Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy: Mobilizing Strength Based Pedagogies

Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy:
Mobilizing Strength-based Pedagogies

University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
March 9th, 2018 from 8:30 to 5:30 pm

Please consider participating in Patty Anders’ retirement conference! The conference theme “Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy: Mobilizing Strength Based Pedagogies,” invites teachers, community workers, and researchers to collaborate as a thought collective to connect theory and practice. Participants will entertain possibilities for work with adolescents, families, and communities.

The Tucson Festival of Books follows the conference and takes place on Saturday March 10th & Sunday March 11th. This is the third largest book festival in the country and draws authors and vendors from all over the world. Plan to and stay through the weekend.

RSVP and ticket required. Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions, please contact Kelly Allen, Conference Chair at

Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy:
Mobilizing Strength-based Pedagogies
College of Education, University of Arizona, Kiva Auditorium Room 211  
March 9th, 2018

8:30 – 9:00am    Networking and Light Refreshments 
9:00-9:10am       Welcome and Dedication to Dr. Patty Anders by Bruce Johnson, Dean UA
9:10 – 10:00am   Keynote: Catherine Compton-Lilly, Univ. of South Carolina, intro Elizabeth Jaeger
10:00 – 11:00am  Panel #1:  Family and Community Literacy, Facilitated by David Yaden, UA
Leah Duran, University of Arizona, Jenny Volpe, Make Way for Books, Tucson, AZ, Chris Iddings, Vanderbilt University, Iliana Reyes, University of Arizona
11:00 – 11:30am   Participant Response to keynote and panel Facilitated by David Yaden, UA
Lunch picked up from 11:30 – 11:50am
12:00-12:10pm      Worlds of Words, Kathy Short, University of Arizona
12:10 – 1:00pm     Keynote: Jill Castek, University of Arizona, intro Don Leu, UConn
1:00 - 2:00pm      Panel Discussion #2:  Adolescent Literacy, Facilitated by Kevin Leander
Edie Lantz Leppert, Literacy Connects, Amy Wilson-Lopez, Utah State Univ., Blaine Smith, UA, Elizabeth Skeggs, Apollo Middle School, Roberto deRoock, Nat. Institute of Education, Singapore
2:00 – 4:00pm     Informal Drop-in Tour, Worlds of Words, Room 453
2:00 – 2:15pm      BREAK and informal conversation stemming from the panel discussion
2:15 – 3:00pm     Interactive Roundtable Session #1 (see attached descriptions and rooms)
3:05-3:55pm        Interactive Roundtable Session #2 (see attached descriptions and rooms)
4:00 – 4:30pm     Panelists P. David Pearson, Rob Tierney, and other special guests will draw out key ideas day and ways we can build on these ideas to galvanize our work in adolescent, family, and community literacy. 
4:30 – 5:15pm     Roberto deRoock and Heidi Bacon orchestrate a celebration of an academic legacy that lives on: Appreciation to Patty for the depth, breadth, and lasting impact of her work in literacy and the community. 
5:15 – 5:30pm     Dr. Patty Anders

Room 351:  Roundtable Session #1:  2:15 – 3:00pm
Exploring Models of Professional Development
Literacy Leadership Through Collaborative Inquiry:  Supporting Teachers’ Agency through Video and Transcript Analysis of Classroom Practice
Lisa Richardson, University of Alaska 

This qualitative research focuses on the processes and protocols teachers engage in to become increasingly reflective and metacognitive about their practice (Kucan, 2007).  These data examine teachers’ use of video analysis and discourse analysis to improve classroom practice and create space for agency (Rex & Schiller, 2010).  The qualitative data, gathered over three years of work with in-service teachers, illustrates the ways in which teachers’ perceptions of students and their own role in the classroom shifts over time.   Opportunities for teacher agency, in relation to practice, as well as opportunity for increased literacy leadership that stems from deep understandings of practice are illustrated in the cases.
Professional Conversations, Independent Reading, Engaged Urban Adolescents
Josephine Payton Marsh, Maria Hernandez Goff, Arizona State University

In this roundtable presentation, we will describe how 11 secondary (grades 6-12) English teachers at an urban charter K-12 explored, implemented, and revised the practices of independent reading so that it became an activity that enhanced students’ literacy achievement and performance on the rigorous Cambridge Exams.   Continued professional conversations among the teachers, and included administrators and university researchers, provided a place to share, learn, and co-create ways to facilitate a supported independent reading time.  These conversations built on the diverse mental models held by teachers and administrators about when and where independent reading should take place and the school’s emphasis on academic rigor. They also built upon student responses to a survey they completed mid-year about independent reading.   The roundtable addresses the conference theme in that it focuses on the power of teacher voice and knowledge, professional conversations, and student input to create adolescent literacy pedagogy and develop academic literacy learnings environments to engage ALL students.

