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Transformative approaches to teaching language arts.ppt

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					Transformative Approaches to
   Adult Literacy Education
      Dr. Karen Magro
     Adult Secondary Education Council
                Conference
                Victoria Inn,
           Winnipeg, October 16-17
 Transformative Approaches to
    Adult Literacy Education
―We cannot take part in a society as verbal
as ours without knowing how to read and
write, but unless we also learn how to read
continuously, selectively, and critically,
and to write articulately, we can never take
a free or independent part in that society.‖
                               -Northrop
                               Frye
          The New Literacies
 ―Educational Institutions have been slow to react
  to the emergence of this new participatory
  culture; the greatest opportunity for change is
  currently found in after school programs and
  informal learning communities…The new
  literacies almost all involve social skills
  developed through collaboration and networking.
  These skills build on the foundation of traditional
  literacy, research skills, technical skills, and
  critical analysis skills taught in the classroom‖
 ( Jenkins, MIT, 2006).
      Linking Literacy to Life
 English  Language Arts
 Psychology
 World Issues
 Law
 Geography
 Life Sciences
 Math and Computer Literacy
  Approaching English Language
 Arts from a Transformative Angle
A  course in contemporary world issues
 Teaching about social issues like poverty,
  homelessness, and the refugee crisis
 Gender and Learning: Personal Narratives
 Addressing the Youth Violence Crisis
 Shakespeare and Psychology
 Issues of Race and Ethnicity
 The Future of English
       Paulo Freire:Literacy and
             Democracy
      ―Democracy and democratic education are
  founded on faith in individuals on the belief that
  they not only can but should discuss the
  problems of their country, their continent, their
  world, their work, the problems of democracy
  itself. Education is an act of love, and thus an
  act of courage. It cannot fear the analysis of
  reality.‖
-P.Freire ( 1997)-Pedagogy of the oppressed
    Autobiography: Re-searching our
                 lives
   The very act of writing autobiographies can turn
    victims into survivors, and witnesses into agents
    of change. The relation of individual expression
    to social experience has always been important
    in literary study. As more minority and women‘s
    voices are being heard in literature classes, in
    part through autobiographies, memoirs, and
    testimonials, we find ourselves increasingly
    concerned with the interplay between the social
    and personal aspects of identity.
      Autobiographies: Linking the
        personal and the social
 Sierra   Leone:
     ―In the West, a diamond is a symbol of
      prestige and beauty; in my country, a
      diamond is a symbol of misery. When the war
      was at its peak in 1998, I was a teenager. I
      was working in the diamond mines, I was
      captured by the rebels and I had to work for
      them. It was a miracle that I escaped on the
      third night….‖
              Current Themes
   Understanding the cultural and global context
   Acknowledging Diversity
   Differentiating Instruction
   Creative Approaches
   Building Emotional and Social Intelligence
   Critical Media Literacy
   Transformative Approaches to Teaching
    Language Arts
    Adult Literacy and Transformative
                 Learning
   Dr. Kathleen King emphasizes the need for adults to
    continue to learn a complex array of skills to understand
    and cope with major changes at a local and global level:
    She writes:
        In our increasingly global and technology-driven
    society, a tidal wave of change constantly engulfs adult
    learners. On a macro level, economic conditions, labor
    forecasts, and international political dynamics are all
    relentlessly changing. Adult learners who are going to
    succeed in their studies and life need lifelong skills to
    help them cope with the rapid and incessant changes in
    technology skills, greater performance expectations, and
    changing responsibilities.‖ ( King, 2006, p. 20).
  Paulo Freire and Transformative
              Learning
   ―It is not enough to be able to help others read words; we
   must help others to read the world.‖
-Freire uses the word ―conscientization‖ to refer to the
   process of becoming critically aware of one‘s life world
   through an in-depth interpretation of problems and
   through dialogue with others. Through ―praxis‖ or the
   interplay between critical reflection and action,
   individuals are able to move from being ―carried along in
   the wake of change‖ to empowered individuals who can
   create and intervene in situations. Ira Shor (1987)
   emphasized that the teacher‘s conviction that she or he
   can learn from the student is a cornerstone in Freire‘s
   problem-posing education.
    Areas of Transformative Learning
 Literacy Education
