“Show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.”
“It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power.”
“All of these stories make me who I am, but to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me.”
“Stories matter. Many stories matter.”
(Again, I have nothing to add. She’s said it all. And said it beautifully. I happened to watch this while working on my syllabus for the Literature and the Adolescent Experience course next semester. It was perfect timing for me. I hope it is perfect timing for you, too.)
Edit: I do have something to add…
This post was written with Teaching Reading in Secondary English Language Arts class members, who are all Master of Education candidates at New York University. These are the same authors of the #teachread project.
This semester we have read several articles and chapters that discuss the selection of texts. Though they each have varied foci, one thing cuts across all these articles: The metaphor used to describe the relationship between “the classics” and other texts, particularly young adult literature.
Here’s the metaphor: “A Bridge to the Classics”
Just as all roads lead to Rome, apparently, all texts used in the ELA classrooms are supposed to lead to classics. YA literature, in particular, is positioned as the way to get kids on the reading path. And once we get ‘em reading, we clasp their hands and start toward the classics, trying to convince them along the way that there’s a connection between the contemporary story they just read and the further removed story they’re about to read. (This sounds less like a bridge and more like a “bait and switch.”)
Continue reading Alternative Metaphors for Classroom Texts
Anna Smith, PhD, educational researcher & teacher educator blogging about composition in the digital age, contexts for learning, theories of development, and global youth.