Considering community literacies in the secondary classroom: a collaborative teacher and researcher study group
A year long study group brought teachers and researchers working in urban contexts in US public schools together to examine literacy practices incorporating students’ community literacies into schooled tasks. The goal was to provide teacher development in making connections across their students’ community literacies and the academic literacy they focused on in their classrooms. Most of the teachers initially had narrowly defined concepts of literacy, equating it with traditional school tasks. Researchers prompted identification of students’ community literacies, discussed pedagogical implications related to the inclusion of these literacies in the classroom, and collaborated in developing pedagogical orientations. Results indicate that development of teachers’ constructs of community literacies and literacy practices fostered changes in understanding students’ participation with literacy and resulting competencies. Collaboration resulted in agentic choice to counter institutional constraints threatening instructional mediation of community literacies. These results promote teacher development in literacy using collaborative models, with potential for transfer internationally.
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