Multimedia Reflective Essay #1: Ideas, Applications and Connections, Oh My!

wateringOur seminar in digital authorship has helped to water a lot of my thoughts, opinions and experiences of digital literacy.  Before I did the Digital Literacy Institute two summers ago, I wouldn’t have placed myself very far along the continuum of digitally literate folks.  My brother had convinced me to join Twitter, but outside of that, there was nothing to really point to as evidence that I had any interest in or knowledge of digital and media literacy.  As I move along the continuum, I encounter new texts and ideas and classmates who continue to shape my learning, and EDC 534, for me, has been kind of like a beautiful, giant street art girl with pigtails pouring water on my tree of understanding.  How’s that for a metaphor?

Students tomorrowThe first key idea I’ll point to here is about empowerment.  We explored this concept through reading and watching texts about critical and creative production.  My major takeaway was that providing opportunities to create media is an excellent way for educators to encourage and engage students to form and share their own ideas, but that framing it as “giving voice” to students doesn’t sit right with me, because that implies that the educator is in a position of power, giving something to the student, when in reality, students have voices already.  I’ve also been thinking about how students who are lucky enough to have Kara, Mark, Brien (from DLI), or many of the people in this class for a teacher are going to get the opportunity to be digital authors, whereas some students just won’t ever be sitting in front of someone who’s “into” this “kind of stuff,” and it makes me sad that students have to play the Russian Roulette like that, when they should all have access to education that emphasizes media literacy and digital authorship.  I’ll temper that with the following quote from Elisabeth Rosenthal in “Can a Computer Replace Your Doctor,” even though that was written in a different context:

Technology

Copyright is another key idea for me from our work so far.  Larry Lessig’s TED Talk, “Laws That Choke Creativity“, was really eye opening for me.

I can be curmudgeonly sometimes.  Next time I feel myself slipping into my “Kids these days– they’re always on their phones and they don’t know how to focus!” moods, I am going to try to take a page from Lessig’s sensible, historical view of appropriation, digital authorship and copyright, and place young people’s actions online in context.  I don’t want to sound like this:

Ruining language

And I know that, unfortunately, sometimes I also sound pious, like this:

Exception

My third key idea is privacy.  Just the title of Patricia Lange’s book Kids on YouTube gave me a little chill before I had to remind myself to stop being old and ornery and try to keep an open mind.  Her chapter on representational ideologies connected so eerily with some of the readings I had to do around the same time for my WRT 524 class, Histories and Theories of Writing Instruction.  James Berlin’s “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Writing Class” offered what I saw as a very removed, theoretical definition of ideology as “always already” present ideas, values, and perceptions of what’s “normal,” through which people see, but may not necessarily recognize as their lens.  In contrast, Lange seemed to be very practically showing us a definition of ideology by giving examples of the values and beliefs of people making media and people represented by media.

For instance, Lange’s description of  the mother Lola, who posts a video of her daughter Ashley dancing in order to get more subscribers, helped me to understand that I don’t have the answer to that situation; I have an opinion about it based on my ideologies.  Ashley’s sister tells Lola that the video must be removed once they discover that it had been reposted on a pornographic website, and Lola “struggled with the decision to remove the video” (163).  My first (and visceral) reaction was:

Hell no

How could a mother even question such a thing?  Following Lola’s explanation about eventually reposting the video a second time but disabling the embedding feature so that it “couldn’t… link to any outside website,” Lange explains:

“She displays the digital literacy that one can choose to disable embedding functions for future videos.  But an additional digital literacy would acknowledge awareness that a video can be re-appropriated even if YouTube’s embedding feature is disabled” (163).

Analyzing where Lola is coming from in terms of digital literacy helped me to analyze where I am coming from in terms of ideology.  For me, privacy is an important right, and I feel very in line with Commenter #8 from the Verdi case study:

“[D]ocumenting your own past online is your choice– and you take away [kids’] agency by letting your parental whims follow them into their virtual (and tangible) futures” (176).

ListenThis brings me to my participation in this course.  I don’t want to live in an echo chamber, so I really appreciate when things that I feel strongly about, such as privacy, are discussed by a group of smart people with different ideologies.  Our conversations on Flipgrid and in Google Hangouts and on Twitter have done a lot to make an online course feel like a collaborative learning experience.  One of my strengths as a learner comes from working with others, listening to others and making meaning with others, so the opportunities to engage with others in this class have been important to me.

