Teaching Refugees: The Research We Have & The Research We Need

On Saturday, April 15, Literacy Beat and friends go to Chicago and the American Educational Research Association annual meeting.

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Next Saturday, Dr. Thomas and colleagues from around the world will meet for a symposium in Chicago. The symposium will consist of the following presentations. Dr. Thomas will serve as chair for this symposium.

Ibrahim M. Karkouti – Social Support for Refugee Students

Jill Hallett, Annmarie Handley, Sussan Oladipo, and Rachel Lackey – Refugee Families and The Literacy Landscape: Schools, Libraries, and Changing Community Needs

Mohamed Elhess – Finding Spaces of Belonging on Campus: A Case Study of Refugee Students in America

Daria Mizza – Finding a Pathway to Unlocking Refugees’ Learning Potential: Current Challenges and Lifelong Technology-Enhanced Learning Solutions

Mehmet Karakus and Anas Hajar – Promoting the Well-being of Asylum-Seeking and Refugee Children0 Within and Beyond the School Gates: Insights from the United Kingdom

Laila Kajee – Teaching Refugee Children in Troubling Times

Thomas DeVere Wolsey – When Trauma as a Refugee Transcends Generations: How Teachers Might Be  Allies to Help Successive Generations Build Success


This symposium consists of seven presentations that explore how educators are meeting the demands of  the large and growing population of students who are refugees, and as important, to seek a consensus about what research that informs educational practice is still needed. Three themes include: 1. The built environment (e.g., schools and libraries) and tools (e.g., digital technology), 2. The social support that displaced students and their families need to be successful given the traumas they have encountered and continue to experience, and 3. The means by which educators can foster well-being as students.

Worldwide, large numbers of humans seek asylum or are internally displaced in their own countries (refugees, collectively). Of those, many are students in school or not in school or university.  While there is a great deal of attention given, appropriately, to the experiences of refugees, less attention has been afforded to the application of research to the teaching and school leadership practices teachers and other practitioners need to appropriately understand and serve children who are refugees. 

Refugees fleeing
Source: https://openclipart.org/detail/226376/refugees
  1. Objectives of the session

Given the large percentage of displaced persons around the world, and the institutionalized discrimination many face along with learning new languages, entering the job market if  possible, and many other challenges, this symposium brings together experts to promote dialog about effective instruction for refugee children. In this symposium, consisting of seven presentations, audience and presenters will explore innovative practices. Equally important, audience and presenters will expand the discussion to what research is needed and how best to put extant and new research into practice in schools and similar educational enterprises.

  1. Overview of the presentation

The seven presentations cover three overlapping themes. Each addresses two or more of the three themes including 1. The built environment (e.g., schools and libraries) and tools (e.g., digital technology), 2. Social support that displaced students and their families need to be successful given the traumas they have encountered and continue to experience, and 3. The means by which educators can foster well-being as students adapt to their new situation, whether temporary or permanent.

  1. Scholarly or scientific significance

We argue in these presentations and papers that the significance of research for educators lies primarily in how that research can enrich and improve practice in schools and other educational enterprises.  In the case of what is needed to teach displaced children and adults, research that addresses the diverse cultures and unique circumstances that refugee students face in higher education and PK-12. The symposium brings together what has, so far, been piecemeal approaches to a framework for teaching displaced students.  Given the trauma, the dehumanizing circumstances that led to seeking asylum, and the polarized political environments that exacerbate the extreme conditions faced by refugees, the discussion to promote effective practices through solid research is past due. In this way, we interrogate consequential education research in pursuit of truth and equity for some of the most vulnerable of students.

Social Support for Refugee Students

Ibrahim M. Karkouti

Purpose: The world’s attention has shifted to two new refugee waves that require immediate response to avoid creating new lost generations in Europe and Central Asia. Specifically, Ukrainian and Afghan students need significant support from teachers, administrators, policymakers, humanitarian aid professionals, and social workers to ease their refugee plight and prevent a dire scenario similar to that of their Syrian counterparts. Notwithstanding the importance of addressing the deleterious and traumatic effects of war and conflict on the wellbeing of Ukrainian and Afghan people, this session will unfold the story of Syrian refugee students in Lebanon, the biggest refugee-hosting country per capita in the world (UNRWA, 2020).

Theoretical Framework: Through the lenses of social support (House, 1981) and multicultural education (Ortiz & Rhoads, 2000), this session will examine the current status of Syrian refugee students in Lebanon.

Method & Sources: Secondary data (empirical research and reports of facts).

Findings & Significance: Specifically, it will discuss teachers’ lack of diversity awareness, describe what refugee students experience inside the classroom, and explain the types of support students need to overcome the barriers that obstruct their education.

Refugee Families and the Literacy Landscape: Schools, Libraries, and Changing Community Needs

Jill Hallett, Annmarie Handley, Sussan Oladipo, and Rachel Lackey

Purpose: In this presentation, educators discuss the disparate academic and literacy contexts for serving refugee and newcomer students within the same US city. They share the challenges faced by students, families, educators, administrators, and librarians in their respective contexts and how the pandemic has affected refugee students and families personally and academically. Together, they present strategies and recommendations for addressing educational and social-emotional well-being for refugee students across a variety of contexts in schools and libraries.

