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Culminating Experience: Reflective Journey of the Literacy Professional (Literacy 798)

Background

The programs in the Department of Literacy and Language are committed to the conceptual framework of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). At the heart of this framework is the development of the educator as Caring Intellectual. As a literacy educator who completes an MSE-Literacy degree from the UW Oshkosh Department of Literacy and Language, an individual would exemplify the integration of four key roles: Skillful Practitioner, Reflective Professional, Change Agent and Lifelong Learner. In each role, the individual who is a Caring Intellectual would have actively explored issues and ideas in the fields of literacy and language as they relate to culture, learning, content, diversity, curriculum and pedagogy. Consistent with this philosophy, the Department of Literacy and Language has developed assessments based on the following beliefs: assessment should be authentic, performance-based, ongoing, individualized, personalize, flexible and growth-oriented.

Directions

Literacy 798, Reflective Journey of the Literacy Professional, provides evidence that the candidate has achieved goals reflecting the following outcomes: Skillful Practitioner, Reflective Professional, Change Agent and Lifelong Learner. In providing this evidence the candidate must demonstrate that issues and ideas related to culture, learning content, diversity, curriculum, and pedagogy have been addressed.


As candidates initially embark on this journey, in Literacy 705 Literacy in the Elementary School and Literacy 735 Adolescent Literacy:Programs & Practices, they are asked to provide written statements profiling past and current efforts as a reflective professional, skillful practitioner, change agent, and lifelong learner. From these profiles, they are asked to identify key goals on which to work as their journey continues.


As candidates continue in the program, they are involved in course work designed to assist their development as a skillful practitioner, reflective professional, change agent, and lifelong learner. They are invited to use opportunities within course work to work on identified goals. Projects completed as a part of the course work can be integrated into the Reflective Journey portfolio to serve as evidence documenting progress toward those key goals.


Evidence may include, but not limited to, EXAMPLES such as the following:

  • Skillful Practitioner: identification and implementation of a personal learning. Experience positioning one to be in close contact with professionals, best sample lesson plans, case studies of work with individuals and groups of students, analyzed copies of student work, photos and summaries of changes in classroom practices.
  • Reflective professional: intense goal setting reflecting new avenues of practice with timeline projecting completion, development of a philosophy, best sample entries from learning logs, reflective journals, reader response activities, thoughtfully written essays, commentaries, position papers, autobiographies, personal stories and submitted or professionally published manuscripts.
  • Change Agent: Letters of invitation, support, and appreciation documenting professional presentations, political involvement, and leadership in professional organizations; projects as outcomes of program development.
  • Lifelong Learner: Logs and annotations of self-initiated readings, records of attendance at professional meetings.

Near the end of the journey in LIteracy 785 Practicum in Literacy, candidates are asked to professionally prepare their Reflective Journey Project for review. They must clearly outline the contents of the portfolio, caption evidence contained within and provide a final reflective statement evaluating the growth in the four key areas: skillful practitioner, reflective professional, change agent, and lifelong learner. Material presented must be summarized and limited to what will fit within the official notebook provided. The Reflective Journey Project is reviewed and evaluated by two faculty members, one assigned when the candidacy form is submitted and one chosen at that time by the candidate.

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