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The Design of a Learning Environment that Promotes Literacy: A Research Study

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Literacy instruction has been dominated by two antithetical views that create a different learning environment, the skill based perspective and the contemporary social constructive framework. This study situated in mainstream language art classes compared 24 students exposed to contemporary literacy instruction who engaged in guided discovery in communities of learners, to 25 students who were exposed to traditional methods of literacy instruction. The results indicated that embedding literacy instruction in communities of learners is superior to traditional methods in fostering writing competence, thus, informing educators and policy makers about the design of a learning environment that promotes student writing competence. Consistent with previous research, no differences were found between the methods on the standardised reading comprehension measure. Further comparative research is required to resolve the predominant debate among researchers and educators regarding practices of teaching and learning that promote literacy.

Keywords: communities of learners; guided discovery; literacy; skillbased perspective; socio-constructive framework

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Bar-Ilan University

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Education and Society provides a forum, where teachers and scholars throughout the world, are able to evaluate current issues and problems in education and society from a balanced and comparative social, cultural and economic perspective.

    Education and Society, a fully refereed journal, is used by teachers, academics, research scholars, educational administrators and graduate students.
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