When I reflect on my learning and growth outside of being a student, “sequential” and “orderly” do not come to mind. There are fits and starts, highs and lows, and brick walls. There are memories that stick out as momentous, but at the time, I probably thought I was just browsing the Internet or having a cup of coffee with a colleague. There are times when I thought I was making a discovery, but in hindsight, I did not follow through with the project. Learning can, and in one sense, must be chronological, but that is not the same as linear, like planned learning is often expected to be. Textbooks are arranged in chapters, to be taught and “learned” in sequential order. Yet I can’t think of any way in which my out-of-school learning has been linear.
The following is a Guest Post from Julie Warner, a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on literacies and an instructor of writing at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. It is based on research presented at the 2012 Literacy Research Association conference (précis is available here). Julie tweets with the handle @newliteracy.
When I was a young girl, I kept a diary. Since I was the oldest of four siblings, it had to come equipped with a lock (the kind that was more of a suggestion than an actual deterrent). Accordingly, my younger brother at one point read my diary; it was so embarrassing. And so when I was witness to the blogging phenomenon years later, I thought it strange to put one’s diary on the Internet for all to read.
But that’s just what the teens I was studying were doing: recounting the events of their days, processing the meaning of said events, and expressing hopes and dreams, all online for me and anyone else to read. I became intrigued as to how they thought about their audience when they were blogging in this capacity. The three teenagers upon whom I focused all offered some variation of the same idea: that the blog was “just for me.” However, the genre of the blog, by nature hosted online and thus quite public, told a different story.
The following is a Guest Post from Phil Park who is currently studying at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development as a Masters student on a track to teach Educational Theatre and English in Secondary Education. You can join him in the conversation to promote tolerance through literacy education on Twitter by using the hashtag #teachread. Together we can change a nation! … Continue reading Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones, but Your Words CAN Affect my Literacy
The following is a Guest Post from my good friend and a great scholar, Janine Jones, a doctoral student in modern Middle East intellectual history at The University of Texas at Austin. It stems from conversations we have had sharing the interests that cross our disciplines—language, literacies, equity, education. Among linguists, Arabic is commonly classified as a diglossic language*. In other words, written Arabic, the … Continue reading Social Media and Language Democratization in Egypt
This post is response to Mark Lewis and Robert Petrone‘s article “Although Adolescence Need Not Be Violent,” published in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. In this article, the authors talk about the “invented adolescent,” or the image of the teen teachers have in our minds as a product of the assumptions often made of adolescent students. These students are unfairly categorized as being in a tumultuous, hormone-fired transitional stage, one that is accompanied by poor decisions, angst, and a pervasive exposure to dangerous influences.
School curricula is often designed to reflect this imposed state of being; books rife with risky adolescent behavior are assigned and students are urged to construct parallels between “unruly” characters and their own selves. It is also assumed that adolescents are unfinished adults, searching desperately for their own identities. By homogenizing adolescents in this way, teachers are denying students of their own varied personal histories.
This is a Guest Post from class members of Language Acquisition and Literacy Education in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts, who are all content area pre-service teachers in math, social studies, music, Chinese language, and sociology at New York University.
This week we discussed the characteristics of communicating in the digital age and how shifts in online communication impact teaching and learning, as well as what it means to knowledge creation and sharing in our content areas.
I’ve long been interested not only in the verbal arts, but also in the visual arts and how the two interrelate. So book illustration, art with words (the work of Kurt Schwitters, Roy Lichtenstein, Barbara Kruger and others), and the complementarity and tension between word and image have all been areas of intellectual interest as well as enjoyment.
Guest Post from Matthew Hall, teacher, teacher educator, and educational researcher at New York University. As a teacher, what do you see when you look at student writing? We all have our inclinations, things our eyes are immediately drawn to when looking at student work. Early in my teaching career, I relied on my own school experience to shape what I see. As a result, … Continue reading Seeing the Writer