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Grant Recipients

2015 Research Foundation Grant Recipients

Toby Emert, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Education, Agnes Scott College, "ESL Learners and High-Tech Storytelling: Promoting Academic Confidence"

This action research project focuses on gathering data about the experiences of a selected group of second language learners--all children of refugee families living near Atlanta, Georgia--as they negotiate the 21st century literacies necessary to complete an autobiographical storytelling assignment. The study addresses this population's literacy needs by providing targeted, high-interest, high-skill instruction while gathering information about students' experiences with the instruction that provides insight into students' strengths and learning gaps.

Jennifer Escobar, English Instructor, Moreno Valley College, "Examining the Effects of a Critical Reading Selection Framework and Process in the Community College Classroom"

This research project will implement a Framework and Process for Selecting Readings in an Inland Empire Community College English classroom which has a significant percentage of students from underrepresented populations. The study seeks to gain insight into the ways that course readings affect students' academic literacy, cultural and community literacies, and engagement. Research collaborator: Aja Henriquez.

Robert Marx, Doctoral Candidate, Vanderbilt University, "'My Sadness is a Knife'": Spoken Word Poetry in the English Language Arts Classroom"

This research project extends the author's pilot evaluation--of a brief, multi-session spoken word program integrated into grade 9-12 English classrooms in four high schools local to Nashville, Tennessee--by including a fall cohort of programs implemented locally as well as in New York City, where spoken word programming has a strong history. The study explores the extent to which spoken word poetry offers students distal benefits derived from increased self-esteem, engagement, and critical consciousness. Student participants include those who have been historically underserved due to minority status or poor prior academic achievement.

2013 Research Foundation Grant Recipients

Grace Enriquez, Assistant Professor, Lesley University, "Centering Children's Literature in Social Justice Teaching and the Common Core"

This research project explores how elementary school teachers integrate children's literature and an expressed commitment to social justice teaching into their literacy instruction amid adoption of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS). The study investigates how teachers' understanding of children's literature for social justice education develops over time and space from graduate course to classroom teaching and how teachers negotiate social justice goals and the use of children's literature in light of CCSS.

Tisha Y. Lewis, Assistant Professor, Georgia State University, "Dig-A-Fam: Families' Digital Storytelling Project"

This research project explores the digital literacy practices of ten African American parents and their children/youth in the southeastern United States. Families will collectively create a five-minute digital story about a specific topic surrounding their literate and personal lives. The study advances research about African American families' digital literacies by investigating how and why families engage in digital literacy practices and how their engagement enables them to achieve agency and empowerment.

R. Joseph Rodriguez, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at El Paso, "U.S.-Latino Adolescents and their Literacies"

This research project examines the ways that educators in six middle school classrooms and the library (media center) guide students' learning, reading, and writing gains through culturally responsive and socially responsible literacies. The mixed method study focuses on adolescent literacies and the lives of students in a high-rural, low-urban area of the Texas Hill Country. A second goal is to understand how middle school teachers and a librarian deliver instruction to help students advance in their reading and writing tasks in content areas and disciplines.

Betsy Woods, English Teacher and English Department Chair, Milford High School (Milford Exempted Village School District, Ohio), "Expanding Educational Opportunities Through Blended Classes"

This action research project focuses on ensuring the successful implementation of a blended learning curriculum while increasing rigor in response to Common Core State Standards by investigating two research questions: (1) Will a day of professional development with an outside educational technology specialist result in an increase in the quality and quantity of teacher web presence? (2) Will the ability for students to check out a Chromebook laptop during the school day result in their increased engagement in blended classes? Research Collaborators: Gina DeBlasio, Kirstie Rheinheimer, Geoff Wahl, Harry Smith, Diana Miller, Chris Davis, Milford High School English Teachers. Nancy House, Milford School District Secondary Curriculum Director.


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