Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescent's Lives

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Donna E. Alvermann
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 322 pages
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Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents' Lives, Second Edition focuses on exploring the impact of young people's identity-making practices in mediating their perceptions of themselves as readers and writers in an era of externally mandated reforms. What is different in the Second Edition is its emphasis on the importance of valuing adolescents' perspectives - in an era of skyrocketing interest in improving literacy instruction at the middle and high school levels driven by externally mandated reforms and accountability measures. A central concern is the degree to which this new interest takes into account adolescents’ personal, social, and cultural experiences in relation to literacy learning.
In this new edition of Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents’ Lives  students’ voices and perspectives are featured front and center in every chapter. Particular attention is given throughout to multiple literacies--especially how information and new communication technologies are changing learning from and with text. Nine of the 15 chapters are new; all other chapters are thoroughly updated.
The volume is structured around four main themes:
* Situating Adolescents’ Literacies–addressing how young people use favorite texts to perform their identities; how they counter school-based constructions of incompetence; and how they re/construct their literate identities in relation to certain kinds of gendered expectations, pedagogies, and cultural resources;
* Positioning Youth as Readers and Writers–stressing the importance of classroom discourse, cultural capital, agency, and democratic citizenship in mediating adolescents’ literate identities;
* Mediating Practices in Young People’s Literacies–looking at issues of language, social class, race, and culture in shaping how adolescents represent themselves and are represented by others; and
* Changing Teachers, Teaching Changes–capturing the productive ambiguities associated with teaching urban adolescents to read and write in changing times, encouraging students to conduct action research on topics that are personally relevant, and using ‘enabling constraints’ as a concept to formulate policies on adolescent literacy instruction.
Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents’ Lives, Second Edition is an essential volume for researchers, faculty, teacher educators, and graduate students in the field of adolescent literacy education.

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About the author (2006)

Donna E. Alvermann is Distinguished Research Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. Formerly a classroom teacher in Texas and New York, her research focuses on content area reading instruction and adolescents’ multiple literacies in and out of school. From 1992 to1997 she co-directed the National Reading Research Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. With over 100 articles and chapters in print, her books include Content Reading and Literacy: Succeeding in Today’s Diverse Classrooms (4th ed.), Popular Culture in the Classroom: Teaching and Researching Critical Media Literacy, Bridging the Literacy Achievement Gap, Grades 4-12, and Adolescents and Literacies in a Digital World. A past president of the National Reading Conference (NRC), co-chair of the International Reading Association’s Commission on Adolescent Literacy (1997-2000), and member of the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework, she currently edits Reading Research Quarterly and serves on the Adolescent Literacy Advisory Group of the Alliance for Excellent Education.Kathleen A.  Hinchman is an associate professor and chair of the Reading and Language Arts Center at Syracuse University. Once a middle school teacher, she now teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in childhood, adolescent, and adult literacy. Her research is concerned with adolescent literacy and literacy teacher education. With a wide array of book chapters and articles, she has published in such journals as The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, and Reading Research and Instruction. She has coauthored or coedited Struggling Adolescent Readers: A Collection of Teaching Strategies, Teaching Adolescents Who Struggle With Reading: Practical Strategies, Tutoring Adolescent Literacy Learners: A Guide for Volunteers, and the National Reading Conference Yearbook.David W. Moore is as a Professor of Education at Arizona State University where he teaches secondary-school teacher-education courses in classroom instruction and management and specializes in adolescent literacy. His vita shows a twenty-five year publication record that balances research reports, professional articles, book chapters, and books. Noteworthy co-authored items include an International Reading Association position statement on adolescent literacy and a Handbook of Reading Research chapter on secondary school reading. Recent co-authored books include Developing Readers and Writers in the Content Areas:  K-12 (5th ed.) and Principled Practices for a Literate America: A Framework for Instruction and Policy. He co-chaired the International Reading Association's Commission on Adolescent Literacy from 2000 to 2004.Stephen F. Phelps is a professor of Elementary Education and Reading at Buffalo State College, where he teaches pre-service secondary teachers and graduate literacy specialist candidates. He is especially interested in the preparation of teachers for work in urban schools, as well as the personal, social, and academic factors that contribute to the success of urban adolescents.Diane Waff is a Senior Program Associate for Strategic Literacy Initiative at WestED. She served as Director of Secondary Innovative Programs for the Trenton Public Schools in Trenton, New Jersey (2003-2005). She is a member of the National Writing Project Task Force and served as the co-director of the Philadelphia Writing Project from 1996-2003. She is currently a member of the Philadelphia Writing Project’s advisory board. She facilitates Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity Seminars for the National SEED Project in Philadelphia and New Jersey. She is an advisory board member for the Practitioner Initiated Inquiry Series for Teachers College Press, a member of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network, serves on the NCTE Executive Committee and was recently elected Secondary Section co-chair. Diane was a recipient of a two year Carnegie Foundation Fellowship (1991-2001) awarded to school and university-based scholars to conduct classroom based research and a recipient of the National Writing Project’s Fred Hechinger Award in 2002 for connecting research and practice in a body of work including articles and book chapters focused on language and literacy. Diane is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.

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