Building a Literacy Curriculum on Student Strengths: Learning to see what already exists
Sometimes, in the rush to pull a curriculum into alignment with official standards, we might neglect to consider the literacy practices in which our students already engage. But as educators have long understood, and as research is increasingly demonstrating, it's necessary to build new learning on the basis of what students already know. This conversation will allow us to become acquainted with strategies for bringing students' existing competence into the English classroom and then connecting those discoveries to the growth of advanced, academic literacies.
Friday morning 10-11:30 (probably in the Brown Humanities Center, room still awaiting confirmation)
Teaching English for a Better World: Bringing students into literacy practices for social change
Reading and writing can position students as powerless or powerful, as passive receptors or active world-changers. Teachers make decisions about the kinds of people who will be produced by the curriculum they offer, and enacting that curriculum, they help create the social world. In this conversation, we will examine first the ways the classroom itself promotes democracy, and second, some of the literacy practices we might make available to students that can build capacity in them to be agents of social justice.