In addition to the amazing work our research teams explore on literacy teacher educators and the longitudinal study of classroom teachers, I (Yiola) am interested in the pedagogical work of teachers. In particular, I am interested in teachers’ work related to critical literacy: What do teachers do? How do they do it? What challenges do they face? How do they overcome those challenges? Why do they choose to teach critical literacy?
I have spent many hours in classrooms observing teachers’ work to see first hand their practices. I have interviewed the teachers to hear first hand their perceptions and understandings of their work. From this research we have begun to share some of the findings.
In our article entitled: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Critical Literacy: Pedagogical Nuances of a Second Grade Classroom we share the details of second grade teacher Sarah’s practices during her “Selfology Project”. The Selfology Project is a literacy project that required students to explore their identities, histories, families while thinking about issues of race and equity. How the teacher constructed critical literacy learning through an inquiry-based pedagogical framework is shared. Below is the abstract for the article:
This case study explores the pedagogy and practices of an elementary school teacher who combines inquiry pedagogy and critical literacy. The authors gathered data for this analysis by conducting two interviews with a classroom teacher and observing classroom practices 12 times over a 6 month period. Through a general inductive approach to analysis, trends emerged that showed the classroom teacher used practices that combined traditional inquiry pedagogy for critical literacy development. This research provides insight into how this elementary teacher negotiated and connected inquiry to critical literacy. Furthermore, the findings can inform scholars and teacher educators of successful teaching strategies as they prepare future generations of elementary teachers.
For access to the article please go to: http://www.ajer.ca
Several elementary classrooms were observed over the course of one school year. I look forward to sharing more from this study soon.