 Human Rights and Advocacy
 Peace Education/Global Citizenship
 Women‘s Integration and Empowerment
 Health
 Environmental Sustainability
 Indigenous Education and Culture
 Social and Emotional Literacies
 Access to Information
 Diversity and Equality: Providing educational
  opportunities for culturally diverse populations and for
  the ageing population
     Dimensions to Transformative
              Learning
        ―We are living in a period of the earth‘s history that is
  incredibly turbulent and in a epoch in which there are
  violent processes of change that challenge us at every
  level imaginable. The pathos of the human being today
  is that we are caught up in this incredible transformation
  and we have a significant responsibility for the direction it
  will take. What is terrifying is that we have it within our
  power to make life extinct on this planet. Because of the
  magnitude of this responsibility for the planet, all of our
  educational ventures must be judged within this order of
  magnitude.‖
-E.O. Sullivan (2002) Expanding the boundaries of
  transformative learning.
Themes in Transformative Learning
 Critical thinking
 Humanism
 Personal and social empowerment
 Self-knowledge
 Democratic Participation
 Divergent viewpoints
 Balancing the rational, analytic, and
 intuitive/creative
        Five Minds for the Future
        (Howard Gardner, 2007)
    The disciplinary mind- mastery of major schools
    of thought ( including science, mathematics, and
    history) and at least one professional craft.
    The synthesizing mind- ability to integrate ideas
    from different disciplines.
    The creating mind- capacity to uncover and
    clarify new problems and questions
    The ethical mind- fulfillment of one‘s
    responsibility as a worker and citizen ( including
    global citizenship)
\
               The New Literacies
   Literacy is participatory and lifelong
   There are emotional and social components to literacy
   The essential skills needed today include:
       Reading
       Document Use
       Numeracy
       Writing
       Oral Communication
       Working with others
       Thinking
       Computer Use
       Continuous Learning
Key Themes in Planning ELA Units
   Linking Literature to Life
   Interdisciplinary Approaches
   Quick Writes
   The Values of Autobiographies and Biographies
   Creative Ways to Teach Non-Fiction
   The Rise of Graphic Novels
   Pictures and Poetry: Integrating Arts and ELA
   Literature Circles: Fostering Choice and Voice
   Culturally Diverse Texts
   Theme Based Unit Planning: Incorporating Multiple
    Genres
  Linking Emotional Intelligence to
  English, Psychology, and World
            Issues Texts
 Intraand Interpersonal Dimensions
 Empathy
 Mood Management
 Interpersonal Skills
 Motivation
 Resilience
 Conscientiousness
     Four Branches of Emotional
             Intelligence
 Emotional Identification, perception, and
  expression
 The ability to perceive and identify emotions in
  the faces, tone of voice, and body language
 The capacity for self-awareness: being aware of
  your own feelings
 The capacity for emotional literacy: ability to
  label specific feelings in yourself and others;
  being able to discuss emotions, resolve conflicts,
  and communicate clearly and directly.
The Need for Emotional and Social
  Literacy in a Stressed Society
 High  Levels of Stress
 Complexity of Barriers in our students‘
  lives ( psychological, dispositional,
  institutional)
 Increasing Technical Complexity
 Lack of Balance in Life
 Increasing Working Hours
 Low Levels of Trust
    Emotional Intelligence and ELA
                 Texts
 Obasan ( Joy Kagawa): Autobiographically
  based political novel about displaced Japanese
  Canadians during World War II; focuses on
  racial prejudices and injustices perpetuated as a
  result of fear.
 Themes: Citizenship; Courage; Resilience and
  Endurance; Peace; Respect.
 Strategies and Academic Activities: Analysis of
  novel elements; examination of historical and
  cultural perspectives; analysis of racism and
  discrimination
    Integrating EI into Language Arts
                Education
   Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
   Social Document, literacy legacy set against the epic
    background of World War II.
   Themes:
   Adaptability
   Compassion
   Courage
   Endurance
   Faith
   Freedom
   Human Rights
EI and ELA Texts: Exploring Values
       and Human Emotion
 Brave New World ( A. Huxley)
 -Satirical look at futuristic society and science‘s effects
  on human life
Themes and Values: Freedom; Power; Responsibility
Shakespeare‘s Othello: Historical tragedy explores human
  heart‘s struggle with jealousy, pride, and deceit.
Study Focus: Character/psychological analysis; ways to
  prevent self-destruction
Source: The Center for Learning:
  www.centerforlearning.org
Cross links with Psychology: Personality development;
  Relationships
    Maximizing Multiple Intelligences
        and Multiple Literacies
   Be sure to provide instructional strategies that tap into different
    learning styles and multiple intelligences:

