Begins: November 4, 2019
Ends: June 30, 2020

Literacy, Equity + Remarkable Notes = LEARN: Marginal Syllabus 2019-20

Literacy, Equity + Remarkable Notes = LEARN is a collaborative project of the National Writing Project (NWP), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and Marginal Syllabus which invites both K-12 and post-secondary educators to a year of social reading, collaborative web annotation, and public conversation. Now in its second year, LEARN: Marginal Syllabus 2019-20 kicks off in November and runs through June.

Marginal Syllabus partners include a range of authors, educators, scholars, and learners alongside a publisher, NCTE, who collaboratively engage in curated social reading and writing opportunities that explore the intersections of literacy and equity. As a Marginal Syllabus comprised of eight texts from eleven partner authors, we seek to surface a range of remarkable notes in the margins of these texts, while also centering our discussion on topics and scholarship that often are on the margins of teaching and learning.

This syllabus has been collaboratively organized by its partners and all partner authors have agreed to have their scholarship publicly annotated by participating educators. This project leverages the web annotation platform Hypothesis for open collaboration and dialogue, adding multiple voices to critical conversations about equity, literacy, and learning.

LEARN: 2019-20 Marginal Syllabus

Click on the links below to activate the annotatable version of these readings (posted on the first Monday of each month); connect with us during live events; or browse the event archives.

Dates Article for Annotation Conversation
November Tanner (2019), “Whiteness is a White Problem: Whiteness in English Education,” English Education
December Worlds and Miller (2019), “Miles Morales: Spider Man and Reimagining the Canon for Racial Justice,” English Journal
January Corbitt (2019), “Revising Resistance: A Step Toward Student-Centered Activism,” Voices from the Middle
February Watson and Beymer (2019), “Praisesongs of Place: Youth Envisioning Space and Place in a Literacy and Songwriting Initiative,” Research in the Teaching of English
March Everett (2018), “‘Untold Stories:’ Cultivating Consequential Writing with a Black Male Student Through a Critical Approach to Metaphor,” Research in the Teaching of English
April Boyd and Miller (2020), “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk (And Act!) About: Privilege, Racism, and Oppression in the Middle School Classroom,” Voices from the Middle
May Sarigianides (2019), “Performative Youth: The Literacy Possibilities of De-essentializing Adolescence,” English Education
Johnson (2018), “Where Do We Go From Here? Toward a Critical Race English Education,” Research in the Teaching of English

Why Annotate?

“There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world. (Library of America volume of Emerson’s Essays and Lectures, p. 59)”

Michelle King of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project explores the “whys” of annotation and how a project like the Marginal Syllabus creates an equity ecology; download the Why Annotate? infographic.

Joe Dillon from the Denver Writing Project reviews the 2018-19 LEARN: Marginal Syllabus and considers how each of last year’s readings might support educators.

How It Works

This year’s LEARN: Marginal Syllabus will start the first week of November 2019 and run through June 2020.

Get Started with Hypothesis

Annotation is the act of commenting and/or otherwise marking up a set of texts in order to add to your reading and/or keep track of your thinking. As an open online tool, Hypothesis adds a new dimension to your reading and note-taking, making it publicly available and therefore socially shared.

Using Hypothesis is as easy as clicking on this activated link to the texts shared below. From there you can see and read all public annotations left by others; Join/login to Hypothesis to add your own annotations. You can also use Hypothesis more regularly to annotate other online content; visit the website to learn how. There are also resources for educators for those considering using this in a course or other learning situation.


National Writing Project

The National Writing Project (NWP), the founder of the Educator Innovator Initiative, is a network of educators and dedicated practitioners working together to improve practice with an eye toward young people as producers. The NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer and maker, not just a passive consumer.

National Council of Teachers of English

Through collaboration and community, shared stories and shared experiences, NCTE supports teachers and their students in classrooms, on college campuses, and in online learning environments.

Marginal Syllabus

The Marginal Syllabus sparks and sustains public conversation about educational equity through collaborative technologies and partnerships.