Access and resistance to dominant forms of discourse: Critical literacy and at risk high school students

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Abstract

In an effort to both challenge and engage adolescent students deemed to be academically at risk, the purpose of this study was to examine the possibility of creating a pedagogical bridge between dominant (school sanctioned) and non-dominant (non-school) forms of literacy. The study was conducted within a setting where high school students were invited to co-construct a literacy group with two primary adult mentors: an education professor from a local state university and the school's Communities in Schools Youth Coordinator. Through an examination of student response to texts containing themes of social justice, findings for this study reveal that creating contexts where at risk adolescents can explore marginalized positionalities presented in a variety of genres of text creates a bridge between dominant and non-dominant forms of discourse. Implications for the role of critical literacytaking action to foster a more just societyare presented as a key component for creating this bridge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-194
Number of pages21
JournalLiteracy Research and Instruction
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Adolescent literacy
  • At Risk learners
  • Critical theory
  • Discourse analysis
  • Motivation
  • Transactional reading

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