   Linguistic
   Visual/Artistic
   Mathematical/Logical
   Kinesthetic
   Interpersonal
   Intrapersonal
   Environmental
   Existential
   Musical           ( Howard Gardner (2006: Multiple
                         Intelligences: New Horizons. New York: Basic
    Books)
Literature Circles: Creative Ways to
 Offer Choice in Culturally Diverse
            Classrooms
Roles:
The Connector: embodies what skillful
 readers most often do-they connect what
 they read to their own lives, their feelings,
 their experiences, to the day‘s headlines,
 to other books and authors.
             Literature Circles
 The   Questioner Role
     Wondering and analyzing: Where is this text
      going? Why do these characters act as they
      do? How did the author evoke this feeling? Is
      this a plausible outcome? Sometimes
      questioners seek to clarify or understand; at
      other times, they may challenge or critique.
               Literature Circles
   Literary Luminary/Passage Master Role
-find memorable, special, important sections of the text to
    re-read, reflect on, analyze, or share aloud.

        ―Parvana moved through her days as though she
    were moving through an awful nightmare---a nightmare
    from which there was no release in the morning.
        Then, late one afternoon, Parvana came home from
    work to find two men gently helping her father up the
    steps to the apartment. He was alive. At least part of the
    nightmare was over.‖
             Literature Circles
 Illustrator Role: reminds the group that
  skillful reading requires visualizing, and it invites
  a graphic nonlinguistic response to a text.
Other Roles
  Discussion Director
   Summarizer
   Vocabulary Enricher
   Travel Tracer
    Investigator
Sources: Harvey Daniels Literature Circles; Faye
  Brownlie: Grand Conversations
       Strategies that can enhance
             literature circles
   Applications to short stories and non-fiction
   Posters advertising the book
   TV movie critic-style reviews
   Reader‘s Theatre Performances
   Performances of a ―lost scene‖ in a book
   A sequel or prequel to the story
   A new ending for the book
   A new cover for the book
   Interview with the author or one of the characters
   Background research on the setting or time frame
   Diary of a character
      Culture and Identity
―Culture affects the process of learning. Most life
histories reflect intercultural dimensions…Today the
intercultural dynamic is related more to migration and
refugees, and the globalization of the work market.
Many adults have to adapt to another culture, to a
culture that they were not prepared to face, and this
process of change becomes partly a process of
education. Adults have to learn a new language,
understand new rules, and adapt to a new set of
cultural values.‖ ( Dominice, 2002, pp. 88-89)
     Emotional Intelligence
―Emotional intelligence is the ability to
sense, understand, and effectively apply
the power and acumen of emotions as a
source of human energy, information, and
influence. When trusted and respected,
emotional intelligence provides a deeper,
more fully formed understanding of oneself
and those around us.‖ (Cooper, 2002).
Inter and Intrapersonal Dimensions
      of Emotional Intelligence
*Self-awareness
*Empathy
*Mood Management
*Flexibility
*Optimism
*Resilience
*Self-direction
*Ability to connect with and collaborate with others
*Ability to listen
  Sources of Conflict in Groups
 Perceptions-Do   we really want to see and
  hear the truth?
 Stereotypes, prejudices, and biases
 Values and Beliefs
 Power, authority, and control
 Personality and behavioral style
 Goals and personal needs
   Encouraging Transformative
           Learning
*Interdisciplinary connections between English and content areas
   like Psychology, World Issues, Peace and Environmental
   Education,
  and Human Rights
*Literature circles based on thematic topics
*Life History Writing
*Creative use of the biography and autobiography
*Quick writes ( L. Rief)
*Creative writing
*Experiential teaching and learning strategies that integrate
   reflective and practical approaches
*Debates
*Position papers
*Creative ways to link art, film, and other texts
Cultural Awareness: Understanding
 Experience Through Life History
              Writing
    ―I grew up in a small village and my job as a young Dinka boy
     was herding cattle. The war changed everything. I was lucky to
     escape into the forest. Some of us crossed the rive Gilo and
     made it to Kakuma, the largest refugee camp in Kenya. The
     older boys and elders at Kakuma became our parental figures. I
     always enjoyed sitting beside the elders and listening to their
     stories…Life in the refugee camp still affects you—regardless of
     your age and regardless of your ambition. The more you
     internalize the experience the more it affects you. I have seen
     many of my friends die. Looking at the large picture makes you
     feel sad even today. Some people walked 1,000 miles without
     their shoes. I lost friends who drowned crossing the river. Some
     were also shot or kidnapped. Both my parents died in the war.
     When you become a refugee, you are no longer a citizen. You
     have to depend on the UN to help you in the camp. I asked
     myself: ‗Why was life so hard? How could my country do this to
     me? If my country failed to protect me as an individual, how can I
     feel proud about being Sudanese?‖ ( Alem, University Student)
          Learner Experiences
   ―As I see it, refugees come with a lot of burdens—they have the
    burden of dealing with the stress of the war they left and the
    family members that they are still trying to help; they are also
    dealing with the burden of paying back loans and making it in
    Canadian society. Some of us from the Sudan came with such
    high expectations and our expectations have not been met. They
    don‘t talk about the difficult barriers that stand in the way. Then
    when you are walking on a -30 degree snowy day, you ask
    yourself--- ‗could this be Canada—the land of opportunity.‘Some
    of the refugees I know don‘t have hope. When they apply for a
    job and are told that they don‘t have Canadian experience, they
    feel frustrated. The start lingering around and feel desperate.
    Some of the younger ones I know have joined gangs like the
    Mad Cowz. I try to encourage my friends and the younger people
    to value Canada. I tell them that they have two homes---the
    Sudan and Canada. Here in Canada, peace and freedom of
    speech are valued. If you work hard and study hard, I tell them
    that they can succeed.‖
         Texts that Highlight Refugee
                 Experiences
A long way gone- A. Beah

Escape from slavery-F. Bok

God grew tired of us: A memoir- J.B. Dau

They poured fire on us from the sky-B.Deng, A. Deng, & B.Ajak

What is the what-D. Eggers

Then they started shooting: Growing up in wartime Bosnia: Lynn Jones The swallows of Kabul-
   Y. Khadra