Framework: Teachers and students find themselves negotiating a staggering number of linguistic, literacy, and academic histories. As Cushing (2020) writes, “[l]anguage plays a critical role in reproducing imbalances in power and dominance, especially when powerful policy arbiters have the ability to regulate and control the language of others” (p. 432).  The schools and library discussed here are based in exceptionally linguistically and demographically diverse areas of Chicago with refugee community resources. Students’ languages and cultures are often absorbed as they assimilate into the dominant culture(s) of the school community.

Methods & Sources: Teacher, administrator, and librarian knowledge of refugee students as individuals can help prevent the disconnection that can form through the social distancing that predates the pandemic and persists. Here, we advocate for pragmatic, asset-based approaches to refugee literacies as newcomers navigate their new and changing communities. Qualitative ethnographic approaches were used throughout.

Findings: Language, culture, trauma, and the pandemic have all presented challenges of particular pertinence to refugee students and their teachers. Teachers find themselves working to bridge the communication gap while also helping all students make sense of content. Refugee families also require explicit instruction in the institutional culture of schools and libraries, from the significance of the school bell to the ramifications of absences and missing work, to accessing playgroups in various languages. Especially for students with interrupted formal schooling (SIFE), these values are not intuitive. Teachers and librarians question their own complicity in upholding these arbitrary, inaccurate, and often punitive institutional practices.

Teaching adolescents with trauma presents an additional challenge. Students arrive emotionally and physically fatigued from traumas associated with leaving their home country, adjusting to a new life, and experiencing homelessness, poverty, lack of food and other resources. For many, the pandemic was just the latest in a series of interruptions to their schooling. In-person cues from classmates and teachers are useless in a remote setting where students are expected to connect to the correct class at the correct time using unfamiliar technology, even when it is available.

Significance: Despite the challenges facing refugee students and families, this presentation offers myriad constructive solutions, particularly as they relate to literacy and social development. Recommendations include investigating student and family language and asset-based literacy histories, establishing school-university partnerships, providing access to technology and support, offering trusted adult counsel and peer mentorship opportunities, hosting family literacy activities, and presenting literacy materials and services that reflect the changing language needs of the community.

Finding Spaces of Belonging on Campus: A Case Study of Refugee Students in America

Mohamed ElHess

Context:There is no doubt that with the sociopolitical climate of immigration discourse in the U.S. immigration (building a wall, deportation, visa rejections, Muslim Travel ban) interweaving with the partisan political discourse of immigration sentiments (e.g., taking jobs, rejecting immersion in the culture), refugee students struggle to effectively integrate on campus. Therefore, understanding how these students experience a sense of belonging in their respective higher educational institutions is imperative in creating equitable and socially-just learning spaces in higher education.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore a sample of refugee college students from North Africa and Middle East and the ways in which they experienced a sense of belonging in their respective institutions as well as the affordances and barriers they experienced as refugee students.

Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework Third Space (Bhabha, 1994) strengthened the orientation of SB in this research. According to Elliot et al, (2016), ‘Third Space’ is the space for allowing “important breathing room” to establish social connections, offsetting loneliness, fostering personal learning, enjoyment, and development. (p.556). As refugee students may experience exclusion, marginalization, subordination, they strive to find a space in which they feel a sense of belonging through opportunities for safety, respect, and motivation to explore and make meaning of their experiences, and to have agency.

Design: In thisqualitative case study, data was collected across interviews throughout three academic years. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data. The data analysis started with open coding for each case study followed by a “cross-case analysis” (Hill, 2012).

Findings: The results showed that although the participants yearned to fit in and belong, the intersectional challenges of being a non-native speaker and resourceless shaped these students’ experiences of being left out, unvalued, and lost as outsiders. Results also showed that some participants were able to construct ‘spaces of belonging. Examples of these spaces were the international center and developing relationships with one another and safe faculty. These spaces serve as a prominent militating mechanism of eliminating the participants of feeling as different and thereby extending opportunities to build safe spaces.

Significance: This proposal addresses how belonging supports and negates specific races, cultures, and languages of marginalized individuals such as refugees in finding safe spaces. Thus, understanding contexts where we support and a sense of belonging of refugee students are vital in the 21st century and align with this year’s AERA theme, searching for the truth, by challenging the assumptions made about refugee students and the truths about refugee students experiences held by many in higher education, and those they should be able to trust and rely on for understanding and empathy.  456 words

Finding a Pathway to Unlocking Refugees’ Learning Potential: Current Challenges and Lifelong Technology-Enhanced Learning Solutions

Daria Mizza

Purpose &Framework: This presentation aims at proposing a guiding framework based on Fraser’s (2009, 2019) participatory conditions, for teachers of refugees to create alternative forms of success and establish foundations for lifelong learning.

Techniques: With this aim in mind, during the presentation we will examine UNHCR documents to acknowledge the purpose of lifelong education for refugees as a contemporary priority to unlocking refugee students’ potential and we will identify several key factors leading to its reconceptualization.

