April Baker-Bell is a PhD candidate in the rhetoric & writing program at Michigan State University. Her research interests are situated in critical studies of African American Language (AAL) at the intersections of literacy and pedagogy. She became committed to her research after realizing how ill-prepared she was to address the diverse language and literacy needs of her students when she worked as a high school English teacher in Detroit. Thus, the primary goal of her work is to connect theory, research, and classroom practice. Her proposed research study addresses two long-standing tensions that limit the effectiveness of language education for students who speak and write in AAL: (1) the gap between theory and research on AAL and classroom practice, and (2) the need for critical pedagogies to address the needs of students who speak and write in AAL. In short, her study will present and examine the effectiveness of a critical language pedagogy used in a high school English Language Arts classroom.
Sonja L. Lanehart (B.A., U Texas at Austin; M.A. and Ph.D., U Michigan) is Professor and Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is author of Sista, Speak! Black Women Kinfolk Talk about Language and Literacy (2002), editor of Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English (2001), editor of African American Women’s Language: Discourse, Education, and Identity (2009), and lead editor of the Oxford Handbook of African American Language (projected 2013). She is former co-editor of Educational Researcher: Research News and Comment, lead journal of the American Educational Research Association, and former book review editor of American Speech. She has organized and hosted NWAV 39 as well as three conferences on African American Language, with a fourth being planned for Fall 2013 on African Americans Navigating the Academy. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, language and uses of literacy in African American communities, language and identity, and the educational implications and applications of sociolinguistic research through Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality lenses.
Tamara Butler As a South Carolina native, my dissertation research begins with educator Septima Clark, as she reflects upon her experiences working with community members in a predominately African American rural South Carolina community during the 1950s and 60s:
“My purpose, of course, was not only to teach them how to read and write but to teach them at the same time things they would have to know in order to start on their way to becoming first-class citizens” (Clark & Blythe, 1962, p.150)
Through the Sea Island Citizenship Schools, Clark, volunteers, and participants began to reinforce the connection between literacy, democracy, access and citizenship. Clark’s autobiographical text stands as an example of the various historical “activist narratives” that I explore as I think about contemporary forms of activism, within and beyond classrooms. By turning to a high school Humanities class, this research seeks to challenge the exclusivity of activism as renowned acts of the Civil Rights movement by documenting the reading, writing, speaking, and being acts of students. Therefore, I look specifically to classroom-generated, self-authored student narratives to uncover in- and out-of-school experiences that inform how young people understand and respond to contemporary issues, such as gentrification, immigration, migration, human trafficking, and others. Concurrently, I am interested in how youth come to discuss, demand and work toward social justice and equity not only for themselves, but also for fellow classmates, schoolmates, peers, educators, and community members.
In looking to the theoretical framework of critical multiculturalism, I am interested in the ways students work across difference and diversity in order to develop social justice projects within their humanities classroom and through their engagements with community organizations. In an effort to unpack narratives and foster new directions for critical multiculturalism, I am engaging in a qualitative study with students attending school and residing in a large urban Ohio school district. The students are developing and implementing critical service learning projects that explore issues of community change, such as migration, health, gentrification, and public policy. Through their projects and emerging narratives, we (students, teachers, community members and I) began to bridge the divide between historical depictions of activism and the contemporary endeavors of youth as they work toward more equitable classrooms and democratic societies.
JoBeth Allen is a professor in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. She engage in critical action inquiry with teachers on issues of social justice and educational equity as they influence literacy development of children who are often failed by schools, and in what insightful teachers do to support their development as readers and writers within the classroom community and the extended home community. She teaches writing pedagogy, poetry, family-school partnerships, and critical pedagogy as well as leading writing retreats fordoctoral students and co-directing the Red Clay Writing Project. She is currently working with two university-county government-school district-community agency partnerships on family and community engagement. New action research book projects include A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers: Lessons and Resources From the U.N. Rights of the Child due out Fall 2012, and a book on Family Dialogue Journals with K-12 teachers.
Ranita Cheruvu is a former early childhood educator working with children from diverse racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, I was committed to teaching in ways that honor and nurture children’s worldview and as well as their minds, bodies, and spirits. In part, this commitment was rooted in my own lived experiences as a 2nd generation Indian immigrant, and the constant challenge of having to negotiate my identities in order to become visible within the many communities that I occupied. This interest brought me to the Early Childhood doctoral program at Teachers College in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. As I immersed myself in critical perspectives for the first time in my education and began unpacking who I was personally and professionally, I quickly realized that my own practice was rooted in ideologies of deficiency that positioned students of color as being inferior and deficient. I began to reflect on my own preservice education and imagine what my teaching practice might have looked like had I been provided experiences to engage in identity work within the context of learning to teach multiculturally. During this time, I also began working with preservice teachers as they entered the field and in a multicultural education course. This work, alongside my own journey as an Indian American early childhood educator, has contributed to my research interests within the field of multicultural teacher education. More specifically, it has inspired me to examine the experiences of preservice teachers of color as they learn to become multicultural teachers of young children.