Slave: My true story- M. Nazer

Prisoner of Tehran: A memoir- M. Nemat

A bed of red flowers-N A. Pazira

Emma’s war-D. Scroggins
Chanda’s secret- A. Sratton
 Exploring Literature as a way to
encourage transformative learning
     The idea of using literature and other texts to
help students broaden their perspective of world
issues and the plight of refugees can encourage
transformative learning. Greenlaw (2005) writes
that readers ―can learn to probe their own
emotional responses, gather information to help
them interpret what they are reading, develop a
vision of what a better world might be like, and
critically examine injustices both in their own
lives and the lives of others‖ (p. 46).
        The Social Climate
Despite anti-bullying programs and other
initiatives designed to foster inclusion and
maximize motivation, too many children and
young adults are feeling increasingly alienated.
―There is the growing isolation of children as
they spend increasing periods of time in front of
screens, learning the literacy of violence in video
games, learning the literacy of insensitivity from
TV ―reality shows,‖ or learning the literacy of
consumerism from an endless bombardment of
 advertising‖ ( Gordon, 2005, p. 116- Roots of
Empathy).
Literacy and Lifelong Learning
     ―Literacy, broadly conceived as the basic
knowledge and skills needed by all in a rapidly
changing world, is a fundamental human right. In
every society, literacy is a necessary skill in itself
and one of the foundations of other life skills.
There are millions, the majority of whom are
women, who lack the opportunity to learn or who
have insufficient skills to be able to assert this
right. The challenge is to enable them to do so.
This will often imply the creation of preconditions
for learning through awareness raising and
empowerment‖ ( UNESCO, 1997)
UNESCO DECLARATION ON THE
     RIGHT TO LEARN
The Right to Learn is:
*The right to read and write
*The right to question and analyze
*The right to imagine and create
*The right to read one‘s world and to write history
*The right to have access to educational resources
*The right to develop individual and collective skills
    Transformative Learning
     ―Transformative learning involves experiencing a
deep, structural shift of consciousness that dramatically
and permanently alters our way of being in the world.
Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves and
our self-locations; our relationships with other humans
and with the natural world; our understanding of relations
of power in interlocking structures of class, race, and
gender; our body awareness; our vision of alternative
approaches to living; and our sense of the possibilities
for social justice and peace and personal joy.‖-
E.O.Sullivan (2002), OISE, The University of Toronto,
Centre for Transformative Learning
    Transformative Learning
       From Mezirow‘s (2000) perspective,
transformative learning does not only include the
addition of new information; rather the way we
understand and interpret our world can be
transformed through a process of critical
reflection and action. Learning is understood ―as
the process of using prior interpretation to
construe a new or revised interpretation of
meaning of one‘s experience in order to guide
future action.‖ –Mezirow (2000) Learning as
transformation.
         Three Dimensions to
       Transformative Learning
 Psychological   changes in understanding of
  the self;
 Convictional changes ( a revision of belief
  systems)
 Behavioral Changes ( changes in lifestyle)
 There are rational, creative, and intuitive
  dimensions to transformative learning, and
  the ideas can be applied on a personal,
  social, and global level.
Factors Influencing Transformative
             Learning
 The readiness of the learner
 Personality traits and learning style preferences
 Teaching Style and Philosophy of Teaching of the
  Educators
 The educational climate
 Beliefs, values, and attitudes
 The Mission of the Institution
 Content Area and Curriculum Choices
