Research in the Teaching of English
RTE is the flagship research journal of NCTE.
Research in the Teaching of English
Vol. 53, No. 1, August 2018
Gerald Campano, Amy Stornaiuolo, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Sinéad Harmey and Bobbie Kabuto
The purpose of this article is to examine the metatheoretical differences that impact how running records and miscue analysis differ in (a) the quantification of readers’ produced responses to text and (b) the analysis of oral reading behaviors. After providing historical and metatheoretical overviews of both procedures, we present the data source, which included 74 records of oral readings from an extant data set collected from an informal reading inventory. Each record was coded using running record and miscue analysis procedures. We used inferential statistics to examine relationships across conceptually similar items of analysis (for example, the number of errors or miscues). Findings from the inferential statistics show that there were significant, positive correlations between three of the five conceptually similar items, and a lack of statistically significant correlations between the use of meaning and grammar between running records and miscue analysis. Based on the findings, we argue that both procedures, which are often confused and conflated, possess metatheoretical differences that influence how oral reading behaviors are interpreted. These differences, in turn, impact how reading ability is framed and socially constructed. We conclude with the significance of this research for education professionals.
Several writing studies have affirmed the literacies of young Black men in schooling contexts in humanizing ways, which has importantly moved us beyond rationalizing their literacy practices in educational spaces. Less of this important research has directly focused on young Black men who are deemed academically high-achieving in traditional English language arts (ELA) classrooms. Thus, academically high-achieving young Black men are often silent in literacy education and research; they have “untold stories,” as described by Shawn, the focal student in this critical ethnographic case study. In an effort to provide literacy supports for these students and their ELA educators, I developed a consequential literacy pedagogy. In this article, I focus on consequential writing—one product of the consequential literacy pedagogy. Consequential writing concurrently develops academic and critical literacies. This layered literacy approach is intentionally developed by, for, and with historically marginalized communities to equip them to act against inequity within and beyond academic spaces through the learning, teaching, and sharing of writing. The current study cultivated consequential writing with a Black male student through a critical approach to metaphor. Metaphor is ideal for developing consequential writing due to its ability to simultaneously engage critical, creative, and cognitive literacies. In this paper, I address the following research question: How did an academically high-achieving Black male secondary student utilize the generative power of metaphor to cultivate consequential writing? Next, I illuminate the transferability of this work to support ELA educators in cultivating consequential writing with students beyond this study. Finally, I discuss some unintended consequences of consequential writing for Black youth in academic spaces that do not honor their lives or minds.
Meghan A. Sweeney
Threshold concept theory can identify transformative concepts in disciplinary communities of practice, making it a useful framework pedagogically for scholars of academic literacies. Although researchers have studied how to teach threshold concepts and how students have taken up these concepts in learning to write, few have looked at two aspects that are particularly important for students placed into basic writing: threshold concepts of reading and questions of learning transfer. Taking an epistemological approach to disciplinary literacies, I used case study research to trace the changing reading and writing practices of Bruce, a basic writing and first-generation college student, during his first year of college as he moved from a basic reading course into biochemistry. Bruce leveraged audience awareness to write rhetorically and to comprehend difficult texts written for professional biochemistry researchers. Findings show that audience awareness is a threshold concept of reading, one that transforms academic literacy practices and that furthers identity in disciplinary communities of practice. These findings support the teaching of audience awareness in secondary and postsecondary classrooms, but they also demand that we recognize the additional work basic writing students, like Bruce, must do to establish agency in a system that has labeled them underprepared.
Essays by Celia Genishi, Sonia Nieto, and Carol D. Lee
In the first installment of our In Dialogue section, we recognize the generations of scholars who have paved the way for literacy research, teaching, and activism committed to equity. We feature three of the field’s luminaries—Celia Genishi, Sonia Nieto, and Carol Lee—as each reflects on her professional journey as it intertwines with key moments in history. We begin with Celia Genishi’s recollection of the ways that her experience as a child speaker of Japanese in the United States during a period of pronounced state-sanctioned xenophobia led her to become a researcher of early childhood bilingual education. Next, Sonia Nieto recounts her own “political coming of age” and dedication to “inclusion, equity, and social justice” as she learned about the role of institutional racism in creating failure for Black and Puerto Rican children in New York City schools, where she herself was both a student and teacher. Finally, Carol Lee describes her own conceptual and methodological orientations, exemplified by her Cultural Modeling framework and idea of the “problem space,” in helping to create equitable learning conditions, particularly for students from nondominant backgrounds. All three of our featured essayists trace their professional commitments to their experiences as young people and educators in the US during times of tumult and change, to their own mentors, and to their ongoing relationships with colleagues and students. Taken together, the essays serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of history, place, and intergenerational learning as we imagine new directions for research and more just educational futures.