By Jacob Steiss
By Jiali Wang
One paramount goal of literacy acquisition is to empower our students. But how can teachers invite students to critically think about what are they reading and what they write? In this blog, Dr. Kylene Beers' strategy of Notice & Note signposts will be introduced as a powerful strategy for students to become more aware of what to notice during reading and writing.
By Jacob Steiss
Educators and researchers have increasingly given attention to the lack of diverse literature and the absence of multicultural, BIPOC, and women authors in school curricula. As teachers, our choices about texts matter; Book lists predominantly featuring texts about white, male, heteronormative characters suggest these perspectives are normative and worthy of study. Alternatively, the absence of certain perspectives suggest they are not worthy of inclusion and consideration.
To acknowledge the great mismatch between our nation’s diverse school children and the homogenous texts they read would be a meaningful step towards educational equity and justice. More though, can be done by educators and school leaders when they reflect on the books present in their curricula, make changes to include and foreground diverse perspectives and experiences, and promote diverse ways of reading texts that represent the children we serve.
Here are three actionable steps we as educators can take to critically examine who is [and is not] represented in our texts and curriculum.
Guest Blogger: George Newell
Ms. Hill was aware of the literary scholarship on the short story “Indian Camp,” and its emphasis on the theme of loss of innocence. But this secondary ELA teacher decided to focus her students’ explorations on the theme of dominance. She supplanted authorized literary knowledge (the renderings of literary scholars) with knowledge derived from her students’ concerns for social justice, her own readings of the story which are connected to her history as an African American woman and her experiences (and her knowledge of others’ experiences) of racism. As Ms. Hill orchestrated a text-based discussion of dominance in “Indian Camp,” she framed the social construction of knowledge in terms of claim, warrant, evidence, and counter argument. However, she located those categories not in traditional argumentative structures used in classrooms but in terms of “arguing-to-learn.”
This blog provides a brief overview of a new framework for teaching and learning literature in secondary schools, like what was observed in Ms. Hill’s classroom. This framework is an inquiry-based approach to engage students in communicating and exploring ideas about literature. More information on the practice and research behind this framework are found in two resources featured below that are offered by The Ohio State University Argumentative Writing Project.