English Teaching Practice & Critique
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Published By Emerald (Mcb Up )

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Updated Friday, 03 September 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Jemimah Young ◽  
Bettie Ray Butler ◽  
Kellan Strong ◽  
Maiya A_ Turner

Purpose This paper aims to argue that culturally responsive approaches to literacy instruction are necessary not only to celebrate Black girl literacies but to also expose, challenge and disrupt antiblackness in English education. However, without explicit exemplars to guide classroom practice, this type of instruction will remain elusive. The present paper expands upon the original conceptualization of Counter Fairy Tales (CFT) by further explicating the framework and providing recommendations to inform culturally responsive literacy practices to disrupt antiblackness. Design/methodology/approach The question that drives this study asks how can the CFT model be applied as a form of culturally responsive literacy instruction to best teach Black girls? Findings The CFT framework places value on Black girls’ ways of knowing and gives primacy to their voice and unique experiences through culturally responsive literacy instruction. Research limitations/implications The larger implication of this research is for teachers to begin to create culturally responsive literacy instruction that honors the lived experiences of today’s Black adolescent girls, particularly those in young grades. Inclusive and affirming literary practices must be established, an environment in which Black girls can share their voices and visions as they explore themselves through writing. Originality/value This conceptual paper is one of few that specifically focuses on how teachers can use CFTs to facilitate the inclusion of Black girls’ experiential and communal ways of knowing to support culturally responsive literacy instruction in younger grades.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Scott Storm ◽  
Karis Jones

Purpose This paper aims to describe the critical literacies of high school students engaged in a youth participatory action research (YPAR) project focused on a roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons, in a queer-led afterschool space. The paper illustrates how youth critique and resist unjust societal norms while simultaneously envisioning queer utopian futures. Using a queer theory framework, the authors consider how youth performed disidentifications and queer futurity. Design/methodology/approach This study is a discourse analysis of approximately 85 hours of audio collected over one year. Findings Youth engaged in deconstructive critique, disidentifications and queer futurity in powerful enactments of critical literacies that involved simultaneous resistance, subversion, imagination and hope as youth envisioned queer utopian world-building through their fantasy storytelling. Youth acknowledged the injustice of the present while radically envisioning a utopian future. Originality/value This study offers an empirical grounding for critical literacies centered in queer theory and explores how youth engage with critical literacies in collaboratively co-authored texts. The authors argue that queering critical literacies potentially moves beyond deconstructive critique while simultaneously opening spaces for resistance, imagination and utopian world-making through linguistic and narrative-based tools.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Alexis Morgan Young

Purpose This paper aims to contribute to a growing body of work (re)imagining the future for Black girls by calling Western notions of time into question. At its core, this paper argues that all Black girls are imaginative beings and that it is essential that Black girlhood imagination as a mode of future-making praxis be considered an integral component in the pursuit of Black liberation. To do such the author engages Black feminist futurity Campt (2017) and Black Quantum Futurity Phillips (2015) to illuminate ways a reconceptualization of time provides us with an analytical tool to amplify Black girls’ liberatory fantasies. Design/methodology/approach A literature review was conducted to synthesize Black girls’ freedom dreams (Kelley, 2002) across time in an effort to demonstrate that Black girls, despite their conditions, are experts in self-defining their dreams of the future. It also highlights methods that researchers use to elucidate the freedom dreams of Black girls years past. Findings This paper underscores the urgency in applying future-oriented research practices in the attempt to create a new world for Black girls. It also demonstrates that Black girls have always been and always be, imaginative beings that engaged in future-making dreaming. Research limitations/implications The author offers a conceptual framework for researchers committed to witnessing Black girl imaginations and in an effort to work in concert with Black girls to get them freer, faster. Originality/value This paper makes the argument that studying the imaginations and freedom dreams of Black girls requires the employment of future-oriented theories that have a racial, gender and age-based analysis.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Julia Hagge

