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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creating discourses of possibility: Storying between the real and the imagined to negotiate rural lives in two elementary classrooms
by Coggin, Linda L., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2014, 229; 3665263
Abstract (Summary)

In an age of standardization of learning and the learner, literacy is narrowly defined to view young people from a deficit rather than a strength perspective. Empowering learners to draw on knowledges and experiences that they have access to in their everyday lives broadens the view of literacy learning. Research on literacy as a sociocultural practice, rural literacies, and performance theory frame this inquiry that seeks to understand how students are positioned as capable users of multiple literacy practices. This work examines: How do students living in rural contexts bring personal stories and interests into classrooms to make sense of literacy learning? What pedagogical practices make visible students' personal stories and interests as resources for literacy? How do students negotiate lived and imagined experience in classroom literacy engagements?

Using ethnographic methodologies and a practice centered performance approach, this research foregrounds the complexities of literacy learning that are responsive to this midwestern rural school community. Over the course of one academic year, I observed and participated in the everyday literacy events in a sixth grade and a second grade classroom. This work focuses on how rurality is imagined and experienced in these focal classrooms and the pedagogical practices that establish an ethos of sharing personal stories and experiences. An analysis of student created multimedia videos demonstrates how these literacy events were a location to 1) enact cultural ways of knowing, 2) negotiate multiple discourses that were significant in students' worlds, and 3) create new possibilities for using literacies and participating in classrooms. In the midst of tensions that place students as objects of instructional and political policies, discourses of possibility are created when young people are positioned as capable subjects who contribute and create knowing.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Medina, Carmen L.
Commitee: Damico, James, Lepselter, Susan, Weltsek, Gustave, Wohlwend, Karen E.
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Elementary education
Keywords: Digital story, Elementary, Literacies, Performance, Rural, Writing
Publication Number: 3665263
ISBN: 978-1-321-37565-7
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