National Council of Teachers of English Logo

2019 February RTE, v53.3

Non-Member Price: $18.75

NCTE Member Price: $6.25

Level(s): College, Elementary, Middle, Secondary

ISBN/ISSN: 0034-527X

Description

Editors’ Introduction: Toward Methodological Pluralism: The Geopolitics of Knowing
Amy Stornaiuolo, Gerald Campano, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Mediational Modalities: Adolescents Collaboratively Interpreting Literature through Digital Multimodal Composing
Blaine E. Smith
While literary interpretation and other traditional written genres have continued to be foundational to secondary English language arts curricula, there has concurrently been a call for an  expanded view of literacy that requires students to be skillful consumers and producers of digital  multimodal compositions. Bridging these often-conflicting priorities in the ELA classroom, some scholars have begun to examine how adolescents can interpret literature through digital multimodal composing. This study builds upon this developing field by exploring how 27 culturally and linguistically diverse 10th-grade students collaboratively interpreted literature by creating two digital projects—a hypertext literary analysis and a video literary analysis. In particular, sociocultural and social semiotics theoretical frameworks were integrated to understand how working with visuals, sound, and text in digital spaces mediated students’ interpretations of  literature during their composing processes. Data sources included screen capture and video observations, design interviews, written reflections, and multimodal products. Through qualitative and multimodal data analysis, three main themes emerged for how multiple modes mediated students’ literary interpretive processes: (1) conceptualizing literary themes, (2) constructing multilevel connections to literature, and (3) elucidating literary meaning. These findings contribute new insights into how multiple modes can serve as valuable tools for thinking during students’ composing processes, including helping students to collaboratively discuss and articulate their understanding in complex and innovative ways. This study concludes with implications for how secondary ELA teachers can effectively integrate digital multimodal projects in the multilingual classroom to support literary interpretation.

Counter-Storytelling vs. Deficit Thinking around African American Children and Families, Digital Literacies, Race, and the Digital Divide
Tisha Lewis Ellison and Marva Solomon
This article examines the ways African American children and their parents “story” themselves in relation to digital literacies, race, and the digital divide. Drawing from two interconnected qualitative, ethnographic research case studies about African American children’s and parents’ digital literacy practices, and using counter-storytelling as a theoretical framework and methodological tool, the authors share narratives that resist common deficit perceptions about these populations. Exploring counter-storytelling as a method, the authors asked: In what ways did two African American children and one parent “story” themselves or use counter-stories to talk about digital literacies, race, and the digital divide? This article refutes claims that the digital divide is a normalcy for African American families, and delivers new insights relevant to the fields of English education and literacy research. It directs researchers’ and teacher educators’ attention to how participants and students from minoritized communities “story” their experiences, and is designed to spark courageous and rigorous conversations that support African American children’s and parents’ digital literacy narratives.

Choosing and Using Interactional Scaffolds: How Teachers’ Moment-to- Moment Supports Can Generate and Sustain Emergent Bilinguals’ Engagement with Challenging English Texts
Erika Moore Johnson
Gibbons (2009) argues that emergent bilinguals should experience “high challenge/high support” instruction, which requires teachers to balance rigorous curriculum and materials with appropriate instructional scaffolds. Yet, studies suggest that well-intentioned teachers of emergent bilinguals may overscaffold tasks and texts, which can diminish the rigor of instruction (Athanases & de Oliveira, 2014). Current research explains little about what high challenge/high support teaching looks like and how students respond. In this comparative case study of two exemplary teachers’ English reading instruction of middle school emergent bilinguals, I consider whether and how their interactional scaffolds (in-the-moment supports for language and content) meet Gibbons’s standards for high challenge and support. Data include transcripts of 16 video-recorded English reading lessons and 6 interviews with the teachers, conducted over one school year. In these lessons, students read and discussed challenging English texts. I analyzed transcripts for evidence of challenge (complex texts, rigorous tasks, higher-order questions) and examined interactional scaffolds for their broader means (van de Pol, Volman, & Beishuizen, 2010; e.g., modeling) and specific discourse moves (e.g., modeling academic language). Although both teachers introduced high challenge, one’s use of “generative” scaffolds sustained that challenge and promoted discussion, while the other’s use of “directive” scaffolds seemed to reduce both challenge and interaction. Their divergent approaches appeared to contribute to differences in student talk, reasoning, and inquiry. The findings have both theoretical implications for conceptualizing “high” support for challenging instruction and practical implications for helping teachers become skillful providers of effective scaffolds for their students.

IN DIALOGUE: Methodological Pluralism
Turning Away from Logarithms to Return to Story, Leigh Patel; Warranting Evidence in Social Science Research Reports, Peter Smagorinsky; Empiricism, Affect, and Haunting, Ezekiel Dixon-Román
This issue’s In Dialogue centers around questions of methodology: How do we come to know about literacy, schooling, and teaching through research? How might we expand our research paradigms to understand multiple ways of knowing that reflect our contemporary world? We asked three researchers to ponder these questions and are delighted to feature short essays on methodology by Leigh Patel, Peter Smagorinsky, and Ezekiel Dixon-Román. In the first essay, Leigh Patel, the Associate Dean of Equity and Justice at the University of Pittsburgh, questions the logics of qualitative research that seek to quantify and simplify experience to a set of codes, themes, and categories, advocating for a return to story. Drawing on critical paradigms of knowledge production, Patel argues that a focus on story foregrounds context and relationships in research and pushes back against colonial framings that position the researcher as the centralproducer of knowledge. In the next essay, Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia, proposes that researchers focus more fully on developing warrants in their writing, rooting the claims and evidence they present in the theoretical and methodological frameworks they bring to bear. Smagorinsky builds on insights from his now-classic 2008 article about the centrality of methods in academic writing, contending here that the practice of warranting requires clearly developed methods of data collection and analysis that cohere with one’s conceptual framework and theory of knowledge production. In the section’s concluding essay, Ezekiel Dixon-Román, Associate Professor of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, explores the multiple meanings and forms of empiricism, arguing that researchers’ efforts to observe, measure, experiment, and experience the world are always fundamentally entangled in their material, discursive, and bodily engagement in/with the world. Such entanglements, Dixon-Román suggests, involve grappling with colonial legacies that “haunt” new forms of empiricism, requiring researchers to address and redress those complex histories in order to move toward justice. These three pieces are in dialogue with broader conversations in the field about the need for clarifying and broadening our methodological commitments in scholarship.

The 2018 NCTE Presidential Address: Teaching Has Not Left Us: It Has Simply Moved On. Are We Ready to Follow?
Jocelyn A. Chadwick
The following is the text of Jocelyn A. Chadwick’s presidential address as delivered at the NCTE Annual Convention in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, November 18, 2018. The video clips she showed during her talk are available on YouTube.

Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English

Announcements

Document and Site Resources

Share This On:

Page Tools:

Your Shopping Cart

Total Items: 0
Total Cost: $0.00
View My Cart

Search the Online Store

We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover
Please contact customer service directly if you wish to pay by American Express

Copyright

Copyright © 1998-2019 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Visit us on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Document URL

Document Owner

Organization Name

NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts