Composing Texts and Identities in an Alternative High School English Class

Composing Texts and Identities in an Alternative High School English Class

Mary Beth Hines (Indiana University, USA), Michael L. Kersulov (Indiana University, USA), Leslie Rowland (Indiana University, USA) and Rebecca Rupert (Monroe County Community School Corporation, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5982-7.ch024

Abstract

This chapter is drawn from a qualitative case study of one alternative high school English class, tracing students' engagement and resistance with digital media and school-based literacy practices, exploring how each student's use of literacy and digital media led to the formation of particular identities in the social sphere of the classroom. In this chapter the authors focus on two students, Callie--loud and socially dominant-- and Nina, quiet, reserved, outside the social circle. The authors trace the students' respective discursive practices in two composition units-- a multimodal children's book unit and a Theater of the Oppressed unit. The chapter argues that both young women have strong literacy skills and are strategic in using them, thereby creating particular identities as they produced texts.
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Background On The Study

This study draws from scholarship on new literacy studies, theories of identity as performance, and research related to the achievement gap.

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