My dissertation research focuses on the ways preservice teachers of color author themselves as racial, sociocultural, and linguistic beings in an early child critical multicultural education course. Employing a critical race methodology, I seek to examine how preservice teachers of color negotiate their understandings of their identities with their experiences in a course that provides continuous spaces for identity work and disrupts discourses of racial, cultural and linguistic inferiority/deficiency. This case study aims to advance the growing body of research that focuses on the experiences, perspectives, and needs of preservice teachers of color. The counterstories and knowledges generated from this study can elucidate the pedagogical and curricular possibilities and challenges in engaging in multi-culturally responsive teacher education practices.
Susi Long is a Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina (USC). Her current work involves collaboration with early childhood teachers to generate and study the impact of culturally relevant literacy practices in classroom and community settings. She teaches courses in sociocultural and critical theories, culturally relevant pedagogies, and in 2013 will initiate a newly required course in linguistic pluralism for early childhood juniors. She is the coauthor of Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching; co-editor of Many Pathways to Literacy; and author of Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards.
Denise Davila is an assistant professor of Children’s Literature and Literacy the University of Georgia. Her research agenda investigates preservice and practicing teachers’ inclusion and exclusion of Latino children’s literature in the classroom. Her work examines the influence that social Discourses, figured worlds(Gee, 2011)and/or cultural models (Holland and Quinn, 1987) have on teachers’ notions of diversity, multicultural education, religious pluralism, and Separation of Church and State. As Dominant discourse is imbued with narratives that position both immigrants and US- born persons of Latino heritage as outsiders who are not “real” Americans (Chavez, 2008; Santa Ana, 2002), Denise’s research considers the impact of such narratives on the pedagogical decisions teachers make regarding children’s literature.
Dr. Carmen Martínez-Roldán, Associate Professor in Bilingual Bicultural Education, earned her Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Arizona and held a two-year post-doctoral appointment at The University of Iowa, where she was a member of the Language and Literacy graduate program. She earned her M.A. and B.A. from The University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. Dr. Martínez-Roldán has been an Associate Professor of Bilingual Bicultural Education at The University of Texas, Austin. She also served as an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University in the Language and Literacy program. Approaching literacy and learning as socially and culturally mediated, her research focuses on bilingual children’s literate thinking-- how children construct meanings from texts in English and Spanish and the contexts that mediate their readings and Discourses in pláticas literarias or literature discussions. Currently, Dr. Martínez-Roldán’s research is expanding her focus on biliteracy to include digital literacies involved in bilingual children’s engagement with online games as well as children’s production of multimodal texts. Her related interests include examination of children’s and teachers’ responses to Latino literature and immigrant children’s responses to wordless texts, this latter focus as part of an international project.
Antero Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the English department at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Antero’s research focuses on developing critical literacies and civic identity through the use of mobile media and game play in formal learning environments. Prior to moving to Colorado, Antero was a teacher at a public high school in South Central Los Angeles. Antero received his Ph.D. in the Urban Schooling division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, Antero’s numerous publications and conference presentations address technology, educational equity, youth participatory action research, and critical media literacy. Updates about Antero’s work can be found on his blog, The American Crawl.
Rosa M. Jiménez is an Assistant Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research explores the theoretical and pedagogical dimensions of a more humanizing and empowering education via critical and culturally responsive pedagogies. She examines how teachers affirm and build upon Latina/o immigrant students’ family histories, cultural practices, and socio-political contexts for academic and critical literacies. Dr. Jiménez has over ten years of experience working in K-12 public schools as a middle school social studies teacher, literacy coach and educational researcher.
Juan Guerra is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Washington at Seattle where he teaches courses on language, literacy, writing and rhetoric. He is slated to become the Director of Graduate Studies in the English Department in January 2013. At present he is working on a book project tentatively titled Enacting Citizenship: Language, Culture and Identity in Classrooms and Communities.
Gholnecsar Muhammad In my dissertation study, In Search for a Full Vision: Writing Representations of African American Adolescent Girls, I explore how African American girls write representations of themselves. Taking a historical orientation, I examine platforms of African American women’s writings and the literacy enactments found in African American literary societies from the 1800s to develop a four-week literacy collaborative designed to nurture the identities and literacy development of eight African American adolescent girls. While there is a rich literary history of how African American women represent themselves in writings, there is a limited amount of information related to if African American adolescent girls today write across similar purposes and portrayals of self. Data sources include writing artifacts, pre- and post interview data, and observations of the literacy collaborative. I further examine the contextual factors of the space that helped to shape the participants’ writings. My intention for this inquiry is to reframe the ways educators conceptualize literacy instruction for adolescent students in classrooms. Furthermore, by understanding the writings and self-representations of African American girls, educators could design pedagogy that is responsive to their lives.