This is mainly accomplished by redistributing technology-enhanced resources to create activities that allow refugee students to develop skills for meaningful choice-making at transition points during and after their time in school.

Conclusions & Significance: The presentation concludes by emphasizing how student refugee lifelong learning opportunities are contingent upon the national education system detecting and accommodating the student’s preexisting skills and knowledge from the beginning. Such an improved learning experience can unlock refugee learners’ potential to establish themselves in a new society and serve as global citizens.

Promoting the Well-being of Asylum-Seeking and Refugee Children Within and Beyond the School Gates: Insights from the United Kingdom

Mehmet Karakus and Anas Hajar

Objectives: This presentation provides a narrative synthesis of the research findings on the well-being of asylum-seeking and refugeechildren in the United Kingdom. The relevant research studies on the well-being of asylum-seeking and refugee children in the UK context were retrieved, and their findings were thematically analyzed.

Framework: Racial and ethnic inequalities in child education and wellbeing have been described across population groups and contexts, particularly in developed nations such as the UK, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Müller et al., 2020; Robertson, 2022). This presentation provides a systematic review of resources that tackled the issue of the well-being of refugee and asylum-seeking children within and beyond the school gates in the UK.

Methods & Sources: The thematic analysis was based on the overarching research questions as the main themes: identifying adversities that negatively impact the well-being of migrant/refugee students, the support mechanisms/interventions used to sustain/improve the well-being of migrant/refugee students, and the challenges to supporting the well-being of migrant/refugee students at school.

The authors identified 36 research articles published in peer-review journals and thematically analyzed them to document these children’s negative experiences that could impact their well-being. The reported studies also explained the support mechanisms and interventions needed to sustain and improve child welfare and the challenges encountered in supporting their well-being.

Findings: The research findings suggest that asylum-seeking and refugee children have diverse socioemotional and behavioral challenges, needs, expectations, psychological resources, and coping mechanisms that require schools to develop socioemotionally, culturally, or/and religiously sensitive responses for a more inclusive school environment. Teachers and other school staff need more training opportunities and educational resources, and schools need more financial, staff, and infrastructure support to provide the required academic and socio-emotional support.

Significance: This study gives insights to policymakers and practitioners to develop more inclusive policies and practices to improve and sustain the well-being of refugee/migrant students. 

Teaching Refugee Children in Troubling Times

Leila Kajee

Context: Refugees, unlike immigrants who voluntarily move, confront a range of challenges that are unique to their situations. These include the need to teach children who have experienced the sustained trauma of being forced from their homes, possible loss of family members, loss of other forms of social support in the home country, health problems, and cultural and language challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the need for teachers, educational leaders, and policymakers who are prepared to serve refugees and the children of refugees. While for many students, school can be a safe place, for refugee students, it can either be a source of certainty or a source of more pain. Nearly 50 million children worldwide are refugees, and almost half of them do not attend school.

Purpose: Given this context, teachers face uphill challenges in coping with the diversity introduced by the introduction of refugee children. In this presentation I provide some of the key challenges encountered by teachers in the country, and submit for consideration a framework of key questions we could ask ourselves, as teachers, in our teaching.

Framework: In this presentation I propose a humanizing pedagogy, love as a critical act of resistance, hope and resilience to address challenges conceptually, and consider what this might imply for teaching refugee children.

Conclusions and significance: To address refugee needs in the classroom through a humanizing lens, and as an act of love, it becomes necessary to identify dilemmas and self-examine our feelings of fear, anger, guilt, or bias. As teachers we need to explore new roles and relationships with students, and to try on these new roles. To do so, we need to formulate a course of action and acquire the knowledge and skills to implement our new plans (Mezirow, 2003).

When Trauma as a Refugee Transcends Generations: How Teachers Might Be  Allies to Help Successive Generations Build Success

Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Purpose: This presentation explores how trauma, such as forced displacement, is manifested in the children and grandchildren of refugees. After a brief discussion of what generational trauma is, the presentation focuses on what teachers and school leaders can do when they are working with students whose families have been displaced.

Framework: According to Yosso (2015), there are at least six types of capital the refugee families might maintain while simultaneously remaining off the scope of schooling systems founded on preserving the prevailing and often majority culture. Kwan (2019) is also consulted. A framework for helping teachers discover their positionality in relation to displaced students is identified.

Mode of Inquiry & Sources: A review of the literature that demonstrates how teachers and teacher educators can recognize funds of knowledge (Moll, date). Narratives of the lives of second-generation and subsequent offspring also add depth teachers might draw on to support students beyond the everyday tasks of schooling.

Findings & Significance: Traumas passed on from one generation to the next do not necessarily fix or set the outcomes from one generation to another.  In this paper, we examine both the undesired outcomes and the possible achievements that might be built on what might have been tragic. ·       Transgenerational trauma often manifests itself in maladaptive behaviors. Understanding the nature of transgenerational trauma can change the way educators work with students who may be experiencing this type of trauma.       A key for teachers working with children who have experienced trauma is empathy. However, empathizing is difficult work, and it requires that teachers take care of themselves.  This chapter suggests that helping students find their sense of purpose can foster resilience.  Educators with a purpose can help students to find their purpose, sometimes lost for a time due to trauma, in society, family, and in themselves, thus building resilience.


