December 03, 2018
Our December reading for Literacy, Equity + Remarkable Notes = LEARN, considers the shortcomings of traditional writing instruction in schools and suggests a radical approach. In an article recently published in Voices From the Middle, author Marcelle Haddix shares her experience leading an interest-driven, asset-focused, out-of-school writing program that has implications for the classroom.
This is the second month of LEARN, a Marginal Syllabus co-developed with the National Writing Project (NWP) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Each month we’ll collaboratively read and discuss an article, published by NCTE, that investigates the intersection of literacy and equity. Refer to the syllabus for information on all the annotatable readings, which will go “live” on the first Monday of each month, along with related events hosted by CLTV and others.
December Topic: Celebrating radical writing to develop and sustain youth writing literacies.
Given the social, economic, and educational disparities that persisted within my community, not unlike other urban areas in the United States, I wondered what I—a mother, a community member, and a literacy scholar and teacher educator—could do to help change what was going on in my community, in my local schools, and in the lives of young people.
This month, we read about a community writing program that was born out of a mother’s frustration with her son’s schooling, and her interest as an educator to reframe the teaching of writing. In the article we’ll read and discuss, “What’s Radical about Youth Writing?: Seeing and Honoring Youth Writers and Their Literacies,” author Marcelle Haddix challenges the dominant narrative about who is (and is not) considered a writer, a deficit narrative that can result from test-driven writing practices and school literacy assessments. She describes her work with young writers establishing youth-led and youth-centered writing practices in which students write about their experiences, tell stories, and connect to critical cultural conversations. Haddix asks, “How can schools create and sustain teaching and learning opportunities that recognize youth as writers and leverage their writing competence?”
Haddix’s article describes the frustration of a community underserved by schooling, a community based effort to reach students in the margins, and opportunities for writing to heal, empower, and transform communities.
We hope you’ll engage in a conversation about radical youth writing by annotating in the margins of this provocative article.
Join the Annotated Conversation
We invite you to read “What’s Radical about Youth Writing?: Seeing and Honoring Youth Writers and Their Literacies,” and annotate the text with your own thoughts and reactions. Annotations may be added using the web annotation tool Hypothes.is. To add your own annotations, as well as to respond to others, sign up for your free account.
Share your annotations as you read or any time throughout the month. We also encourage you to use these readings and the opportunity to annotate however it best works for you—organize a study group, bring a class you are teaching, engage as an individual, or connect it to a meeting.
Author Discussion at CLTV
Marcelle Haddix, author of “What’s Radical about Youth Writing?: Seeing and Honoring Youth Writers and Their Literacies” joined CLTV for a conversation about her experience leading an interest-driven, asset-focused, out-of-school writing program. Haddix is joined by educators Michelle King, Chris Rogers, Remi Kalir and Joe Dillon, for a discussion.