This blog follows on from an earlier blog that I wrote after Christmas where we looked at the idea that children, when they are very young, develop self-regulation when faced with the situation of having to deny immediate self gratification in order to achieve a greater goal over time. It was obvious that children develop different degrees of self-control and the lack of self-regulation can lead to a diminished ability to learn independently. In school many children with literacy-related learning difficulties are at a disadvantage because the delay in development of adequate self-regulation becomes an executive functioning problem.
Matt Bromley has written a very good summary of the "Educational Endowment Foundation's" (EEF) Teaching and Learning Tool kit report which outlines much of the recent work on metacognition and parallels my own research since 2006. In "Reading Comprehension: Assisting children with learning difficulties "(2011) I used similar ideas to help children who were struggling with reading comprehension and self-regulation. Around this time I developed an intervention comprehension program that utilised a conceptual framework that could be applied in multiple learning contexts. The program became known as the "COR Literacy Framework" and was implemented in many schools in Queensland with Independent Schools Queensland in partnership with Griffith University.
Literacy framework incorporating metacognition & self-regulation
At first it was envisaged to be used to train teachers and teacher aids during 2008 but it was such a huge success that it was extended for another three years. During this time the framework was improved through a number of iterations, due, impart to the feedback I received from many teachers that took part in the research. Initially it began as an intervention program for children with reading comprehension difficulties for upper primary students but it was found to include a much wider application for children in lower primary and also in some high school settings. This was because the framework is not content specific but was built upon a metacognitive and self-regulation structure. I have a 12 part series of blogs, called "COR Literacy Framework Part#", where I discuss a number of teaching and learning principles and strategies that have contributed to the success of the program.
Product OR process ?
Many of the ideas that resulted from this research were applied in my first book (above) and also in "Developing literacy in the primary school" and "Developing literacy in the secondary school". I consider that metacognition, self-regulation and comprehension strategies should be taught explicitly in all school contexts from lower primary to secondary classrooms. However, often teachers are so focussed on teaching content (or product) that they neglect to concentrate on the process as well. The links above may help teachers have a more informed understanding of executive functioning in learning and when to apply the skills appropriately.
Woolley, G. E. (2011). Reading comprehension: Assisting children with learning difficulties. Dordrecht: Springer.
Woolley, G. E. (2014). Developing literacy in the primary classroom. London: Sage.
Barton, G. & Woolley, G. E. (2017). Developing literacy in the secondary classroom. London: Sage.