In April 2011, the Third International Literacy Coaching Summit hosted by Widener University was held in Philadelphia. One of the goals of the summit was to foster literacy leadership and to emphasize the role literacy coaches play in promoting quality instruction. The conference was advertised in Reading Today as well as in the newsletter of Specialized Literacy Professionals. Educators came from far and wide to participate in the full-day institute chaired by Rita Bean and the two days of sessions that offered literacy based topics pertinent for educators from pre-school through university levels.
In April 2012, the co-chairs of the conference, Mary Strong and Annemarie Jay of Widener University, co-edited a volume of work related to the summit. Conference presenters were invited to submit manuscripts for publication. A peer review process took place and eventually Promoting Quality Assurance in Literacy Instruction: The Preparation, Inquires and Practices of Literacy Professionals was published by New Foundations, an on-line educational publisher.
Jack Cassidy, the former IRA President who chaired the first two coaching summits and served as a keynote speaker at the summit in Philadelphia, wrote the foreword for the book stating that literacy coaches are “still an important and vital part of the national landscape.” He concludes his comments by saying, “…this volume will be an important resource for all K-12 professionals as well as the teacher educators who prepare them. The literacy professional was, is, and will be a crucial part of the educational milieu.”
Promoting Quality Assurance in Literacy Instruction has been online for only one month and has already had over 5,000 readers access it. The book is divided into three specific sections: Part I is a stand-alone article by Rita Bean which reflects the focus of her presentation at the summit’s institute. Bean discusses the role of coaches as providers of professional development; she shares ideas about the role of coach in helping to support school change as a means of improving student learning.
Part II of the book focuses on preparation of literacy coaches. The chapters contained here provide information about the graduate level training coaches receive as well as the job-embedded training they afford their colleagues. The coach’s critical stance as a reflective practitioner is emphasized throughout this section.
The emphasis of Part III is on the work of literacy coaches and reading specialists in the field. Topics include reading across the curriculum, stages of concern of teachers’ instructional development, working with inflexible teachers, working with special education students, RTI, high-stakes testing, supervision plans, infusing technology and instruction and helping teachers gain confidence with new literacies.
The editors hope that this book will be a valuable resource for professional learning communities within/across schools, for course readings as part of graduate work, and as a self-help guide to the reading specialist or literacy coach seeking perspectives from a range of literacy leaders. Since many school principals are not specifically prepared for literacy instruction, this book should also be a crucial resource for those with school-wide curricula responsibilities.
For additional information contact Annemarie Jay by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 610-499-4652.