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which early adolescent programmers embed meaning in their digital media created within an online programming community called Scratch. Design/methodology/approach The author completed an 18-month descriptive case study with 5 early adolescent participants. The research design included a multimodal analytic analysis of participant artifacts and inductive analysis of semi-structured interviews and transcription frames. Findings Participants embedded meaning to achieve four primary purposes, namely, to guide visitors through exhibits, to story, to engage in conversation and to game. To achieve each goal, the participants embedded unique semantic cues within specific Scratch structures. Research limitations/implications Questions for how researchers in literacy and learning can further explore meaning-making within programming-as-writing are suggested. Practical implications Connections to the supportive structures within Scratch are discussed in the context of programming-as-writing. Considerations regarding the use of Scratch to promote programming-as-writing are provided for educators. Originality/value The findings in this study provide an introductory step toward an enhanced understanding of the ways in which youth embed meaning into digital media as they engage in programming-as-writing. Although coding has been researched within the context of computer science, the use of coding in multimodal composition should be explored as it relates to literacy practices.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Antero Garcia ◽  
Stephanie M. Robillard ◽  
Miroslav Suzara ◽  
Jorge E. Garcia

Purpose This study explores student sensemaking based on the creation and interpretation of sound on a public school bus, operating as a result of a desegregation settlement. To understand these multimodal literacy practices, the authors examined students’ journeys, sonically as passengers in mobile and adult-constructed space. Design/methodology/approach As a qualitative study, the authors used ethnographic methods for data collection. Additionally, the authors used a design-based research approach to work alongside students to capture and interpret sound levels on the bus. Findings Findings from this study illustrate how students used sounds as a means to create community, engage in agentic choices and make meaning of their surroundings. Moreover, students used sound as a way around the pervasive drone of the bus itself. Research limitations/implications Research implications from this study speak to the need for research approaches that extend beyond visual observation. Sonic interpretation can offer researchers greater understanding into student learning as they spend time in interstitial spaces. Practical implications This manuscript illustrates possibilities that emerge if educators attune to the sounds that shape a learner’s day and the ways in which attention to sonic design can create more equitable spaces that are conducive to students’ learning and literacy needs. Originality/value This study demonstrates the use of sound as a means of sensemaking, calling attention to new ways of understanding student experiences in adult-governed spaces.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Richard Beach ◽  
Limarys Caraballo

Purpose Unlike formalist and functional approaches to literacy and teaching writing, a languaging theory approach centers on the dynamic and interpersonal nature of writing. The purpose of this study was to determine students’ ability to engage in explicit reflection about their languaging actions in response to their personal narrative writing to determine those types of actions they were most versus less likely to focus on for enacting relations with others, as well as how they applied their reflections to subsequent interactions with others. Design/methodology/approach In this qualitative study, thirty seven 12th grade students were asked to write personal narratives and then reflect in writing on their use of languaging actions in their narratives based on specific prompts. Students’ explicit reflections about their narratives were coded based on their reference to seven different types of languaging actions for enacting relations with others. Findings Students were most likely to focus their reflections on making connections, understandings, collaboration and support by and for others as well as expression of emotions, getting feelings out, sharing issues; followed by references to conflicts, arguing, stress, negative perceptions or exclusion; references to ideas or impressions about ethics, respect, values, morals; use of “insider language;” slang, jargon, dialects; use of humor, joking, parody; and references to adult and authorities’ perceptions or influences. Research limitations/implications This research was limited to students’ portrayals of their languaging actions through writing as opposed to observations of their lived-world interactions with others. Practical implications These results suggest the value of having students engage in explicit reflections about their languaging actions portrayed in narratives as contributing to their growth in use of languaging actions for enacting relations with others. Social implications Students’ ability to reflect on their language actions enhances their ability to enact social relations. Originality/value A languaging perspective provides an alternative approach for analyzing reflections on types of languaging actions.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Mandie Bevels Dunn

Purpose This study aims to explore how teachers changed literature instruction in English language arts (ELA) classrooms following personal loss, and identifies factors influencing those changes. The author argues teachers regulated their responses to literature according to emotional rules they perceived to be associated with the teaching profession. Understanding teachers’ responses helps educators, teacher educators and educational researchers consider what conditions and supports may be required for teachers and students to share emotions related to loss in authentic ways in ELA classrooms. Design/methodology/approach To examine changes teachers made in literature instruction following personal loss, the author conducted a thematic analysis of 80 questionnaire responses. Findings The author found teachers changed literature instruction related to three areas: teachers’ relationship to students, teachers’ instruction surrounding texts and teachers’ reader responses. Responses highlighted how teachers adhered to emotional rules, including a perception of teachers as authorities and caretakers of children. Teachers considered literature instruction to require maintaining focus on texts, and avoided emotional response unless it aided textual comprehension. Originality/value Scholars have argued for literature instruction inclusive of both loss experiences and also emotional response, with particular focus on students’ loss experiences. This study focuses on teachers’ experiences and responses to literature following loss, highlighting factors that influence, and at times inhibit, teachers’ authentic sharing of experiences and emotions. The author argues teachers require support to bring loss experiences into literature instruction as they navigate emotional response within the relational dynamics of the classroom.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Wendy R. Williams

