Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.
I have been looking into The Journal of Literacy Research formerly known as The National Reading Conference. It is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on research related to literacy, language, and literacy and language education from preschool to adulthood. Its publishers and sponsors are Routledge, Taylor and Francis, Psychology Press CRC Press, and Garland Science. It is published four times per year and its audience is primarily professionals, academics, teachers, and students in the area of literacy.
Its major focus is to inform of research focused on theoretical orientations, diverse research paradigms, and they employ a variety of methodologies and modes of inquiry. The main focus of these research projects is Literacy and Language, English and Language Arts. The Journal of Literacy Research serves as a forum for sharing different areas of research and pedagogies amongst professionals from a variety of disciplines. Its publishings include original research, critical reviews of research, conceptual analyses and theoretical essays. It investigates the social, affective, cognitive, pedagogical, and political dimensions of literacy to make sure they are appropriate for publication.
Since the journal is composed of different authors and different areas of literacy, including the Language Arts, the articles explore diverse research paradigms and theoretical orientations as well as a variety of methodologies and modes of inquiry. Due to this, articles must be carefully read and re-read to be able to have a better understanding of the research process as well as results. I believe these articles are best used by groups of people studying or researching on literacy mainly by students going through their higher education, school districts, and consultants training teachers . Since the journal is composed of peer reviewed articles and only those that go through a rigorous process are chosen to be published, the articles are very useful to people who want to do their own research. While it is a reliable fountain of literacy research, many things have to be considered while reading the articles. First of all, all research should be unbiased, but how unbiased can it be when research is conducted on different groups of people. As we all know, demographics, social economic status, beliefs, and culture play a big role in a person’s behavior and the way they will respond while being part of a research group. Although we rely on research, we should make our own judgments based on our beliefs and experiences as educators. Our own judgment and the facts backed up by the research found in these scholarly journals, should help us expand our knowledge in the area of literacy but in the end, we should be able to use them to our advantage. The goal of a teacher is to make all students succeed, but when faced with a problem, we should look for help from the experts. The Journal of Literacy Research provides these tools for us and we should use them to our own advantage.