Bhabha, H. (1994). The location of culture. Routledge.

Cushing, I. (2020). The policy and policing of language in schools. Language in Society 49, 425–450.

Elliot, D. L., Baumfield, V., & Reid, K. (2016). Searching for ‘a third space’: a creative pathway towards international PhD students’ academic acculturation. Higher Education Research & Development, 35(6), 1180-1195.

Fraser, N. (2009). Scales of justice. Columbia University Press.

Fraser, N. (2019). The old is dying and the new cannot be born. Verso.

House, J. S. (1981). Work stress and social support. Addison-Wesley.

Hill, C. E. (2012). Consensual qualitative research: A practical resource for investigating social science phenomena. American Psychological Association.

Katsos, N. (2020). Bilingualism in the family and child well-being: A scoping review. International Journal of Bilingualism, 24(5-6), 1049-1070. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1367006920920939

Kwan, Y. Y. (2019). Providing asset‐based support for Asian American refugees: Interrogating transgenerational trauma, resistance, and affective capital. New Directions for Higher Education, 2019(186), 37–47.  https://doi.org/10.1002/he.20322

Ortiz, A. M., & Rhoads, R. A. (2000). Deconstructing Whiteness as part of a multicultural education framework: From theory to practice. Journal of College Student Development, 41(1), 81-93.

Robertson, A. S. (2022). Scottish children’s panels: Where volunteers are essential for fostering child well-being. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 16(1), 7-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548732.2020.1792389

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (2012). Education strategy 2012–2016. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved 1 December 2021 from http://www.unhcr.org/protection/operations/5149ba349/unhcr-education-strategy-2012-2016.html.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (2016a). Global report 2016. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved January 4 2022 from https://reporting.unhcr.org/sites/default/files/gr2016/pdf/Book_GR_2016_ENGLISH_complete.pdf.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (2016b). Missing out: Refugee education in crisis. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved March 2 2022 from https://inee.org/system/files/ resources/UNHCR_2016.pdf.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (2019). Refugee education 2030: A strategy for refugee inclusion. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved 1 December 2021 from https://www.unhcr.org/5d651da88d7.pdf.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (2020). Protracted refugee situation explained. Washington, DC: UNHCR. Retrieved 4 March 2022 from https://www.unrefugees.org/news/protracted-refugee-situations-explained/#What%20is%20a%20protracted%20refugee%20situation?

Müller, L. M., Howard, K., Wilson, E., Gibson, J., & UNRWA. (2020). Protection brief Palestine refugees living in Lebanon. Retrieved from https://www.unrwa.org/sites/default/files/20-09-28_lfo_context_protection_brief_2020_final83.pdf

Yosso, T. J.  (2005) Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91. https://doi.org/10.1080/1361332052000341006  



By Thomas DeVere Wolsey


Ejemplos: Puntuación, Ortografía, párrafos (como superficial pero necesario)

Sugerencias y Desafíos ¿Cuáles son tus siguientes pasos?Criterios Estándares para este producto, tarea o desempeñoAvanzado ¿Cuál es la evidencia de que
este producto, tarea o desempeño ha excedido el estándar?
 Criterio #1: Descripción de dominio o competencia 
 Criterio #2: Descripción de dominio o competencia 
 Criterio #3: Descripción de dominio o competencia 
0 to 20 points21-22 points23 to 25 points

Learn more about anti-rubrics in Assessment Literacy (this is an affiliate link, but your price will not go up). | Obtenga más información sobre las anti-rúbricas en Assessment Literacy (este es un enlace de afiliado, pero su precio no aumentará).

Assessment Literacy Cover
Assessment Literacy: An Educator’s Guide to Understanding Assessment, K-12

@TDWolsey 2023 Permission is granted to duplicate for classroom use. | Se le permite duplicar esta anti-rúbrica para uso en el salón de clases.

Roles para la Enseñanza Recíproca

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

A veces los estudiantes necesitan un poco de ayuda para empezar. Encuentre aquí iniciadores de roles para la enseñanza recíproca.

Sometimes students need a little help getting started. Find here role initiators for reciprocal teaching.

