Table of Contents
Editors’ Introduction: Representations of Diverse Populations
Narrative Significations of Contemporary Black Girlhood
This article examines how Black girlhood is constructed through fiction. The following research question guided this study: How do writers represent the heterogeneity of urban teenage girls in school-sanctioned African American young adult literature? Five popular narratives that exemplify the contemporary lives of urban African American female pre/teenage protagonists represent the data. Utilizing a Black feminist epistemological framework coupled with a complementary theory of adolescent identity development, we analyze the symbolic textual representations along with the protagonists’ decision making and situational depictions. We argue that the protagonists’ textual heterogeneity manifests across the texts through four enactments of identity: intellectual, physical, kinship, and sexual. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications for educators and researchers alike.
Of Literary Import: A Case of Cross-National Similarities in the Secondary English Curriculum in the United States and Canada
This study compares and contrasts the selection and distribution of literary texts in the English programs of two diverse secondary schools, one in Massachusetts, USA, the other in Ontario, Canada. Analysis of the departments’ curriculum documents, state/provincial curriculum policies, and teacher interviews indicated that at both schools, Eurocentric and Anglo-centric literature dominated the curriculum of advanced courses. Analysis further demonstrated that texts of U.S. origin permeated the curriculum of advanced courses at both the U.S. and Canadian schools. A number of reasons for the similarities in the selection and distribution of literary texts across the two schools are considered, as well as the practical, cultural, and political implications of these curricular patterns. I argue in conclusion for a literature curriculum that reflects the historical and contemporary conditions of the transnational communities to which students belong. Educational stakeholders in local schools, policy makers, and teacher educators may contribute to the development and implementation of such a curriculum.
Navigating Tensions in the Process of Change: An English Educator’s Dilemma Management in the Revision and Implementation of a Diversity-Infused Methods Course
In response to growing concerns among faculty regarding the lack of attention to the bilingual student population in our pre-service teacher education program, the authors engaged in a shared self-study of the process of revising and implementing a secondary English methods course with explicit attention to the special needs of bilingual/bicultural learners. The paper describes how the second author, an English educator, with support from the first author, a mentor/colleague in bilingual education, identified and negotiated tensions and dilemmas that arose in a process of curricular transformation toward culturally and linguistically responsive teacher education practice. The study highlights several points of disjuncture, or critical turning points, experienced by the English educator and the ways in which she navigated the contradictions that resulted at these points of disjuncture through conversation with her mentor. Our documentation and articulation of this process may assist content area teacher educators in negotiating new knowledge and creating strategies for managing the dilemmas in practice that arise in the design and implementation of revised course curricula aimed at supporting culturally and linguistically diverse learners.
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