Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Disciplinary Literacy
REND and MSED-689

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 12/08/2020

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Focuses on the relationship between language arts and the development of competent readers and writers across disciplines.  The nuances of different types of disciplinary readers are examined through the major shifts in literacy across disciplines with an analysis and implementation of the English Language Arts Standards and effective literacy instruction.


College of Education Mission

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Students

Candidates will learn how to better choose instructional materials and strategies to meet specific student needs and create a positive learning climate conducive for disciplinary literacy for every student. They will consider the need for students to become excellent readers of textbooks and non- fictions text in disciplines and support these efforts with appropriate reading strategies.

Serving the Community

Candidates will explore the integration of the language arts with the various disciplines in order to assist students with developing and increasing effective communication skills for acquiring and sharing relevant information used in today’s global society. Candidates will become experts in disciplinary reading strategies in order to support the school and home community.   

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will challenge themselves to create authentic contexts for student disciplinary literacy learning and reflect and examine their own communication techniques used in collaborative teaching and learning situations and classroom instruction.


Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

  1. Describe major constructs in discipline specific literacy (ILA 1.4)
  2. Identify the evidence based instructional approaches to develop reading comprehension (ILA 2.2)
  3. Identify the evidence based instructional approaches to develop vocabulary (ILA 2.2)
  4. Identify the evidence based instructional approaches to develop critical thinking (ILA 2.2)
  5. Design effective writing instruction for discipline specific content (ILA 2.3)
  6. Review writing instruction programs in terms of disciplinary learning (ILA 2.3)
  7. Examine examples of materials within the disciplines that promote the language arts (ILA 2.4)
  8. Use conventions of standard English


ILA Standard 1.4 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of  major theoretical, conceptual, and evidence-based frameworks that describe the interrelated components of general literacy and discipline - specific literacy processes that serve as a foundation of all learning

ILA Standard 2.2 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates use evidence-based instruction and materials that develop reading comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking abilities in learners.

ILA Standard 2.3 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates design, adapt, implement and evaluate evidence-based writing instruction as a means of improving content area learning.

ILA Standard 2.4 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates use evidence based instruction and materials to develop language, listening, speaking, viewing, and visually representing skills learners; such instruction is differentiated and responsive to student interest.


REQUIRED - Lent, R. S.  (2016). This is Disciplinary Literacy: Reading, Writing, Thinking, and Doing . . . Content Area by Content Area.


Modular Discussion Prompt

Candidates will respond to discussion prompts within each module.

  • Course Outcomes 1-8
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Modular Reflection Synthesis

Candidates will reflect and synthesize each Module's content.

  • Course Outcomes 1-8
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Module Activities

Candidates will participate in 3 Module activities to extend learning.

  • Course Outcomes 1-8
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Themed Disciplinary Lesson Plans

Candidates will create Lesson plans focusing on a discipline specific topic and include Disciplinary Literacy elements.       

  • Course Outcomes 2,3,4
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 2.2

Disciplinary Writing Publication

Candidates will choose an effective Disciplinary Literacy Writing Stratgey and create a handout to share with colleagues.         

  • Course Outcomes 5
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 2.3

Language Arts Lesson Analysis

Candidates will locate a disciplinary lesson plan on the web and analyze it for effective language arts components (reading, writing, speaking, listening and language)  making recommendations where necessary.

  • Course Outcomes 7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 2.4

Course Policies

Policies for the College of Education at University of St. Francis

CLICK HERE (requires active student account) for policies, including but not limited to:

  • Method of Instruction
  • Expectations of Candidates
  • Online Courses
  • Attendance Policies for Site-Based and Online Courses
  • Minimum Standards for Writing
  • Computer and Digital Information Literacy Skills

Course Evaluations | Surveys

Information gathered through course evaluations and surveys is an important part of maintaining quality and continuous improvement in courses, and it is the University’s expectation that students will thoughtfully participate in this evaluation process.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

  1. The Department of Academic Technology (DAT) administers the learning management system Canvas. If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support, including:
  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu, select Chat with Canvas Support for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session,
  2. select Report a Problem to send an email support request, or speak to someone directly by using the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline.

NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email-based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.

2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at LearnItNow

3. Telephone Support from DAT. You can also phone the Department of Academic Technology for personal help at (815) 740-5080 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, please contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Notice of Copyright

This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety or any portion thereof, under penalty of law.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Additional Items

Course References

Applebee, A. N. (1981). Writing in the secondary school. Urbana, IL: National Council of
Teachers of English.

Atwell, N. (1987). In the middle: Reading and learning with adolescents. Portsmouth: Heinemann Boynton/Cook.

Blachowitz, C. & Fisher, P.J. (2009). Teaching vocabulary in all classrooms (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Blachowitz, C. & Ogle, D. (2001). Reading comprehension: Strategies for independent learners.
New York: Guilford.

Butler, A. & Turbill, J. (1984). Towards a reading-writing classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational Books, Inc.

Cunningham, J. W., Cunningham, P. M. & Arthur, S. V. (1981). Middle and secondary school reading. New York: Longman.

George, P.S. ((2005). A rationale for differentiating instruction in the regular classroom. Theory into Practice, 44(3), 185-193, doi:10.1207/s15430421tip4403_2.

Guthrie, J.T., Wigfield, A., Humenick, N.M., Perencevich, K.C., Taboada, A., & Barbosa, P. (2006). Influences of stimulating tasks on reading motivation and comprehension. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(4), 232-246. Doi:10.3200/JOER.99.4.232-246.

Manzo, A. V., & Manzo U. C. (1990). Content area reading: A heuristic approach. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Manzo, A. V. & Manzo, U. C. (1997). Content area literacy: Interactive teaching for active learning. (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Moore, D. W., Readence, J. E., & Rickelman, R. J. (1982). Prereading activities for content area reading and learning. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Ruddell, M. R. (1993). Teaching content reading and writing. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Santa, C.M., Havens, L., & Valdes, B. (2004). Project CRISS: Creating independence through student-owned strategies (3rd ed). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Vacca, R. T. & Vacca, J. L. (2010) Content area reading; Literacy and learning across the curriculum (2nd ed.). Boston: Little, Brown.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.