Countering the increased standardization of English language arts instruction requires recognizing and fostering students’ unique identity construction across different social and cultural contexts. Drawing on current sociocultural theories of identity construction, this book posits that students construct multiple identities through use of five identity practices: adopting alternative perspectives, exploring connections across people and texts, negotiating identities across social worlds, developing agency through critical analysis, and reflecting on long-term identity trajectories.
Identity-Focused ELA Teaching features classroom activities teachers can use to put these practices into action in ways that re-center implementing the Common Core State Standards; case-study profiles of students and classrooms from urban, suburban, and rural schools adopting these practices; and descriptions of how teachers both support students with this instructional approach and share their own identity-construction experiences with their students. It demonstrates how, as students acquire identity-focused practices through engagements with literature, writing, drama, and digital texts, they gain awareness of the ways exposure to different narratives, beliefs, and perspectives serves to mediate their own and others’ identities, leading to different ways of being and becoming over time.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction: What is Identity-Focused ELA Teaching?
Chapter 2: How Can Identity-Focused ELA Work in My Classroom?
Chapter 3: Adopting Alternative Perspectives
Chapter 4: Making Connections Across People and Texts
Chapter 5: Negotiating Identities Across Different Social Worlds
Chapter 6: Engaging in Critical Analysis of Texts and the World
Chapter 7: Reflecting on Identity Development Over Time
Chapter 8: Changing Classroom Spaces and Schools to Foster Identity Development
Richard Beach is Professor Emeritus of English Education at the University of Minnesota, USA.
Anthony Johnston is Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Saint Joseph, USA.
Amanda Haertling Thein is Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Iowa, USA.