From: Peter Smagorinsky <smago who-is-at uga.edu>
Date: Tue Oct 14 2008 - 02:45:25 PDT


Literacy, Culture, Learning, and Life in Schools: Research and Designs
for Change
February 13-15, 2009; University of California, Los Angeles
Co-chairs: Kris Gutierrez and Ernest Morrell

The Assembly for Research of the National Council of Teachers of
English announces a conference on "Literacy, Culture, Learning, and
Life in Schools: Research and Designs for Change", to be held February
13-15, 2009 at The University of California, Los Angeles in Los
Angeles, CA. In this call, we would like researchers and educators to
consider what it means to explore the connections between literacy
theory and research and the study and design of powerful literacy
learning spaces for youth.

After a generation of pioneering scholarship in literacy and learning
theory and research we are still faced with extreme challenges, some
methodological, some pertaining to applications of research to
practice and policy. We are also still faced with the reality that
class, race, and language background still largely define equity,
access, and achievement in literacy classrooms and therefore, the life
outcomes of students. With that in mind our goal is to convene
literacy and learning scholars, theorists, activists, and
practitioners around the globe to discuss the applications of recent
movements in literacy and learning theory and research to classroom
practice, to understanding classroom life, and to the development of
progressive educational policy.

Key Goals
1. To understand how current movements in literacy and/or learning
research can and should inform classroom life for historically
marginalized students. This involves both the study of classroom life
and the shaping of students' experiences inside of classrooms.
2. To understand how recent advances in literacy research are
reshaping the very tools that we use to understand literacy practices
across a wide range of activity settings including schools and homes.
3. To assess design interventions that have applied literacy theory
and research to classroom curricula and pedagogy in order to
understand what we have learned about design research as a
methodological approach and what we have learned about effective
literacy classroom practice.
4. To identify challenges, contradictions, and future directions for
literacy researchers interested in the nexus of theory, literacy
research, and literacy development among historically marginalized
5. To consider the "appropriate" goals and outcomes of literacy
research for radical citizenship, for classroom practice, for policy
development, and for action for social change. (What do we want and
how will we know if we are heading in the right direction?)
6. To articulate and develop powerful theories of literacy teaching
and literacy learning that emerge from our interrogation of existing
theory and research.

Key Questions
1. Q: What do we know about the applications of literacy and/or
learning research to pedagogical practices in literacy classrooms with
histories of underachievement? What are the core tenets of successful
practices? What is the research base that supports the identification
of these tenets?
2. Q: What are powerful examples of practice? What should we learned
from studying these practices?
3. How do we best study literacy and learning inside and outside of
4. Q: What is gained by broadening the focus from classrooms to
studying larger ecologies? How do third generation activity theory,
mutli-sited ethnographies, and recent work in the field problematize
and push upon dichotomies of home/school, classrooms/not classrooms,
5. Q: What are the various home, community, popular cultural, and new
media literacies that students bring with them into classrooms? How
are these literacies being accessed and positioned within classrooms?
6. Q: Where do we need to go next with respect to making connections
between theory, literacy research, and classroom practice?

We welcome proposals grounded in diverse perspectives, including,
among others: the learning sciences, critical race, postcolonial,
postmodern, multicultural, feminist and queer theories; critical
discourse analysis; critical and anti-racist pedagogies; and ethnic,
cultural, cross-cultural, design, experimental, quasi-experimental,
case study, ethnography, historical and comparative/international
studies. We invite proposals that focus on empirical research
including teacher/action research, as well as conceptual/theoretical
Proposals (no more than 2 single-spaced pages) should address the
following: The research question(s), methodology,
findings/issues/questions for discussion, and how the research will
contribute to the conference conversation. If your paper is a
conceptual/theoretical one, please describe your theoretical framework
and argument and tell how it will contribute to the conference
conversation. We are strongly encouraging the participation of
classroom teachers and graduate students so, if you are currently a
classroom teacher or graduate student, please indicate so in your
proposal. Please send all proposals to nctear2009@gmail.com. The
deadline for conference submissions is December 1, 2008.

sj Miller

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Assistant Professor, Secondary English Education
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
110 Leonard Hall
Indiana, PA 15705

office location:
346 Sutton Hall

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