The Literacy Design Collaborative
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
– Albert Einstein
The Literacy Design Collaborative [LDC] offers a fresh approach to incorporating literacy into middle and high school content areas. Designed to make literacy instruction the foundation of the core subjects, LDC allows teachers to build content on top of a coherent approach to literacy. This is drastically different than past, less structured notions of “adding” reading and writing when possible to the teaching of content.
The LDC work started with a small practitioner team set on addressing the intransigent challenges of adolescent literacy. Building from research and their field expertise, they created a literacy framework for the core secondary subject areas of ELA, social studies and science. The effort quickly expanded to become the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), a larger initiative that now involves an ever-growing set of partners, with teachers firmly leading the development. The project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Partners use the LDC framework as a common chassis to create LDC tasks, modules, and courses designed to teach students to meet common core literacy standards while engaging in demanding content. LDC partners and teachers are trying out the LDC strategy, sharing insights about results, proposing ways to design the LDC tools, and moving LDC to wider use. At the same time, other partners are building a set of LDC supports to help teachers in the challenging work of consistently and systemically teaching secondary students to achieve high-level literacy skills.
Working together to harness the power of “group genius,” LDC includes classroom teachers, school and district leaders, state departments and state organizations, and a wide array of service providers.
Researchers are also involved in studying this work and providing ongoing feedback. Their preliminary results are encouraging. Teachers across contents, grades and states are finding that the LDC approach builds stronger literacy skills in students and promotes ongoing conversations among teachers about what constitutes quality literacy teaching, learning and student work.
Together, the many LDC partners are working on an old problem in new, challenging and break-through ways.