Transforming teaching and learning for the 21 st century: Developing a new literacies stance in the English classroom
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This ethnographic study of two classrooms examines to what extent, if at all, the introduction of multimodal and Digital Video composing as a literacy tool early in two teachers' careers had a transformative effect on their teaching and their students' learning. During long term participant observation in the classes of two English teachers who described themselves as employing a New Literacies pedagogy, I conducted interviews, collected artifacts, took field notes and videotaped teacher-student interactions and analyzed data inductively using the constant-comparative method. This study will examine the following research questions: (1) Among teachers who aim to integrate components of a New Literacies curriculum in their classroom, what beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, and changes do they narrate? (2) Based on classroom observations and narrated beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes of two teachers, what kind of teaching does each teacher enact, and what commonalities and differences in teacher stance, if any, emerge between the two teachers? (3) How do these commonalities and differences in teacher stance influence student responses to classroom experiences? Digital Video (DV) composing changed the "game" of literature in school away from decontextualized facts on quizzes. Both teachers developed a purposeful "New Literacies Stance," composed of (1) expanding notions of literacy to include multimodal texts; (2) expanding notions of what counts as evidence of student learning; (3) expanding notions of the importance of social aspects in student learning. This study has also shown that a teacher trajectory and stance are deeply connected and, in part, imbedded within social practices and the culture of the school and the English Department.