El interrogador formula preguntas sobre la información del texto. Las preguntas deben ayudar a los lectores a encontrar información que los ayude a entender el texto. Poder responder a estas preguntas ayuda a los lectores a evaluar si han comprendido la información.
Haga preguntas sobre la idea principal.Haga preguntas sobre hechos. Son preguntas sobre quién, qué, cuándo y dónde.Haga preguntas que INCITEN la interpretación de la información. Son preguntas que responden al cómo y al por qué.Haga preguntas que INCITEN a los lectores a buscar fuentes adicionales, expertos o información para obtener las respuestas. Estas preguntas pueden incluir frases como “¿Se ha preguntado si…?” o “¿Ha pensado por qué…?”
El aclarador tiene la función de ayudar a aclarar cualquier confusión que se produzca durante la lectura. Para empezar, el aclarador tiene que prestar atención a cualquier palabra o idea que le cause confusión durante la lectura. Una vez identificadas las áreas de confusión, es posible que tenga que consultar a un experto, buscar la información en Internet, en un diccionario o en el glosario del texto. El aclarador tiene que prepararse para aclarar cualquier confusión que tengan los demás estudiantes al leer. En ocasiones, el aclarador identifica las áreas de confusión, pero es posible que no pueda resolverlas por sí solo. Tal vez sea necesario que lo haga en colaboración con los demás estudiantes.
Enumere la información o las palabras que le resultan confusas.A continuación, decida cómo va a aclarar la confusión.Luego, alístese para compartir información que disipe la confusión.
 ¿Qué es lo que confunde?¿Cómo lo resuelvo?¿Qué nueva información lo aclara? ¿Qué nueva información lo aclara? ¿Qué nueva información lo aclara? 
A lo largo de la lectura de cada fragmento del texto, el resumidor recapitula y condensa lo aprendido hasta el momento.
Después de leer un fragmento de información, expréselo con sus propias palabras.Asegúrese de haber incluido la información más importante.¿Enumeré las ideas y conceptos principales?¿Incluí lugares o elementos clave?¿Tengo las palabras clave?Júntelo todo para comprobar si lo ha hecho bien.Dígalo en voz alta para asegurarse de que haya incluido toda la información clave.
Basándose en lo que se ha leído y debatido, el predictor identifica cuál será probablemente la información que aparecerá después en el texto.
Eche un vistazo a los gráficos de las páginas siguientes para obtener pistas sobre de qué se tratará la siguiente sección.Examine los siguientes encabezados para predecir qué información cabe esperar en la siguiente sección.Piense en el tema y en lo que ha aprendido hasta ahora o en lo que ya sabe sobre él. Basándose en esto, ¿qué podría esperar un lector de la siguiente sección?

Download a PDF of these role starters / Descargue un PDF de estos iniciadores de roles aquí.

Enseñanza Recíproca / Reciprocal Teaching

Un ejemplo

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

This is an excerpt in Spanish / Español from our upcoming 2nd edition of Literacy in the Disciplines: A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 5-12 (available in late 2023). You can find the 1st edition here (this is an affiliate link but your costs will not increase).

Este es un extracto de nuestra próxima segunda edición de Literacy in the Disciplines: A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 5-12 por Thomas DeVere Wolsey y Diane Lapp (disponible a fines de 2023). Puede encontrar la primera edición aquí (este es un enlace de afiliado pero sus costos no aumentarán).

En la clase – Enseñanza recíproca

Visitemos a la Dra. Grant, maestra de ciencias de décimo grado, mientras muestra cómo participar en los cuatro aspectos de la enseñanza recíproca: predecir, aclarar, cuestionar y resumir. Para hacer esto, la Dra. Grant realiza una reflexión en voz alta en la que expresa su pensamiento sobre el texto. Ella interpreta los cuatro roles y comparte en voz alta el pensamiento que pasa por su cabeza mientras modela ser el clarificador, el que pregunta, el que predice y el que resume. Mientras ella modela, los estudiantes toman notas en una guía de notas de enseñanza recíproca. Indican cómo la Dra. Grant desempeña cada papel y documentan lo que nota. Después de esto y de un breve resumen de la reflexión en voz alta, la Dra. Grant les pide a los estudiantes que participen en una “pecera.” Fishbowl es una estrategia en la que unos estudiantes tienen el papel de practicar las actividades recién aprendidas (el pez dentro de la pecera) y otros tienen el papel de observar cómo se hace (los que miran dentro de la pecera). Para hacer esto, la Dra. Grant tiene cuatro estudiantes al frente para desempeñar los roles de predictor, clarificador, interrogador y resumen. Ella les proporciona tarjetas de referencia individuales para iniciar oraciones, como se describe anteriormente.

Al resto de la clase se le entrega una guía en blanco para tomar notas, con la tarea de documentar cómo cada alumno en la pecera desempeña su papel. Todos en la clase tienen un trabajo y todos tienen una copia del texto fragmentado, que trata sobre la ciencia de la clonación de gatos. Los estudiantes dentro de la pecera se turnan para leer los trozos en voz alta unos a otros. Durante la lectura, cada uno de los “peces” juega su papel. El predictor comienza prediciendo de qué tratará el texto. Utiliza títulos e imágenes para hacer su predicción. El clarificador anota términos y frases confusos y luego usa estrategias para mediar en las confusiones. El interrogador hace preguntas sobre el texto y proporciona respuestas cuando puede. Finalmente, el resumidor anota las ideas clave en una breve declaración de conclusión.

Continúan participando de esta manera mientras leen el texto. A medida que los estudiantes en la pecera prueban la Enseñanza recíproca, la Dra. Grant sugiere, señala y pregunta para mantenerlos en el camino correcto. En un momento, le hace un gesto a la clarificadora, Elena: “¿Hay algo que deba aclararse?”. La clarificadora, insegura porque recién está probando esto por primera vez, responde: “No, no lo creo”. La Dra. Grant agrega: “A veces no hay nada que aclarar. Sigamos.” A medida que continúan con el siguiente fragmento, Elena expresa su confusión sobre una sección del texto: “No sé de qué gato están hablando. Hay tantos gatos en este artículo”. La Dra. Grant la insta a pensar en ello mientras Elena comienza a volver a leer, una estrategia de aclaración que la clase había discutido anteriormente. Después de volver a leer, Elena resuelve su propia confusión, ya que la Dra. Grant señala que Elena ha respondido a su propia pregunta de aclaración al volver a leer.