During this time of career transition for me, as I am moving from ten years in the classroom to my first month in a state education department, I am really missing the part of my identity that is a teacher who teaches students every day, so thinking about digital authorship (1) as a student myself, (2) as a teacher up until very recently, and (3) through the perspectives of my classmates, many of whom are teachers, librarians, and media makers, has allowed me to make connections and applications beyond those I might be making in my new role alone.

While this course is figuratively watering my understanding, it’s also raising a lot of questions, so why don’t I bullet a few of them here for you, hey?

  • In what ways can I be a part of the digital literacy and media education movement in my new role, now that I don’t get to actually see students every day?
  • Where are the intersections between the stuff we’re learning in this class and my other interests, such as ELL education, humor communications, and writing and rhetoric?  (Potential answer: One of the reading options for next week is Jenna Pack’s “Remaking the Future of Multimodal Composing by Examining its Past,” from Enculturation, a rhet/comp journal– wahoo!)
  • How can I hold on to my personal values about privacy while still moving forward in our increasingly “shared” world?
  • Will I ever be as good at creating media as Mark Davis?

Looking ahead, I cannot WAIT to work through some of my ideas around analyzing the show Drunk History and possibly build my own sequence for an episode about stand-up comedians for my final creative project.

Sneak Peek: Here’s the clip I’m planning to use for my Critical Analysis of a YouTube video…

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LEAP #2: Explain a Key Idea

For this week’s LEAP assignment, I identified a theme across several of our readings: the capacity to engage and empower students through media composition projects.  I wanted to create a video to demonstrate this interesting set of ideas to an audience of non-specialists with an interest in digital literacy.  Here’s what I made, with a brief review of the tool below:

I chose Animoto to do this because I have already worked with the program.  In hindsight, after watching Kayla’s awesome Moovly video, I really wish I had tried using that program instead.  I saw it on the list of digital tools to use, but since I was already familiar with Animoto, I went with that.

Some things that made me regret choosing Animoto include a frustratingly short word limit (which is a tough restraint for someone with an unsuccessful history of achieving brevity), the giant watermark that you can’t get rid of unless you pay $39 for the month, and the inability to control the placement of words and images.  And last but not least, I can’t seem to make it embed prettily into this post using the embed code Animoto provides me with.  I know there are affordances and constraints to any tool, and I wouldn’t want to gripe for the sake of griping, but I just wanted to share my takeaways from this process!

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Digital Literacy Folks I Follow on Twitter

twitter carnival

For EDC 534 this week, we are supposed to “find 100 people to follow who are interested in issues related to digital literacy, digital authorship, youth media, and multimodality.”

Some of the people on my list are ones I met at the last two Digital Literacy Institute.  Some are teachers who use digital literacy and authorship in their classes.  Some are grad students who study multimodality in some way.  Some are libraries, because hey, they totally count.  It’s a veritable smorgasbord.

This was actually a very useful exercise, because sometimes I see my areas of interest as unconnected and disparate: writing/rhetoric, humor studies, digital literacy, ELL… but in combing through the people I follow, I found there was plenty of crossover.  Down with silos!

Some of the fonts came out different for some reason, even though I copied them all straight from Twitter.  They’re all hyperlinked though, so you can click on any one of them and go straight to their Twitter profiles.

Here are my 100, starting with the people in this class:

