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International Reading Association Standards

Instructor: Cara Rogers
The International Reading Association (IRA), now known as the International Literacy Association (ILA), promotes literacy instruction on a local, national, statewide, and global level. Read on to learn about the standards that the IRA provides and some resources that can help you implement these standards.

Standards of the International Reading Association

Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge

The first standard encompasses the idea that all reading professionals should have a solid understanding of the methods of passing on the value of literature and literacy skills to students. Instructors should be able to:

  • Use their knowledge of literacy theories and research in the learning environment.
  • Acknowledge and utilize successful practices based on research and experience from past instructors.
  • Maintain an open mind to new changes in teaching methods, practices, and resources, and if needed, adapt their teaching style to better benefit their students' educational needs.

Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction

This standard addresses the need for a clear and concise understanding of the curriculum and how to utilize it with students. Instructors should:

  • Possess the knowledge and creativity to present curriculum in an efficient way so that a variety of students may learn the information.
  • Use clearly laid out guidelines for what they need to instruct while using proven strategies as well as their own knowledge, resources, and experience to motivate and teach diverse learners.
  • Incorporate modern technologies and new forms of reading to address the changing world. Take a glance at these lessons on reading instruction in the 21st century and using technology in reading instruction to get some ideas on how to incorporate technology in your instructional approaches.

Standard 3: Assessment and Evaluation

The third standard expresses the need for teachers to evaluate their students to make sure they are learning the required curriculum. Instructors should:

  • Use assessments to learn where their students stand and what they may still need to work on.
  • Understand how assessments work and how effectively (or ineffectively) the scores actually reflect their students' knowledge.
  • Reiterate the implications of assessments and scoring to necessary parties.

Look over this course on assessments of learning to get a concise overview of the multiple types of assessments used in today's classrooms, and to understand the importance of validity and reliability.

Standard 4: Diversity

Standard 4 emphasizes the need to address diversity in the classroom. This lesson on teaching reading and writing to diverse learners covers instructional approaches for both learning and cultural differences. Look over this course on differentiated instruction for a more in-depth look at how instruction can be adapted for diverse learners. Instructors must understand that:

  • Diversity has a positive influence on our culture and can inspire great changes in our society, and should, therefore, be acknowledged and embraced in the classroom setting.
  • Exploring new cultures and class levels can introduce students to social worlds other than their own which can create greater social understanding as a community.
  • Students that are not native English speakers may need different methods or styles of literacy instruction than native English speakers.

Standard 5: Literate Environment

This standard states the importance of creating a community in the classroom that values literature. Teachers can build this environment by:

  • Supporting students as they learn to read, building an encouraging workspace, and allowing them to make choices about materials used for literacy.
  • Showing students the uses of literacy outside of the classroom.

Standard 6: Professional Learning and Leadership

The last standard encompasses the idea that learning is continuous and necessary for instructors. Professionals learn through:

  • Ongoing experience, and communications with the community such as faculty members, parents, and students.
  • Learning new methods and practices through research, courses, or community collaborations.

Expand your instructional repertoire with this course on literacy instruction. It can help you discover new instructional methods and techniques through its discussion of topics like instructional strategies for literacy, literacy instruction resources, and various approaches to literacy.

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