Después de la pecera, todos los estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de probar Enseñanza recíproca con otro artículo. La Dra. Grant se mueve por la sala guiando a los estudiantes, alentándolos, guiándolos y apoyándolos para que adquieran los elementos de esta estrategia. Los estudiantes de la clase de la Dra. Grant usarán la Enseñanza recíproca para discutir y analizar textos al menos una o dos veces por semana. La Dra. Grant sabe que a medida que aumenta su competencia, los estudiantes podrán abordar textos más complejos porque participan en un discurso académico que les permite compartir y enseñarse unos a otros. También sabe que los estudiantes comenzarán a adquirir y dominar el lenguaje académico de las tarjetas de referencia. Ya escuchó a Elena decir: “Solo quiero aclarar…” Eventualmente, la Dra. Grant eliminará los roles y permitirá que los estudiantes predigan, aclaren, cuestionen y resuman mientras discuten un texto complejo en una conversación menos limitada. La Dra. Grant comienza con andamios, pero luego los elimina a medida que los estudiantes adquieren competencia.

Una cosa muy importante que debe enseñarles es ser un aprendiz independiente. Las prácticas de lectura compartidas en este capítulo les ayudarán a desarrollar esta independencia y orgullo por aprender.

Roles para la Enseñanza Recíproca

Go back to / Volver a Adaptación a la Nueva Normalidad: Estrategias de Lectoescritura

Adaptación a la Nueva Normalidad: Estrategias de Lectoescritura

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

On this page, you will find resources and links based on Visible Learning(R) in Spanish for literacy learning.

En esta página, encontrará recursos y enlaces basados en Visible Learning(R) en español para el aprendizaje de la lectoescritura.

Visible Learning – Influences (visiblelearningmetax.com)

Guatemala, febrero 2023


4 Parts

Part 1: Success Criteria and Direct Instruction in reading and writing

Part 2: Concept Mapping for better writing

Part 3: Reciprocal Teaching for better reading comprehension

Part 4: Feedback (focus on reinforcement and cues)


La base de investigación de Visible Learning ® es la culminación de su búsqueda durante los últimos 25 años para responder a esta pregunta y representa más de 1850 metanálisis que comprenden más de 108,000 estudios que involucran a más de 300 millones de estudiantes en todo el mundo.

A través de la investigación de Visible Learning, John Hattie ha identificado más de 320 factores que influyen en el rendimiento de los estudiantes. Luego se dedicó a calcular una puntuación o “tamaño del efecto” para cada uno, de acuerdo con su relación con el rendimiento de los estudiantes. El tamaño del efecto promedio de estos 320 factores fue de 0,4, un marcador que se puede demostrar que representa el crecimiento de un año (promedio) por año de escolaridad para un estudiante. Cualquier factor que tenga un tamaño del efecto superior a 0,4 tiene un efecto positivo aún mayor en el aprendizaje de los estudiantes.

Elegimos cinco estrategias con los tamaños de efecto más grandes y el potencial de acelerar significativamente el desempeño de los estudiantes en lectura y escritura. Estas estrategias de enseñanza pueden ayudar a los estudiantes a acelerar su aprendizaje después del cierre de escuelas por la pandemia en Guatemala.

Adaptado para instrucción de lectura y escritura de https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/ por el Dr. Thomas DeVere Wolsey. Tamaño del efecto es para aprendizaje en general.

Parte 1: Criterios de éxito y instrucción directa en lectura y escritura

Los criterios de éxito son los estándares por los cuales se juzgará el proyecto al final para decidir si ha tenido éxito o no. Suelen ser breves, construidos conjuntamente con los estudiantes, tienen como objetivo recordar a los estudiantes los aspectos en los que deben centrarse y pueden relacionarse con los aprendizajes superficiales (contenido, ideas) y profundos (relaciones, transferencia) de la(s) lección(es).  Tamaño del efecto: 0,88

La instrucción directa de lectura y escritura se refiere a los enfoques de instrucción estructurados, secuenciados y dirigidos por el maestro. La instrucción directa requiere que los maestros: tengan intenciones de aprendizaje claras y criterios de éxito, fomentando el compromiso y la participación de los estudiantes en la tarea de aprendizaje; utilizar modelos y comprobar la comprensión en su enseñanza; y participar en la práctica guiada para que cada estudiante pueda demostrar su comprensión del nuevo aprendizaje trabajando en una actividad o ejercicio bajo la supervisión directa del maestro. Tamaño del efecto: 0,59