  1. @reneehobbs 
  2. @tmsjen 
  3. @RelevantScience 
  4. @laurteach2988 
  5. @cocus 
  6. @JonAmsterdam1
  7. @JBF4thof7CHild 
  8. @THTVVIDEO 
  9. @GillianBuckler 
  10. @abmurphy22 
  11. @GEC_URI
  12. @marleygurl1991 
  13. @StephViens 
  14. @pechakuchapvd
  15. @cbdharmon 
  16. @themediaspot 
  17. @LunsfordHandbks 
  18. @mlefastetenes 
  19. @CJohnsonTeach 
  20. @jwstone
  21. @LennyGrantIII 
  22. @aliasmcginnis 
  23. @rhetspeak
  24. @KelliMarshall
  25. @drunkhistory
  26. @olisri
  27. @provlib
  28. @provcomlib 
  29. @mrmichaelnovick
  30. @digilitcoach 
  31. @DanaThomasHall 
  32. @matthewcmendes 
  33. @RetroTimO 
  34. @blachapelle2 
  35. @fromanelli41 
  36. @mary_moen 
  37. @kellymendoza 
  38. @DarraghDee 
  39. @KristinScala 
  40. @capecodlibrary 
  41. @JessGere 
  42. @amiletta 
  43. @jillcastek 
  44. @JenkinsBJenning 
  45. @StrtAWildRumpus 
  46. @blkdrama 
  47. @Larryferlazzo
  48. @joycevalenza
  49. @emilybailin 
  50. @jenthomas78 
  51. @lisafriesem 
  52. @saidtuzel
  53. @standupplanettv
  54. @DonWaisanen 
  55. @EdWeekTeacher
  56. @rushkoff
  57. @kelseylgreene 
  58. @Doug_Pruim 
  59. @morganrjaffe 
  60. @MariamBoyajian1
  61. @MikeRobbGrieco 
  62. @EmmaG_5 
  63. @AndreaZellner 
  64. @brookeerinduffy
  65. @kayyy_shim 
  66. @Emcortez95 
  67. @saboo97 
  68. @Sandy_McGee 
  69. @KatherineHyp 
  70. @rebeckyrow 
  71. @ClarissasPen 
  72. @timothyamidon 
  73. @lindybriggette 
  74. @henryjenkins
  75. @BethanyBeretta 
  76. @YanaizaGallant 
  77. @EduQuinn 
  78. @TheMindOfBrose 
  79. @DMsulli3 
  80. @Tara_Hixon 
  81. @billmarsland 
  82. @billdensmore 
  83. @dcoopermoore 
  84. @wiobyrne 
  85. @hopeyhall 
  86. @media_parley 
  87. @Jeremybballer 
  88. @mshagerman 
  89. @watermarkedu 
  90. @canmarcotte 
  91. @comedy1613 
  92. @jcoiro
  93. @stephaniedoes 
  94. @katestryker 
  95. @JonathanRossing
  96. @magistraheaney 
  97. @HarringtonURI 
  98. @yonty
  99. @MediaLiteracyEd
  100. @kidoinfo 
  101. @Joannah
  102. @ProvAth1838
  103. @jbj
  104. @s2ceball
  105. @cgbrooke
  106. @spinuzzi
  107. @jamesjbrownjr 
  108. @warnick 
  109. @digitaldigs
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LEAP #1: A Big Plate of Media Consumption with Just a Dollop of Media Making

In The American Scholar’s How to Write a Memoir,” William Zinsser tells us, “Writers are the custodians of memory, and that’s what you must become if you want to leave some kind of record of your life and of the family you were born into.”  While that may have been true at one point in time, I don’t believe that a writer is what you must become if you want to leave a record of your life and family anymore.  I’m not on Facebook, but from what I hear about that snazzy social media platform, it’ll leave a pretty thorough record without requiring you to write an actual memoir.  I’m also pretty sure that video and image are options when it comes to leaving a record behind.  However, writing is actually what speaks to me most, and memoirs are always a treat, so I’m happy to memoir it up.

I wish I had a more exciting legacy of media making to reminisce on, but the truth is, my childhood was much more filled with media consumption than media creation.  And when I say media, I mean books.  I will have no problem taking you back to a vivid experience I had with books– namely, the point at which I became enamored of them.

When I was in the first grade, I had a wonderful teacher, Miss Lessa.  (Please note: Even though I grew up in RI, I’m quite sure that this teacher’s name really was Miss Lessa, and not Miss Lesser, but pronounced with the customary dropping of the ending R sound.)  I thought Miss Lessa was the bees knees, and there was one time when I was at a town tee-ball game and I saw her across the field.  It should be noted that although I “played” tee-ball, I mostly picked dandelions in the outfield.  When I saw Miss Lessa, I ran to her, and then I asked my parents to take a picture of me with her, out there on the side of the tee-ball field.  Miss Lessa knelt down on one knee next to me so that her head could be level with mine for the picture.  I took this action to mean that we were taking a picture with a cool, one-knee pose, so I copied her and got down on one knee as well.  It resulted in a great picture of the two of us on one knee, her smiling in a normal, human way, with her long hair looking customarily awesome, and me smiling in an insane, euphoric way, with my town tee-ball uniform and a baseball hat on.  If I knew where that picture was, I would hang it on my wall, and if anyone ever asked me why I became a teacher, I could point to it and say, “Well, that’s one reason.”