Purpose English teachers who write have valuable expertise that can benefit students. Although there is a fair amount of research on teacher-writers, little is known about teachers’ writing lives outside of educational or professional contexts. This paper aims to investigate the writing lives and teaching beliefs of five writing contest winners. Design/methodology/approach This qualitative study, which was guided by sociocultural theory and concepts such as literacy sponsorship, involved individual semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and writing and teaching artifacts. Findings Data analysis resulted in several themes describing participants’ writing lives: Writing Experiences, Writing Practices and Writing Attitudes. In addition, several themes emerged describing their teaching beliefs: Writing Assignments/Tools, Modeling and Credibility/Empathy/Vulnerability. Overlaps exist in the descriptions of their writing and teaching lives. Practical implications Teachers’ writing lives are valuable resources for instruction. It is recommended that teachers have opportunities to reflect on who they are as writers and what has shaped them. Teachers also need new experiences to expand their writing practices and strengthen their writing identities alongside fellow writers. More must be done to understand, nurture and sustain teachers’ writing. Originality/value This research expands the conversation on teachers as writers by involving writing contest winners, focusing on their writing lives and noticing how their writing experiences, practices and attitudes inform their teaching. This study suggests several ways to move forward in supporting teachers as writers, keeping in mind the social aspects of learning.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Autumn A. Griffin ◽  
Jennifer D. Turner

Purpose Historically, literacy education and research have been dominated by white supremacist narratives that marginalize and deficitize the literate practices of Black students. As anti-Blackness proliferates in US schools, Black youth suffer social, psychological, intellectual, and physical traumas. Despite relentless attacks of anti-Blackness, Black youth fight valiantly through a range of creative outlets, including multimodal compositions, that enable them to move beyond negative stereotypes, maintain their creativity, and manifest the present and future lives they desire and so deeply deserve. Design/methodology/approach This study aims to answer the question “How do Black students' multimodal renderings demonstrate creativity and love in ways that disrupt anti-Blackness?” The authors critically examine four multimodal compositions created by Black elementary and middle school students to understand how Black youth author a more racially just society and envision self-determined, joyful futures. The authors take up Black Livingness as a theoretical framework and use visual methodologies to analyze themes of Black life, love and hope in the young people’s multimodal renderings. Findings The findings suggest that Black youth creatively compose multimodal renderings that are humanizing, allowing their thoughts, feelings and experiences to guide their critiques of the present world and envision new personal and societal futures. The authors conclude with a theorization of a Black Livingness Pedagogy that centers care for Black youth. Originality/value Recognizing that “the creation and use of images [is] a practice of decolonizing methodology” (Brown, 2013, loc. 2323), the authors examine Black student-created multimodal compositional practices to understand how Black youth author a more racially just society and envision self-determined, joyful futures.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
S.R. Toliver ◽  
Heidi Hadley

Purpose This paper aims to identify how white preservice teachers’ inability to imagine an equitable space for Black and Brown children contributes to the ubiquity of whiteness in English education. Further, the authors contend that the preservice teachers’ responses mirror how the larger field of English education fails to imagine Black and Brown life. Design/methodology/approach Using abolitionist teaching as a guide, the authors use reflexive thematic analysis to examine the rhetorical moves their preservice teachers made to defer responsibility for anti-racist teaching. Findings The findings show preservice teachers’ rhetorical moves across three themes: failure to imagine Black and Brown humanity, failure to imagine a connection between theory and practice, and failure to imagine curriculum and schooling beyond whiteness. Originality/value By highlighting how preservice teachers fail to imagine spaces for Black and Brown youth, this study offers another pathway through which teacher educators, teachers and English education programs can assist their faculty and students in activating their imaginations in the pursuit of anti-racist, abolitionist teaching.


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