 Methods of Assessment
              ―An act of learning can be called
  transformative only if it involves a fundamental
  questioning and reordering of how one thinks or acts.”-
  Stephen Brookfield (2002).
Transformative vs. Technical
       ―I‘m not really sure what a transformative educator means. I
think that if someone calls himself or herself a transformative
educator, that‘s a very demanding claim. I think that if you can help
people a few steps along on their journey of learning, you‘re doing
well. I see transformation as having a lot to do with the student, and
their own readiness, rather than being with the teacher. I am very
wary of the educator as change agent. I have to ask myself: what
kind of change? Certainly, I critically challenge the students to
examine their ideas and the nature of society, but I do not think that I
should be directive in suggesting that they should change either
their lives or society. I am not a moral arbiter. It‘s different if
someone says, ‗I don‘t like the way I am, and I‘d like to change.‖ The
initiative to change is not the responsibility of the educator….it‘s not
my role to start counselling people about major life changes.‖
                             Teaching Roles
*Expert-transmits expertise
*Planner-designs
*Instructor-tells what to do
*Facilitator-responds to needs;encourages and supports
*Resource person-provides material
*Manager-keeps records, arranges, and manages
*Mentor-advises, guides, and supports
*Co-learner-learns and mutually plans with learners
*Reformer-challenges, stimulates, questions, and fosters transformative
   learning
*Researcher-makes observations, formulates hypotheses, develops a
   theory of practice
*Advocate-helps students connect with outside agencies/resources
*Cultural Guide-help learners understand and navigate a new culture
  Literature as a vehicle for tapping
       areas of the imagination
       ―Literature provides shape and form to life‘s
  questions. That‘s what keeps people reading. I have a
  desire to make shape out of different facts. Unlike other
  kinds of teaching where the curriculum may be very set
  and specific, there is an element of discovery in teaching
  English. Freud studied literature as a way of
  understanding personality and motivation. There is
  something bigger than an academic discipline in
  studying literature. We all have a narrative to tell. At a
  basic level, literature exists to help people understand
  themselves and the world.‖
-Craig, Community College English Teacher
  Creative Writing as a vehicle for
      transformative learning
  ―Writing is an act of seeing. I try to encourage
  my students to be good observers. Poetry allows
  my students to share their deepest fears. I think
  that the whole idea of teaching literature and
  creative writing is to inform, uplift, and serve as a
  useful psychological and spiritual guide. Part of
  my work involves demystifying the language of
  poetry to make it accessible to students from
  different backgrounds.‖
-Rob, inner city senior high English teacher
             Literacy to Empower
         ―I teach in the center of pain and poverty….A lot of talented
   people grow up with poverty, prejudice, and a lack of hope. They
   don‘t feel accepted…Lots of students have lost friends and relatives
   through suicide. I try to get them to explore their feelings and share
   with others by writing about it. I have seen many students
   overwhelmed by their alcohol and drug habits. Students who have
   grown up in parentless homes are now parents themselves.
   Everywhere I see the streets pulling at them.
         Teaching is a humanitarian act and I try to transform lives. I try
   to help my students recognize how vital they are and how, in fact,
   the can move mountains if they are willing to realize that their
   negative experiences in childhood can be a resource of tremendous
   energy and insight. Your mission as an English teacher is to help
   individuals feel hopeful about themselves.‖