Arlette Ingram Willis received her Ph. D. from the Ohio State University. She is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the division of Language and Literacy. Her publications include Teaching and using multicultural literature in grades 9-12: Moving beyond the canon (1998), Reading comprehension research and testing in the US: Undercurrents of race, class, and power in the struggle for meaning (2008); three co-edited books Multiple and intersecting identities in qualitative research (with B. Merchant, 2001); Multicultural issues in literacy research and practice (with G. Garcia, R. Barrera, and V. Harris, 2003); On Critically Conscious Research: Approaches to Language and Literacy Research (with M. Montovan, H. Hall, C. Hunter, L. Burke, and A. Herrera, A., 2008); and numerous referred articles, book chapters, book reviews, and monographs. She also has served as co-editor (with David Bloome) of the National Council of Teachers of English Literacy Book Series and is co-editor (with Violet J. Harris) of the American Education Research Journal, Teaching, Learning, and Human Development section.
Monique Evans Newsome is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Prior to attending the University of Georgia, Monique taught students pre- kindergarten through fifth grade in several Georgia public schools and Head Start programs. While at UGA, Monique has served on the leadership team for the Language and Literacy Graduate organization, reviewed articles for The Journal of Language and Literacy Education (JOLLE), become a member of the Alpha Upsilon Alpha Honor Society, Xi chapter and is a Teacher Consultant with the Red Clay National Writing Project. In addition to teacher practice and pedagogy in literacy instruction, Monique’s research interests also include children’s literature and the history of literacy education. Her current research is centered on the practice, pedagogy and epistemologies of Black teachers who work with Black students in a post standardization and No Child Left Behind culture. In her current research, Monique will explore how teachers define and implement literacy instruction with Black children at school and community sites. Monique will also engage in several conversations, individual and group with Black teachers about literacy instruction in learning communities coveted by standardization and reform curriculum. Through this research, Monique intends to give the sometimes silenced voices of Black teachers who work diligently and effectively with Black students an opportunity to be heard in the educational research community.
Keffrelyn is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Fellow in the Lawrence & Stel Marie Lowman College of Education Endowed Excellence Fund at The University of Texas at Austin. Keffrelyn is a former elementary and middle school teacher, school administrator, and curriculum developer. Her research and teaching interests concern the sociocultural knowledge of teaching, multicultural teacher education and educational discourses related to African American students. She has published extensively and her scholarship can be found in the Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Race Ethnicity and Education, Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education and Teaching and Teacher Education.
Karisa Peer, a former Pre-K and elementary school teacher of mainly Latino immigrant students, each year I tried to meaningfully incorporate my students' home language and literacy practices into the classroom. Many families enjoyed sharing the language and literacy practices that they employed in various contexts (e.g., home, park, church, store, etc).
In 2008, I decided to begin the doctoral program in Education (Urban Schooling) at UCLA because I wanted to research issues that directly affected those families and students that I worked with over the years. However, I noted that there was a dearth of literature that highlighted how non-dominant families specifically employed literacy practices across contexts.
I decided that I wanted my dissertation to capture the rich process of cultural continuity and change that takes place when families employ literacy practices in different settings. Thus, my dissertation examines how four Latina immigrant mothers and their young children employ literacy practices within and beyond a two-generation program called “Nuestra Comunidad.” I ask: What kinds of literacy practices do the families engage in at school and in out-of-school settings? How do these literacy practices move (e.g., converge and/or diverge) across contexts? With this research, I hope to promote a greater awareness of non-dominant families' literacy practices, thereby aiding young children’s chances at advancing and succeeding in the school system.
Dr. María E. Fránquiz is the recipient of the Maxine Foreman Zarrow Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Education. In her role as Assistant Dean for Faculty Development in The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education,she provides support for faculty in the areas of research and teaching. Her academic appointment is in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction as Professor in the Bilingual – Bicultural Education program area. She is also an affiliate faculty in the Center for Mexican-American Studies.
Dr. Fránquiz received a B.A. in Latin American Studies, an M.A. in Educational Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Language, Culture, and Literacy all at the University of California in Santa Barbara. From 1995 – 2002 she was a member of the faculty at the University of Colorado in Boulder and from 2002-2008 she was a member of the faculty at the University of Texas in San Antonio. She joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008.