Parte 2: Mapeo de conceptos para una mejor escritura

La creación de representaciones gráficas del contenido del curso. Esta práctica se deriva de la teoría del psicólogo estadounidense David Ausubel de que los conceptos se pueden organizar jerárquicamente y que los estudiantes aprenden mejor organizando la información nueva en relación con la información que ya dominan. La clave del mapeo conceptual es que a los propios estudiantes se les enseña a crear la herramienta de aprendizaje mediante la cual luego dominarán el material del curso. La capacidad de percibir patrones organizativos y de estructurar los propios pensamientos es fundamental para la enseñanza de la lectura y la escritura. Tamaño del efecto: 0,64

Parte 3: Enseñanza recíproca para una mejor comprensión lectora

Una estrategia de instrucción que tiene como objetivo fomentar una mejor comprensión de lectura y monitorear a los estudiantes que tienen dificultades con la comprensión. La estrategia consta de cuatro pasos: resumir, cuestionar, aclarar y predecir. Es “recíproco” en el sentido de que los estudiantes y el profesor se turnan para conducir un diálogo sobre el texto en cuestión, haciendo preguntas siguiendo cada uno de los cuatro pasos. El maestro puede modelar los cuatro pasos, luego reducir su participación para que los estudiantes tomen la iniciativa y sean invitados a seguir los cuatro pasos después de leer un segmento de texto. Tamaño del efecto: 0,74

Parte 4: Retroalimentación (enfoque en el refuerzo y las señales)

Durante más de un siglo, la retroalimentación se ha considerado fundamental para la adquisición de habilidades y conocimientos y, sin embargo, han surgido debates sobre los medios más efectivos para proporcionar retroalimentación. Igual de crítica es la variabilidad en las influencias de retroalimentación. La retroalimentación en el aula se puede definir como “información que permite al alumno reducir la brecha entre lo que es evidente actualmente y lo que podría o debería ser el caso”.

Específicamente, la retroalimentación es información provista por un agente (p. ej., maestro, compañero, libro, padre, uno mismo/experiencia) con respecto a aspectos del desempeño o comprensión de uno que reduce la discrepancia entre lo que se entiende y lo que se pretende entender. La retroalimentación es beneficiosa para dominar los matices de la comprensión lectora y la escritura efectiva.Tamaño del efecto: 0,62

Retroalimentación en términos de refuerzo (positivo y negativo) y señales para avanzar a los siguientes pasos en el aprendizaje Tamaño del efecto: 0,92

See the slides:

To find resources for reciprocal teaching in Spanish / Para encontrar recursos para la enseñanza recíproca en español haga clic aquí

To find resources for the anti-rubric and feedback / Para encontrar recursos para la anti-rúbrica y la retroalimentación, haga clic aquí.

STEAM + Literacy

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

In 2019, I supervised a group of terrific scholars who were graduate assistants, and most were teachers. The bulk of the work was done by this terrific team. The idea was to create STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) with literacy, then align all of that with Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, digital literacy standards, and Egyptian curricular standards.

The team worked together to produce the units, eventually four in all, and each of those was then reviewed by an independent expert who was not part of the team. While we were never able to spin those off to a website, as planned, I am adding them here with a Creative Commons license so that others can benefit from the great work the development team did. Because these were intended to be digitally available and designed for online access, technically, these are still drafts.

ThemeThe world we live in!
TitleSecuring access to clean water  
Unit Essential QuestionHow could we secure better access to fresh/clean water sources?
Grade Level6-8

The problem:
Water scarcity and desertification are common challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The growing demands of securing more freshwater have impactful effects on demographics and economic development. Families living by the sea coast, and/ or remote places might spend many hours daily lining up to get a few liters of fresh water from the water delivery truck to maintain their day-to-day needs. Can you help them find a more sustainable and convenient alternative to access/ provide fresh water in their area?

CategoryLife Sciences
ThemeFood Security
TitleWe Garden!  
Unit Essential QuestionHow can we improve food production to meet the needs of the growing populations?  
Grade LevelGrade (6-8)

The problem:

With the ever increasing population in Egypt and elsewhere, people need increasing amounts of food. In order to meet the increased food needs in Egypt, we have a lot of options such as importing food, which costs a lot of foreign currency, growing more food or rationalizing our food consumption. The government economic agenda gives priority to different agriculture projects with the aim to enlarge the cultivated area and to guarantee sufficient production of the main crops to satisfy the needs of the growing population. Can you help design a system that facilitates gardening for food production?

Source: https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/14877/Hamza-Mason%202004SAVED.pdf

CategoryLife Sciences
ThemeEnvironmental Awareness
TitleDealing with Climate Change
Unit Essential QuestionHow can we reduce the impact of climate change?
Grade LevelGrade (6-8)

The problem:

July 2019 was recorded as the warmest month in history. In general, it is anticipated that the period between 2015 to 2019 is turning out to be the hottest years in history (World Meteorological Organization, 2019). In Egypt, we continuously feel the summer heatwaves. As there is no hint for any environmental improvement, the climate change problem will continue bringing us more heatwaves and warmer weathers in the years to come. While using air conditioners might look like an immediate solution that helps us deal with the problem, the power used by air conditioners, like most other regular electricity-run devices, actually add to the problem causing climate change. Do you know why? Can you help us have a better solution that might have less negative impact on the environment?

