Anna Smith, educational researcher & teacher educator blogging about composition in the digital age, contexts for learning, theories of development, and global youth.
For two years, I worked with a small group of urban adolescent males, investigating the development of their writing practices across school and non-school contexts. Urban adolescent males consistently score poorly on school-based literacy assessments; however, research on their writing practices outside of school (often digitally based) often paint a different picture, one of skilled, articulate and proficient male writers. And though adolescents participate in multiple discourse communities, studies that look at transfer across varied contexts to capture nuances of written literacy practices are quite limited. In focusing on males’ writing practices, I explore the concept of development, a concept that informs every aspect of our educational system from curriculum guides and state and national standards to autonomous, in-the-moment decisions at the classroom level. The popular conception of development in education—that youth learn content and skills in a linear, chronological fashion—contributes to the deficit model of education. It is also not representative of how we actually learn and grow as humans. Development not only progresses, but stalls and regresses–and these last two ways we grow, the participants in my study have demonstrated, are not necessarily negative, but essential for further growth.
My work has been supported along the way in several venues, one being the Dean’s Grant for Graduate Student Research. My presentation on my early theoretical work is below. I totally geeked out:
A Connected Learning Massively Open Online Collaboration
conversations on multilingual writing at the Ohio University Dept. of English
Purpose: Actively perform in reflective practice to increase understandings with best teaching practices!
On writing & teaching my way through PhD land
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~ John Dewey
critical educators merging life and pedagogy working toward social justice
Teachers Sharing Effective Instructional Strategies at FVHS since 2011