A native of Puerto Rico and a childhood in a military family provides a resourceful foundation for books published such as Inside the Latin@ Experience, A Latino Studies Reader (co-edited with Normal Cantú in 2010) and Scholars in the Field: The Challenges of Migrant Education (co-edited with Cinthia Salinas in 2004). Other publications include chapters in academic handbooks, chapters in edited books, and articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. Since 2007, Dr. Fránquiz has served as editor of The Bilingual Research Journal, the premier journal in the field of bilingual education.
From 2002 – 2008, Dr. Fránquiz served as Director of Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color. In recognition of contributions to the development of the National Council of Teachers of English professional community, in 2010 she was the recipient of the Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award. In the same year the American Education Research Association awarded her a Division G (Social Context in Education) Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award.
Vaughn Watson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, and teach secondary English at the Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, N.Y. My dissertation research, an in-depth qualitative interpretative study, examines how youth construct and remix understandings of literacies learning, identities construction, and civic imaginaries across discourses of production. Discourses of production consider ways in which youth produce meaning making across artifacts bound to lived experiences, rendering starkly different (re)presentations than suggested by everyday discourses that narrowly construct youth as passive consumers of drawn-down notions of school-based literacy. I develop a social-participatory youth co-researcher methodology to explore transformative possibilities of youth learning, and constructions of youth’s civic imaginaries – ways in which youth envision the world to be – across contexts of schools, families, and communities, and across sites of college going, urban education, technologies, and youth culture. The study holds implications for rendering possibilities of qualitative research that untangle constructions of power in research relationships while valuing youth’s cultural assets/knowledge(s) construction(s)/lived experiences, and for understanding youth’s meaning making across literacies learning in teaching and research.
Jason G. Irizarry is an Associate Professor of Multicultural Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Near School of Education and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut. He received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2005 and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in multicultural education, culturally responsive curriculum development, urban education, and participatory action research. A former middle school teacher in New York City, his research focuses on urban teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention with an emphasis on increasing the number of teachers of color, culturally responsive pedagogy, youth participatory action research, and Latino students in U.S. schools. A central focus of his work involves promoting the academic achievement of youth in urban schools by addressing issues associated with teacher education. Manuscripts documenting the findings of his research have been published or accepted for publication in a variety of peer-reviewed journals in the field including Education and Urban Society, Teachers College Record, Multicultural Perspectives, the Journal of Latinos and Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Centro Journal of Puerto Rican Studies and others appearing as chapters in various books. He is also the author of The Laicization of U.S. Schools: Successful Teaching and Learning in Shifting Cultural Contexts (Paradigm Publishers, 2011).
Erica Womack, her current research explores the ways in which Black female adolescents conceive of self and society and how particular reading, writing, and speaking acts (or those that highlight their experiences as young Black females) help to shape their conceptions. For two-and-a-half years, I have had the pleasure of meeting with a group of young women for an hour and thirty minutes each week to read, write, and speak about their realities—including their relationships, school experiences, future goals, and identities—as young Black women and to engage in critical understandings of self, Other, and society.
My interest in working with this population as well as in exploring this topic lies in the fact that the research on Black female youth, in general, is relatively sparse, and particularly so in the area of adolescent literacy. My research, which draws on qualitative data collected during this period, then, focuses on: 1) Black girls’ understandings of themselves and the world around them, 2) how their use of autoethnography—a common methodological approach to researching the self—helps to shape these understandings, and 3) the larger educational and political implications of using autoethnography for deeper investigations into the lives and literacies of Black female adolescents.
Marcelle Haddix is assistant professor and program director of English Education in the School of Education at Syracuse University. She is a critical English Educator who focuses on how to best prepare all teachers for working in culturally and linguistically diverse settings and to address the literacy achievement gap that persists for children of color. Her scholarly interests center on the experiences of students of color in literacy and English teaching and teacher education. Her work is featured in Research in the Teaching of English, Linguistics and Education, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Dr. Haddix also directs the Writing Our Lives project, a program geared toward supporting the writing practices of urban youth within and beyond school contexts. A highlight of this project is the annual Youth Writing Conference that brings together middle and high school students, teachers, university faculty, and community members.
Haeny Yoon is an assistant professor in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. I am teaching courses in early childhood literacy within the CREATE program (Community as Resources in Early Childhood Teacher Education) as well as children’s literature and qualitative research. I recently graduated (2012) with a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Dr. Anne Haas Dyson. My dissertation focused on children’s writing development and the role of teachers in translating, developing, and enacting curriculum in their classrooms. My research stems from my work with practicing teachers at the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities, a professional development partnership between the university and local schools. Along with K-5 educators, I worked towards creating equitable literacy experiences for children of diverse communities with an emphasis on expanding reading and writing opportunities through and beyond the curriculum. Before that, I was an elementary school teacher in Champaign, IL for 7 years where I learned the value of listening to children’s voices. My current research interests continue to be in children’s writing as it relates to curriculum, teaching, and learning – for both students and teachers.