Miss Lessa, whom I obviously adored, gave me a copy of the first book in the Sweet Valley Kids series one day at school.  She handed it to me and told me that I was such a good reader that she had bought this book for me, even though it was really supposed to be for second graders.  She pointed out that she had spilled coffee on the cover and apologized for it.  What a crazy lady!  What did I care about a little coffee stain?!  My totally awesome teacher had just called me a good reader and given me a special present.  I consumed that book ravenously, and then about 450 other Sweet Valley books after that.  Actually, although that number may be a slight exaggeration, I could tally up the real sum for you if you really wanted, because I have always kept a notebook with a list of all the books I’ve read.  When I was a child, I was so intensely engrossed in reading that my parents used to beg me to get my nose out of my book and go outside.

We had a big, cushy, comfy, seafoam green reading chair in our living room and I remember one day I sat in it and read The BFG from cover to cover in one sitting, and then I spent the next couple of weeks bragging that I’d read a 200-page book in one sitting, in addition to two other books I’d read that day.  I guess I don’t have to tell you that I was maybe a nerd.  The point is, I consumed a lot of media, but I wasn’t that keen on creating it.  I didn’t watch a lot of TV, although I do think I may have watched The Little Mermaid almost every day after school in the second grade.  (You want thingamabobs? I’ve got plenty.)  BUT I did make a TV show once with my friend Georgia in the eighth grade.  We wanted to do a cooking show, so we made smoothies in the blender.  We took ourselves very seriously, set up my dad’s giant videocamera in the kitchen, and made a big show of talking through the process.  My dad suggested later that in real life, it might be a good idea not to lick one’s fingers quite so often during the creation of a cooking show, because of sanitation or whatever.

At any rate, Zinsser, in the previously mentioned “How to Write a Memoir,” advised us to remember that we are the tour guide in our own memoirs, so I hope I have made “an honest transaction with [my] own humanity and with the humanity of the people who crossed [my] life” so that you could “connect with [my] journey,” even if my journey isn’t full of a lot of dazzling media making stops, as I’m sure those of media magicians like Mark Davis will be!

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Reading Reflection 3: Vision Statement for Teaching and Learning Online Reading Comprehension

this i believe

In his “This I Believe” segment on NPR, Matt Harding says, “People want to feel connected to each other.  They want to be heard and seen and they’re curious to hear and see others from places far away.”  If I had been sitting next to him while he recorded this segment, I would have nodded and given him the ol’ “me too” hand signal that means “same” in sign language.  Incidentally, the beliefs I hold about online reading comprehension are also partly rooted in this belief that people want to feel connected to each other, and that the internet provides opportunities to do so.

I believe that students have the right to encounter and engage with digital texts in their classrooms.  In today’s digital information society, students need to have access to digital tools and texts.  Teachers’ feelings of inadequacy around digital texts and tools should not dictate the exposure students have to them; instead, teachers need opportunities to familiarize themselves with the 21st century resources that students will be called upon to interact with.

I believe that students need guided practice in focused online reading.  There are so many distractions when interacting with online texts, like hyperlinks and advertisements, and students need practice in focusing on the task at hand.  While online reading may have innumerable benefits and assets, it must also be approached with a level of caution in terms of attention demanded, and students should have the opportunity to practice this focused online reading in their classes.

I believe that students should not only know how to read online, but how to engage and produce online as well.  Students are entering into a digital information society, and that society is not a one way street.  Students need to know how to enter into digital conversations by producing their own texts using multimedia tools.

I believe children need to know how to identify and evaluate credible sources in today’s digital information society.  I must call once again (for the second week in a row) upon the Mitchell Kapor quote: “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”  Because that Internet fire hydrant is so forceful and voluminous, knowing how to locate reliable information is an uncompromisable must.

I believe that the technology should not supplant the content, but rather enhance and transform it.  In order to avoid being taken in by the flashy bells and whistles of new technology, teachers should go beyond measuring affordances and constraints and instead think about the learning goals of a particular unit and how technology can be leveraged to allow for significant task design and “the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable” (Puenredura).

I believe that there is no one “right answer” to any question, and that incorporating various online reading and writing strategies will help students to understand and express in multiple ways.  As Hammerberg noted in “Comprehension instruction for sociocultural diverse classrooms: A review of what we know,” “More than using comprehension strategies in and of themselves… and more than using comprehension strategies to regurgitate an author’s meaning, we need to include discussions about the multiple answers, perspectives, and interpretations possible” (655).  When teaching online reading comprehension, teachers need to recognize that students will and should have multiple answers, perspectives and interpretations, and that those can be explored and explained using a myriad of digital tools.

