Select top-down literacy theories to explore in more depth (e.g., Anderson and Pearson’s Schema Theory of Reading, Rosenblatt’s Transactional/Reader Response Theory, Goodman’s Whole Language Theory, Rumelhart’s Interactive Model [both bottom-up and top-down], etc.) to better understand the top-down theoretical approach. Remember to choose at least two theories for this report. Use the textbook to gain a foundational understanding of the theories, and then do your own research to learn more. Click on this blue text to download the template for the theoretical approach reports. Using the template, begin by providing an introductory paragraph that captures the readers’ attention, states the main topic, and previews the structure of the report. After this introductory paragraph, the report will include the following sections:
Historical Background and Biographical Sketch of Theorists
From which overarching learning theory (or theories) did this theoretical approach emerge?
What questions does this theoretical approach seek to answer?
What historical events led to the development of this theoretical approach?
Which theorists are associated with this theoretical approach and what specific theories/models are associated with each? Provide a brief biographical sketch of each theorist.
What internal and external factors drove these theorists to propose their theories?
Explanation of Theoretical Approach
This is the “meat and potatoes” of the report. Provide a well-developed explanation of this theoretical approach toward literacy instruction.
Define key terms and concepts related to specific theories that inform this approach.
Write this section with the novice in mind who has absolutely no understanding of the theories.
Include properly-cited charts and figures to illustrate the components of the theories or overall theoretical approach.
Effects on Student Literacy Achievement
Use GALILEO, Google Scholar, etc. to find at least three contemporary (within the last 5–7 years) studies/articles from reputable, peer-reviewed journals (see list of some acceptable journals in syllabus) to demonstrate how knowledge of this theoretical approach and its practical application in the classroom can elicit higher levels of student literacy achievement.
If a study is empirical, emphasize the methodology and major findings of the study. Consider these questions as you summarize each article/study:
What question(s) did the researchers set out to answer?
Discuss the participants (e.g., age, grade level, ethnicity, gender, etc.).
What instruments were used to collect data?
How were the data analyzed?
What were the major findings of the study?
Compare and contrast the studies/articles cited. How are they alike and different?
Classroom Applications and Technology Integration
In many respects, this is the most important section of the report. How does theory become practice? How does understanding the intricacies of this theoretical approach and the theories that comprise it affect what educators should do in their classrooms?
Make sure you provide specific, concrete examples, including how technology can be utilized to teach literacy under this theoretical paradigm. Discuss applicable technology resources and explain the value of each.