Transforming Literacy Curriculum Genres
Working With Teacher Researchers in Urban Classrooms
Edited by Christine C. Pappas, Liliana Zecker, Liliana Zecker
Routledge – 2001 – 362 pages
In this volume, university researchers and urban elementary teacher-researchers coauthor chapters on the teachers' year-long inquiries, on a range of literacy topics that they conducted as part of a collaborative school-university action research project. Central to this project was the teacher-researchers' attempts to transform their teaching practices to meet the needs of students from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, and their finding that their inquiry efforts resulted in developing more collaborative styles of teaching.
Because the everyday interactions between teachers and students are realized by the social talk in the classroom, the university- and teacher-researchers analyzed classroom discourse to study and document the teachers' efforts to make changes in the locus of power in literacy teaching and learning. The chapters include many classroom discourse examples to illustrate the critical points or incidents of these teachers' inquiries. They show the successes and the struggles involved in shedding teacher-controlled patterns of talk.
This book explores the process of urban teachers' journeys to create dialogically organized literacy instruction in particular literacy routines--called, in this book, curriculum genres. The book is organized in terms of these curriculum genres, such as writing curriculum genres, reading-aloud curriculum genres, drama curriculum genres, and so forth. Teacher inquiries were conducted in various elementary grade levels, from kindergarten through grade eight. Three occurred in bilingual classrooms and one in a special education classroom. The first and last chapters, written by the editors, provide the background, theoretical, and methodological underpinnings of the project.
"The information is relevant to all who teach. This scholarly book presents a richly detailed portrait of literacy, is easy to read, and provides numerous examples grounded in theory and practical application. Highly recommended for graduate and upper-division undergraduate students interested in literacy."
"Two collaborative efforts are chronicled in this volume, and both are equally interesting and instructive: first, the effort by teachers to improve the quality of instruction in their classrooms, with the support and encouragement of university personnel, and second, the efforts of individual teachers to establish collaborative inquiry in their own classrooms….These essays constitute a front line view of what it actually means to improve instruction, under the most difficult of circumstances, and demonstrate the importance of supporting competent and dedicated teachers."
—Marcia S. Popp
Southern Illinois University
Contents: Preface. C.C. Pappas, L.B. Zecker, Urban Teachers Researchers' Struggles in Sharing Power With Their Students: Exploring Changes in Literacy Curriculum Genres. Part I: Writing Curriculum Genres. J. Liao, D. Ruben, P. Wolfer, Creating a Writing Workshop in First Grade: How to Teach Literacy "Skills" and Help Children "Come to Voice." L.B. Zecker, C. Nichols, L. Montes, S. Cohen, "Pero, Nosotros No Somos Autores!": Using Explanations to Scaffold Authorship in Latino Second Graders. D. Ruben, J. Liao, M. Rassel, "Does That Sound Like You?": Exploring Ways to Foster Eighth-Grade Students' Voice in Their Written Research Reports. Part II: Reading-Aloud Curriculum Genres. C.C. Pappas, S. Hart, D. Escobar, A. Barry, Fostering First-Graders' Phonemic Awareness and Much More: Using ABC Books in the Reading-Aloud Curriculum Genre. C.C. Pappas, S. Hart, D. Escobar, H. Jones, D.A. O'Malley, Two Teachers' Efforts to Transform the Reading-Aloud Curriculum Genre for Collaboration: Examining Shifts of Process and Content Dimensions of Sharing Authority. L.B. Zecker, C. Nichols, L. Montes, S.T. Pasewark, Bridging Into English Through Reading-Alouds: More Than a Curricular Routine in a Bilingual Third Grade. Part III: Drama Curriculum Genres. H. Tabak, Jr., P. Fowler, Trying Out Roles for Learning: Finding the "Right" Drama Approach for Sixth Graders. D. Ruben, J. Liao, B. Braun, Finding the Right Balance: Using Drama to Promote Special Education Students' Engagement in Literacy Learning. Part IV: Other Language and Literacy Curriculum Genres. L.B. Zecker, C. Nichols, L. Montes, S.W. Soltero, Exploring "Language Richness" in a Bilingual Kindergarten Classroom: The Possible Forms and Power of Collaborative Talk. D. Ruben, J. Liao, D. Collier, Fostering Young Readers: Creating Contexts for Kindergartners' Reenactments of Books in the Classroom. J. Liao, D. Ruben, R.L. Mehra, Creating Ways to Individualize Teacher Response in Various Group Reading Experiences for Second Graders. S. Hart, D. Escobar, S.C. Jacobson, The Rocky Road to Grand Conversations: Learning How to Facilitate Literature-Discussion Groups in Fourth Grade. C.C. Pappas, L.B. Zecker, Transforming Curriculum Genres in Urban Schools: The Political Significance of Collaborative Classroom Discourse.