-Rob, inner city senior high English teacher.
    Teaching Language Arts from a
      Transformative Perspective
   Gee (2006) emphasizes that English teachers
    stand at the very heart of the most critical
    educational, cultural, and political issues of our
    time, and that while they can see themselves as
    ―language teachers‖ with no connection to
    political and social issues, an alternative is that
    they can accept their role as persons who
    socialize learners into a world view that must be
    looked at critically, comparatively, and with a
    constant sense of the possibilities for change.‖
    A balance between self and social
               awareness
  Integrate emotional and social intelligence into teaching language
   arts ( self-awareness, empathy, motivation, mood management, and
   problem solving ability)
 Autobiographical writing
 Provide access to texts that reflect diversity in terms of culture,
   gender, race, and ethnicity.
 Provide texts that help students understand timely social and global
   issues
      ―Readers can learn to probe their own emotional responses,
   gather information to help what they are reading, develop a vision of
   what a better world might be like, and critically examine injustices
   both in their own lives and the lives of others.‖
-Greenlaw (2005)
     Perspectives of Learning
       ―Learning is more than an accretion of facts. It‘s changing the
architecture around you. Major learning to me means a paradigm
shift of sorts. The things that I‘ve always valued have involved a
recognition that now I see things working in a different way. I can
see my students learning if they start challenging me and asking me
questions. Sometimes I see it in their assignments where they are
applying a skill or a strategy in a fresh or original way. They‘re not
just regurgitating information. They‘re taking a different way of
looking at poetry and then applying it to writing their own poem…..
      I want students to read a range of authors—Manitoban,
international, and so on and from different historical periods.
However, I believe that it is vital for students to write their own
literature and enter the literary process. I guide them through this
journey.‖
    Working toward transformative
              learning
 Acknowledge learner interests through critical
  incidents,Learning style inventories, etc.
 Balancing structure and creativity through applying
  multiple intelligence theory and differentiated instruction
 Interdisciplinary approaches that link ELA to world
  issues, psychology, sociology, etc.
 The teacher as co-learner, challenger, and guide
 Dialogue and Collaboration
 Experiential Learning Techniques
 Life History Writing, Journals, Learning Logs
 Encourage drama, popular/interactive theatre,poetry,
  and other creative forms of literature
Renzulli‘s (2002) Enrichment Triad
               Model
   Type One Activities: Exploratory experiences that are
    designed to introduce students to topics not ordinarily
    covered in the regular curriculum.
   Examples of Activities:
   Debate
   Display
   Field Trip
   Guest Speaker
   Interest and Learning Centres
   Mini-course
   Newspaper program
 Renzulli‘s Enrichment Triad Model
Type Two Enrichment:
( Analysis of higher order skills to organize,
  analyze, and synthesize new information)
*Reflective Papers
*Logs and Journals
*Group dynamics and presentations
*Leadership skill development
*Access to develop research skills
 Renzulli‘s Enrichment Triad Model
Type Three: Advanced Research Skill
  Development
 Further development in intra and interpersonal
  skills
 Academic literacy in cross disciplinary areas
 Advanced literacy skills in critical reading,
  writing, viewing, etc.
       *One day per week would enable students to
  develop their skills in an area of their interest (
  learning projects)
     Transformative Teaching
     ―It is important to ground the learner in
  a sense of place, history, culture, and
  identity….Transformative teaching must
  examine how notions of self, personhood,
  place, history, culture, and belonginess to
  community are manifested in specific
  cultural contexts and values.‖
-George S. Dei (2002) Expanding the
  boundaries of transformative learning.
        Tensions in Teaching
