2008-2010 CNV Fellows & Mentors
Jane Bean-Folkes, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mentor: Carol Lee, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Patrick Camangian, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Pushed out of high school as a student in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) fundamentally shaped my scholarly interests and commitment to youth of color, dispossessed communities, and the profession of teaching. As a scholar-activist, my research draws on culturally empowering teaching, critical pedagogy, and critical social theory for a theoretical framework to improve urban teacher quality, capacity, and retention. In this high stakes, No Child Left Behind educational climate, teachers in urban schools (under)serving youth of color must make learning more culturally responsive to the lives of their students by connecting their pedagogy – what they teach, how they teach it, and why – to some of the most pressing issues facing them as they navigate their social conditions.
For my dissertation, I explored the process of developing and examining the impact of a critical, culturally responsive pedagogy by conducting a qualitative action research project as a high school English teacher. My overarching research question was, “how is critically reading the world and the word transformative for Black and Brown youth in South Los Angeles?” I am finishing the final, conclusion chapter. My findings suggest that the critical curricular inclusion of students’ lived experience fostered a humanizing space, which unified our classroom community, cultivated conditions that heightened transformative thinking, and increased both their academic engagement and achievement. I hope my research will help teachers have a better understanding of how to help students critically make sense of their objective reality, problem-pose their liberation and oppression, and engage academic work that is connected to the critical needs of their community.
Mentor: Arnetha Ball, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Keisha Green, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Ethnographic research examines how African, African American, and Caribbean youth, in a major urban Southeastern city, develop critical literacies through the practice of “air-shifting”—that is learning how to question, critique, and engage in social, political, and cultural discourse through community radio programming.
Further, this study seeks to illuminate the ways in which youth navigate their way through broadcast media, script writing and technology to communicate with their peers and adults. Through participant observation, interviews, and ethnographic field notes and
video, Keisha will analyze the literacy events and practices that shape the youth radio experience and render it an opportunity for youth to develop critical literacy skills necessary for academic achievement.
The insight gained will inform classroom teaching practices that involve the teaching of literacy and language skills and constructions of democratic educational experiences inside schools.
Mentor: Anne Haas Dyson, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Jung Kim, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL
My dissertation examines the implementation of what I call a Critical Pedagogy of Hip-Hop in the classroom of two urban high school teachers. A Critical Pedagogy of Hip-Hop encompasses an understanding of teaching as improvisational and experimental, collaborative and democratic, dialogic, critical, and evolving. I draw upon the New London Group's (1996) pedagogy of multiliteracies to understand teaching and learning as a cycle of drawing upon Available Designs, Designs, and Redesign. The larger implications of the study are that although hip-hop can be an effective tool for teaching and learning, what is more important is truly listening to youth and engaging in a praxis that takes into consideration what is important and relevant to them.
Though my dissertation work focuses on the use of hip-hop by two teachers in their teaching, my focus is not only on hip-hop. I look at the larger domain of popular culture (another topic of study is graphic novels) for its potential to inform curriculum and pedagogy. I am particularly interested in looking at how the experiences and knowledge of youth can be harnessed for critical and academic purposes and growth. I believe that many youth are disengaging from or dropping out of school because they struggle with curriculum and pedagogy that simultaneously ignores the experiences and knowledge they bring to school and seems irrelevant to their own lives. In order to prepare them to be fully participatory citizens in the 21st century, I believe that true change must occur in current educational practices.
Mentor: Valerie Kinloch, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Tisha Lewis, University at Albany, Washington, DC
Mentor: Adrienne Dixson, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Ramon Antonio Martinez, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Mentor: Juan Guerra, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Swati Mehta, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
A doctoral candidate and fifth year student in the Curriculum and Instruction Program at Boston College. Her dissertation topic is revealed in its proposed title: Othered By English, A Smothered Spanish? - The Language Experiences of Nondominant Youth in the Context of New Immigration. Swati is presently conducting an ethnographic case study at a local urban immigrant high school where she has been an active member of the community for the past few years. In addition, from a theoretical lense, Swati is a budding researcher in the area of postcolonial studies, in particular its intersection and utility of application for problems in education. Finally, in her work with teachers and teacher education, Swati employs critical action research lenses to lead teachers into conducting youth centered inquiries into their own practices. Swati's passion lies at the nexus of working with young people, language, and culture. Swati feels truly blessed to be a part of the Cultivating New Voices community and hopes to actively give back to this community now and in the future.
Mentor: Kris Gutierrez, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Linda Prieto, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Mentor: Maria Franquiz, UTSA, San Antonio, TX
Enid Rosario-Ramos, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Mentor: Sonia Nieto, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Spencer Salas, UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Mentor: Colleen Fairbanks, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Vera Stenhouse, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Mentor: Todd DeStigter, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Mentor: JoBeth Allen, University of Georgia, Athens, GA