Teaching literacy strategies is often associated with English language arts; however, this chapter has stressed the importance of literacy as being fundamental to learning in all academic disciplines. While teaching basic literacy skills and generalizable comprehension strategies have a strong research base for promoting comprehension, disciplinary literacy strategies are conditional and require deep understanding of the knowledge traditions and communication styles used within and across disciplines. Texts used in mathematics, history, science, and the arts differ in important ways that require content area teachers to know how to use the most effective literacy strategies. Because an emphasis on the use of disciplinary literacy strategies is so new, more research is needed to determine the degree to which students actually benefit from the instruction.

In addition to teaching disciplinary literacy strategies, teachers can adjust what they teach and how they teach according to the cultural characteristics and funds of knowledge of their students. Learning about the knowledge and experiences that students bring into school is consistent with culturally responsive teaching and socially just educational practices. Students can also be taught to use discipline specific knowledge to negotiate a complex, and at times, unjust world. Work by Moje (2007) has affirmed the importance of not only teaching with socially just methods but teaching for social justice. Using both culturally responsive teaching practices and disciplinary literacy strategies is essential to address the needs of an increasingly diverse population of students who are expected to achieve high levels of literacy and content knowledge across all academic disciplines.

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