Identity-Focused ELA Teaching

A Curriculum Framework for Diverse Learners and Contexts

Richard Beach,

Identity-Focused ELA Teaching: A Curriculum Framework for Diverse Learners and Contexts
 
 

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.



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