Reference: https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/july-matched-and-maybe-broke-record-hottest-month-analysis-began

ThemeTheme: Transportation
Unit TitleTravel safely!
Essential QuestionHow can we protect passengers in a car crash?
Grade Level6-8

The problem:

The number of road traffic deaths continues to rise steadily, reaching 1.35 million in 2016 (WHO, 2016).  Although automotive and mechanical engineers are innovating many safety procedures to help passengers, these innovations haven’t made their way into enough vehicles to reach their full potential in reducing fatal car crashes. 

Do you remember those days that you spent hours outlining and drawing your dream car? What are the most important aspects in automotive design? How do automotive designers build cars that are speedy and safe at the same time? 

Mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and industrial designers collaborate to develop and enhance motor vehicle structures, engines, and associated systems to ensure optimum wagon performance. In addition, they carry out a series of crash tests to modify their design in order to ensure optimum safety to all passengers in case of accidents. 

The project team was ably managed by Bola Ibrahim with the assistance of these team members:

Hanan Abou Zaied

Hanaa Mahmoud

Alaa Badran

Hemmat Mahmoud

Dr Mohamed ElNagdi

Dr. Thomas DeVere Wolsey served as faculty supervisor

with Gihan Osman and Heba El Deghaidy as Co-PI and PI (Principal investigator)

The project was funded by the office of:

Associate Provost for Research, Innovation and Creativity at The American University in Cairo

The content of the PDFs linked on this page only are

STEAM + Literacy by https://literacybeat.com/2022/10/28/steam-literacy/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Forward Thinking in Today’s Classrooms

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Teaching the Language Arts: Forward Thinking in Today’s Classrooms is almost out in a new, 2nd edition by Denise Johnson, Beth Dobler, and Thomas DeVere Wolsey. New content, updated features, and now published by Routledge! The link below is an affiliate link; your price won’t change, though. https://amzn.to/3CDy8fg

Literacy Beat in Dublin, Ireland

Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Literacy Beat contributors are presenting several studies at The Federation of European Literacy Associations (FELA) in Dublin, Ireland, July 4 to 6, 2022. On this page, you can download resources and presentation slide decks.

July 4, 2022

Going Beyond the App:
Online International Development to Reach Teachers on the Margins

Nance S. Wilson, State University of New York at Cortland

Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Consultant

Linda Smetana, California State University East Bay

Ibrahim M. Karkouti, The American University in Cairo

Texts for Reading Instruction and the Most Common Words in Egyptian Arabic

Thomas DeVere Wolsey with Freddy Hiebert and Ibrahim M. Karkouti

At AERA 2022 in San Diego, we presented

The authors conducted an analysis at the word level of four Arabic multidisciplinary textbooks in grades one and two in Egypt.  The study sought to answer four questions:  What are the most common words in standard Arabic? How many of the most common words in standard Arabic are used in the textbooks? How dense is the use of common words? How many rare words are used in the textbooks studied? Analysis found that the texts did not make use of any of the rare words found in the corpus, but many words in the texts did not appear in either the reference corpus inclusive of the common words list.  Recommendations for policymakers and textbook publishers were included.

*Thomas DeVere Wolsey, corresponding author

California State University, East Bay

Hayward, CA USA



*Ibrahim M. Karkouti

The American University in Cairo

New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt


*Elfrieda H. Hiebert


Santa Cruz, CA US


*Dalal Abo El Seoud

The American University in Cairo

New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

*Helen Abadzi

The University of Texas, Arlington

Arlington, TX US


*Fatma Abdelkhalek

New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

The American University in Cairo

Classroom Observation – Updated

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Recently, colleagues and I in Egypt tested a curriculum designed to improve letter-sound correspondence knowledge among first-grade students in four Egyptian community schools in an after-school program.  The curriculum, called Iqra, intended that students would engage in whole-class, teacher-directed learning. We recorded the class sessions, but we needed to analyze interactions. We chose the time-honored Stallings (1977) instrument. However, to adjust for difference in the cultural context and modern data analysis tools, I created a modified Stallings Snapshot Observation System in Excel. Since there were two teachers in each classroom, the form was modified to accommodate that fact. Since the lessons varied in length, we also divided the video segments into 10 minute sequential chunks. This differs from the original but fit our needs.

I am sharing the Excel template because it may be helpful to others conducting classroom observations, but please share your thoughts and experiences in comments. In the meantime, as the research team completes analysis, I will provide additional observations here.

Stallings in Excel


Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki, Finland: Orienta-Konsultit.

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Lenski, S., Smetana, L., Yoder, K. K., Dobler, E…Young J. R. (2018). Are we preparing or training teachers? Developing professional judgment in and beyond teacher preparation programs. Journal of Teacher Education, first published date: April-10-2017 doi: 10.1177/0022487117702584

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Young, J., Smetana, L., Grisham, D. L., Lenski, S., Dobler, E. Yoder, K. K., & Chambers, S. A. (2017). Mediating factors in literacy instruction: How novice elementary teachers navigate new teaching contexts. Reading Psychology, 38(6), 604-651. doi: 10.1080/02702711.2.17.1323056

Stallings, J. (1977). Learning to Look: A Handbook on Classroom Observation and Teaching Models. Wadsworth Publishing Company.

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