getting to school reading to children whether it be a teacher or a parent is only really valuable when there is interaction that means prior to reading the parent or the teacher takes the child through what we often call the book walk they look at the pictures and they talk about the pictures so they get some background information as to what it's going to be about which is going to help them understand the story and build language and then do a lot of discussion after the story and go back through it to highlight words and say certain key words over again to act it out to repeat the story so you're expanding the experience with language and understanding in the past preschool has been thought of as a place to play and to get ready for real school socially and emotionally and physically but there's been very little emphasis on intellectual development you need a set of objective or standards which we have in New Jersey and through many professional organizations about language and literacy for preschool and we need to use them and we can intentionally embed them into play for example if you were to design in your classroom a veterinarian's office which is a simple thing to do you have a toy telephone and a table and some forms and some stuffed animals and you put in books in the waiting room and you model for the child the behavior and he'll say something like this says this teddy bears blood pressure is 300 points you should take 10 pills a day go to bed keep warm and have some soup now that language would never evolve unless that place setting was there plus the child is learning correct behavior in social settings professional development is absolutely crucial otherwise you're not going to have quality preschool you need master teachers who mentor new teachers you need coaches who will demonstrate new kinds of strategies so aside from the education that the teacher has prior to getting the job there needs to be ongoing professional development professional development encourages teachers to read more books to reflect with other teachers to take more courses to go to conferences to be aware of professional organizations that exist where they can attend and learn more and is the only way that they will keep on top of things as I went to school and I taught children and I started to do research it became more and more clear that early literacy was the most important part of literacy development it starts at ground zero it starts at birth the earlier we can get to children who are considered at risk the better if we wait until elementary school kindergarten first grade by the end of third grade only 10% of the children who are below grade level can ever get to grade level again the way to do this of course is to intervene as early as possible those who are literate drop out of school aren't able to get jobs and live in poverty as a result they have children who end up the same way they also frequently have social problems that often lead to crime and our prisons are filled with individuals who are illiterate so without a doubt this is one of the biggest plagues we have in the world in our country parents are a crucial part the best job in raising a little child cannot be done just in the school the parent is needed as well

2 thoughts on “Dr. Lesley Morrow – Literacy Development

  1. Her take on professional development for educators and the role that parents play in their child's education are essential to promoting literacy. Parents and teachers must work together.

  2. Very interesting.
    I always wondered why there were so many homeless people out in the streets and crime on news. So your saying most of these behaviors start young and education is one of the factors in determining a students success and future.

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