I believe that sociocultural context must live at the center of teaching online reading comprehension.  Julie Coiro and Renee Hobbs’ Digital Literacy Curriculum Framework places the self, learners and community as the context at the center, recognizing that task or activity must be situated inside of that context, and that the standards, work products, instructional strategies, tools and texts will all be impacted by and grow out of that context.

Personal Reflection

This assignment and the last four weeks of readings/discussions have taught me not to get caught up in the “wow” factor of digital literacy.  As an emerging new literacies teacher, it is my job to help students to navigate the digital world of information, and in order to do that, I cannot jump on board any exciting tool train that comes through the station; I must instead make careful, intentional choices based on my learning purposes.  One experience in particular that has informed my personal views of teaching and learning online reading comprehension came last year when I implemented a unit with students based on all of the cool tools I learned from the 2013 Digital Literacy Institute.  I had students do some preliminary research and then use various “cool tools” to share their research.  The assignment was a little too light on the research and from that experience, I adjusted the unit and have adopted it for my SAT vocabulary unit this year.  I know if I continue to be interested and engaged in digital literacy, my students will appreciate that I am recognizing the world they live in and doing my best to prepare them for it.

Coiro, J. & Hobbs, R. (2014). Digital Literacy Curriculum Framework.

Hammerberg, D. (2004). Comprehension instruction for sociocultural diverse classrooms: A review of what we know. The Reading Teacher, 57(7), 648-656.

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2008). From ‘reading’ to ‘new literacy studies. In C. Lankshear & M. Knobel, New literacies: Everyday pracices and classroom learning. Berkshire, England: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill Education.

Puenredura, R. SAMR Model.

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Reading Reflection 2: Online Reading Comprehension

LABELING AND DEFINING LITERACY IN 2014 

tomato

You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-to.  Some say digital literacies, some say digital literacy.  As Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, Castek, and Henry stated in New Literacies: A Dual-Level Theory of the Changing Nature of Literacy, Instruction, and Assessment, “to have been literate yesterday, in a world defined primarily by relatively static book technologies, does not ensure that one is fully literate today where we encounter new technologies” (1150).  Since “literacy” is a deictic word, or one of those words “whose meanings change rapidly as their context changes” (1150), it’s no surprise that its accepted iteration changes as well.  When people say “literacy,” singular, they are referring to the general knowing, understanding, and producing of language, but when people say “literacies,” plural, they are acknowledging that there are multitudinous ways in which one can know, understand, and produce language.  For instance, a person may be “literate” in paperback reading, but stare blankly at an iPad, lacking the understanding necessary to swipe between pages or click on hyperlinked text or interact with apps.

In some ways, the things that people point to as “new” about literacy are comparable to the “new” things in literacy when we changed from an oral culture to a written one, or when we shifted from cuneiform to papyrus.  I would agree though that the nature of how we interact with text is certainly a “new” component to literacy, and there is a significant difference between what Nicholas Carr calls the “deep dive” of traditional, paper-based reading and the “skimming along the surface” type of reading that the Internet seems to encourage.  In addition to practical newness, new social practices are another angle to consider.  In Reading comprehension on the Internet:Expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to encompass new literacies, Coiro asks of skills and abilities needed to interact with text on the Internet: “Are these processes extensions of traditional comprehension skills, or do Web-based learning environments demand fundamentally different skills?” (458).  I would venture to vote for the latter.

In regard to whether there is any benefit to talking about these processes as online reading comprehension or digital inquiry, I feel like I can reply with some certainty: No, it creates more confusion!  Or, at least, any benefit to introducing those terms would be overshadowed by the confusion caused by adding yet more terms to the edu-jargon party.  That guest list is really getting out of hand.

The use of uppercase and lowercase ways of thinking about new literacies (as described by Leu et al, 2013) did actually muddy the waters for me until I heard Cassie speaking about it, and then it did actually help to un-muddy, or clarify, the proverbial waters.  To succinctly differentiate between the two, I turn again to the Leu, et. al. crew: “Lowercase theories explore a specific area of new literacies and/or a new technology, such as the social communicative transactions occurring with text messaging…. New Literacies, as the broader, more inclusive concept, includes those common findings emerging across multiple, lowercase theories” (1157).  If I got to pick, I’d say the fewer minute discrepancies that must be calculated, the better, so even with Leu, et. al’s succinct description and Cassie’s un-muddifying explanation, I’d stick with the lowercase version.
IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING

I think the online reading/digital literacy skills, strategies, practices, and mindsets outlined in our readings from Week 4 and 5 are equally, if not more important for today’s students compared to those related to offline reading comprehension, vocabulary, and/or fluency (as discussed in reading from Weeks 1-3).  We are preparing students for a world we can’t even fully envision right now, and in order to do that well, it would be criminal to continue to place the sole emphasis on literacy as it relates to traditional print text.  That would be tantamount to insisting that everyone write on clay tablets.  We cannot pretend that our students will not be asked– and are not already being asked– to interact with language and images online.  Therefore, a major implication for the teaching and learning that goes on in my classroom is: Even if love a good book to have and to hold and to lovingly read with my eyes moving in a predictable, steady rhythm side to side and page by page, I have to put aside my preferences and learn how to teach them what they need to know.

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New Literacies Scholar: Dr. Victoria Purcell-Gates

victoria

Dr. Victoria Purcell-Gates is a professor of Language and Literacy at British Columbia in Vancouver.  She has published several books and scholarly articles about literacy, including Other People’s Words: The Cycle of Low Literacy (1997), Print Literacy Development: Uniting Cognitive and Social Practice Theories (2006), and Cultural Practices of Literacy: Case Studies of Language, Literacy, Social Practice, and Power (2007).

Her work fits in well with this week’s topic of literacy as social practice.  In my M.A. program in ESL and Cross Cultural Studies, we read some research by Dr. Purcell-Gates, and it really helped me to question and examine the literacy practices that formal schooling tends to value, and to recognize signs that schools are privileging written literacies over oral, which may not match up with students’ family and cultural experiences. According to Dr. Purcell-Gates, if curricula do not relate to students’ lives outside of school, “their education slides right off of them… The more relevant you make literacy instruction to their lives, the more development you see” (Hulbert, 2008).

In order to avoid education “sliding off” students, Dr. Purcell-Gates advocates for “designing early literacy instruction that builds on young children’s linguistic, cognitive, cultural, and social models for reading and writing that they acquired within their home communities,” according to the research interests reported on her faculty website.

In other words, contextual and sociocultural elements are important in teaching literacy, and in order to do this, schools should create “programs that validate the real lives of the participants and build bridges between those lives and literacy work within family literacy programming” (Purcell-Gates, 2012).  This resonates with me because much of my work as an ELL teacher and as a teacher in general at an urban high school is around validating the real lives of my students and building bridges between their lived experiences and the literacy work we do in my class.

The quote from Hammerberg’s “Comprehension instruction for sociocultural diverse classrooms: A review of what we know” (2004) that I cited in my Flipgrid video connects to Dr. Purcell-Gates’ work: “More than using comprehension strategies in and of themselves… and more than using comprehension strategies to regurgitate an author’s meaning, we need to include discussions about the multiple answers, perspectives, and interpretations possible” (655).  Dr. Purcell-Gates’ research opens those doors to the multiple answers, perspectives, and interpretations possible by helping teachers to see that incorporating the sociocultural backgrounds of students into literacy lessons is not just “a nice thing to do,” but a necessary one.

The thing that stands out to me about her work is best captured by this video of How Teachers Can Learn from Communities and Parents:

Her main idea presented there is about teachers going out into the community of their students not to tell parents what to do, but to learn from parents about the literacy practices that are valued by their families and their communities, and that’s an idea I believe deeply in.

While Dr. Purcell-Gates’ work was largely around white, Appalachian students at the beginning of her career as a researcher, she has also published several scholarly articles about Latino school culture and attitudes as well, and that work is more applicable to the environment in which I teach.  However, I did take a course in my undergraduate work on Appalachian culture and history, so that was yet another reason for Dr. Purcell-Gates to stand out to me as a researcher of interest.

You can also listen to her podcast on Voice of Literacy:

http://www.voiceofliteracy.org/posts/embed/48952

References:

Hammerberg, D. (2004). Comprehension instruction for sociocultural diverse classrooms: A review of what we know. The Reading Teacher, 57(7), 648-656.

Hulbert, T. (2008).  Childhood literacy expert to speak at UTSA.  Retrieved from http://utsa.edu/today/2008/02/purcellgates.cfm

Purcell-Gates, V.  Measuring Situated Literacy Activity. (2012).   Journal of Literacy Research, 44, 396-425.  Abstract retrieved from http://jlr.sagepub.com/content/44/4/396

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