Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Framing Narratives: Gifted Students' Comic Memoirs in the English Classroom
by Kersulov, Michael L., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2019, 252; 13807895
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation focuses on the literacy practices of three focal students who composed multimodal comic memoirs about the emotional struggles and obstacles they faced related to being labeled academically gifted and talented. As a qualitative action research study (Hewitt & Little, 2005; Munn-Giddings, 2012), in which the teacher of the focal classroom was the primary researcher, a sociocultural framework (Dunsmore & Fischer, 2010; Wertsch, 1991) was employed to investigate the three focal students’ uses of multimodal composition to address the research questions: RQ1, In what ways do gifted secondary students use the comics medium to produce multimodal memoirs? RQ2, What experiences do gifted secondary students represent when they design comic memoirs? and RQ3, What do gifted secondary students reveal about competing representations of race, gender, class, and giftedness as they depict themselves in comic memoirs? To address the research questions, the researcher used a qualitative case study design (Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2009), collecting data over five years (2013–2017) while teaching a literature-based comics class at a summer enrichment program for gifted secondary students. Based on a conceptual framework comprising the intersections of literacy practices related to multiliteracies (Sanders and Albers, 2010) and multimodalities (New London Group, 1996) in connection with visual literacy skills (Frey & Fisher, 2008), data analysis included a variant of grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), Situational Analysis (Clarke, 2005), which takes a cartographic approach to the collection and analysis of data within the study’s situation, including its environment, social spheres, and setting. Findings point to the focal students’ deep-seated emotional turmoil related to gender, racial, and gifted identities; reports of emotionally debilitating social and academic expectations connected to giftedness; and personal narratives of being silenced and socially alienated. Implications are discussed concerning how the unique visual literacy strategies available while making comic memoirs helped the focal students gain perspective on and insight into their struggles with identity and related social and cultural practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hines, Mary Beth
Commitee: Adomat, Donna, Barnett, Scot, Medina, Carmen, Smith, Ray
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Gifted Education, Secondary education
Keywords: Comic memoir, Comics pedagogy, Gifted education, Language education, Literacy, Situational analysis
Publication Number: 13807895
ISBN: 978-1-392-01068-6
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