     ―I work with students who live on the margins. The
greatest barrier to learning is this complex thing called
poverty—whether it‘s not being able to buy a bus
pass or not eating properly or living in a house where
everyone is up all night partying. We‘re talking about
food, shelter, safety, and feeling a sense of belonging
and self-worth. I try to break down these feelings of
isolation that my students experience….I am also not
under any illusions about assessment. The
transformative philosophy is what I strive for but the
reality is that I have to be realistic and practical and help
my students develop essential literacy skills. At some
point, they will have to write a test or an entrance exam
and I have to prepare them.‖
    Technical vs. Transformative
       ―We would be lost if we did not have an intellectual and spiritual
   conscience yet in many ways we are heading for that….
        We have to fight to keep the word education in our programs. So many
   literacy programs today are becoming ―training‖. Our administration keeps
   asking for key productivity indicators and this is particularly frustrating when
   you are working with literacy learners who are at different levels. Many of
   our students have also bought into a myth that education guarantees a job.
   Maybe if enough people question how the economy works, major changes
   would take place. When my students come to class, I‘m hoping that they will
   find some control over their lives in some other way besides the economic
   way….A real tension for me is that I feel that society thinks that my job as a
   literacy educator is trying to help people fit into the system. Am I teaching
   them to fit into a society that has contributed to their marginalization? I want
   to offer students new direction and opportunities. I‘d rather have a society
   where everyone is welcomed and needed. We do not have this yet.‖
-Barb, Community College English Instructor
         Learning as a process of
               construction
   ―Teaching is a process of construction---I see
    myself as an architect and a guide….the process
    of discovering new ideas is
    continuous….Learning is a process of discovery.
    You have to reach students at a level that they
    are familiar with and then build from there. I
    often make links between Poe, Conrad, and
    Twain with contemporary media and film if I‘m
    introducing concepts like satire, tone, irony, and
    so on. We‘re not living in the ―great books
    society‖anymore.
 Personal Development and Social
           Awareness
  ―I think of teaching English as tapping areas of the
  imagination. I want my students to trust their own
  judgments while also considering appreciating the
  opinions of others. I teach in a multi-cultural setting and
  what may be difficult is the language barrier or the
  content. I try to work around those barriers….In my view,
  educational programs should come from a need within
  the community and they should be engineered in a way
  that people can identify with their own realities. We are
  too work and grade focused. As a result people lose
  touch with their creative side. We have to emphasize
  personal development as well as academic mastery as
  equally valuable goals in education.‖
-Ross, High School English Teacher
                Autobiographies
   Students can include samples of their writing, documents, photographs
    of their families and communities, as well as stories, dialogues, and
    interviews. Multigenre writing enables students to incorporate personal
    narrative, interview material, and social commentary.
   Online Literature Archives:
   The Bartleby Project at the University of Columbia
    http://www.barleby.com
   The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia:
    http://eng.hss.cmu.edu
   The Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan:
    http://www.hti.umich.edu/
   The University of Toronto English Library:http://www.library.utoronto.ca
   Teacher Guides and lesson plans:
    http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score/cyberguide.html.
   ERIC Language Arts Plans: http://ericir.syr.edy/Virtual/Lessons/Lang-
    arts/index.html.
   NCTE NOTES Plus. http://www.ncte.org/notesplus/.

				
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