Room 351:  Roundtable Session #1:  2:15 – 3:00pm
Linking Literacy Curriculums for Educators and Communities
Designing Professional Development involving Family Engagement & Literacy Practices for Young Children
Laurie Katz, The Ohio State University

More educational programs for both preservice and in-service teachers are including coursework, workshops and other modes of teaching within family engagement that relate to literacy and communities. The types of practices, concepts about family involvement, literacy and the role of community and interacting with families from diverse backgrounds has been a focus of discussion and research for several decades (Henderson & Mapp, 2002). Specific concepts, theories and instructional practices presented in coursework that focus either on deficit or strength-based perspectives are critical in how educators perceive and develop relationships between families, schools, and communities.  This presentation argues for a strength-based framework (Allen, 2007) with concepts and related activities in designing a course that addresses families, schools, and communities for educators of children from preschool – early elementary years. Examples are provided from courses taught on this topic.  Implications are addressed for teaching educators of students in their middle and secondary years.
Toward an Inclusive Approach to Literacy Development: Expanding the Circles of Conversation and Practice
Carol Smith & Kathleen Riley, West Chester University of PA

Our literacy department recently transformed our undergraduate Reading Minor from a study of reading instruction for PK-4 teacher candidates to an inclusive Literacy Minor that engages students from across the university in a study of literacy development in K-12 classrooms, as well as in families and communities. To achieve this transformation, we began with K-4 and then expanded this focus to include grades 4-8. Next, we developed a core of required courses that made the program appropriate for secondary as well as elementary/middle school students including three elective tracks: Early Grades & Middle Grades Education; and Family & Community Literacy. Into the core we built a new course in which all Literacy Minor students examine the interplay between literacy, power, privilege, diversity, and equity. As our transformed program connects best practices in literacy instruction to Critical Theory, it prepares our graduates to mobilize strength-based pedagogies with learners of all ages in schools, homes, and communities. This presentation shares our thinking, processes, and next steps in this transformative journey. 

Room 333:  Roundtable Session #1:  2:15 – 3:00pm
Online Reading, Research, and Problem Solving in Schools & Libraries

Identifying Factors and Relationships That Contribute to Online Research and Comprehension in Science: The FACTORS Project
Don Leu, University of Connecticut

Online reading is becoming increasingly important for students’ success in school and beyond. Research, however, shows that adolescents struggle with reading online and learning from online sources. The FACTORS Project, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, is investigating the factors and relationships that predict the successful use on online information for learning. The project is conducting a series of studies to examine how teacher variables (e.g., teaching experience, experience with the Internet), student variables (e.g., offline reading ability, Internet use in classrooms), motivation to read, and one-to-one laptop access at school are associated with better online reading outcomes.  Understanding the student, teacher, and school characteristics that contribute to online reading ability is important for helping all students, especially low-income students, become more proficient. Initial results will be presented and the implications for adolescent, family, and community literacy explored.
Supporting Digital Problem Solving
Tyler Frank, Pima Community College

This presentation draws from findings based on a three-year research project with the goal of achieving greater digital equity for adult learners in libraries. This project addresses digital problem solving, a unique task adults face in today’s age of ubiquitous technology use. Marginalized and under-resourced digital users face challenges of access not only to high-speed Internet but also to getting the support they need for their digital learning and problem solving. Libraries are uniquely positioned to support these learners. However, this calls for techniques and tools to assist digital users in accomplishing their goals as they continue to develop their abilities. Helping learners build on their current practices means moving beyond one-size-fits-all solutions and calls into doubt computer-based skill-and-drill activities in favor of embedding digital learning and problem solving within meaningful everyday needs and supporting learners as they try, learn, practice and cycle through problem solving. Meeting the digital needs of the adult community means not just providing access to devices and internet, but also providing support for digitally problem solving around their personal, familial, civic, educational, and professional lives.

Room 353:  Roundtable Session #1:  2:15 – 3:00pm
Examining Multiple Dimensions of Adolescent and Adult Literacies
Asset-Based Literacy Intervention for Older Youth
Kathy Hinchman, Heather Waymouth, & Keith Newvine, Syracuse University

The purpose of this teacher-research study was to pilot the design of an assets-based literacy intervention model. The goal of the model was to help intermediate- and middle-grade youth intervene to disrupt the deficit-oriented discourses (Johnson & Allington, 1991) surrounding their academic literacies by drawing on their aspirational, linguistic, familial, social, navigational, and resistance capital (Yosso, 2005) to engage with new literacies. Implemented during a summer literacy program in a small school district that also serves as the practicum for a literacy education graduate program, the program’s design features (Gutierrez, Morales, & Martinez, 2005) included inquiry to understand and delineate literacy strengths and needs, supports to mobilize strengths to address needs, explicit “next need” literacy instruction, use and production of multimodal texts, and engagement in a supportive community of practice.  The roundtable will delineate the components of this strengths-based model, as well as the affordances and challenges of each design feature using teacher and student work samples as illustrations. It will also include discuss of the implications of this work for day-to-day classroom practice.
Advancing Digital Equity in Public Libraries:
Assessing Library Patrons’ Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments
Gloria Jacobs, Portland State University & University of Arizona

This mixed methods research examined the digital problem solving processes of vulnerable adults within the community setting of a public library. Data were collected from approximately 450 library users who completed a library survey, a subset who completed PIAACs Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments (PSTRE) assessment, and a smaller subset who participated in an observation protocol.  Quantitative analysis revealed that library website use was a strong predictor of PSTRE scores.  Qualitative analysis showed that digital problem solving needs to be seen as a set of contexts and events that are dynamic across different situations.  In order to respond to changing contexts, digital problems solvers use different strategies to apply what they know to new situations. This research positions libraries as an important community anchor institution for promoting and supporting the development of digital problem solving practices among vulnerable adults.

Room 353:  Roundtable Session #1:  2:15 – 3:00pm
Fostering Family & Community Literacies to Support Children & Youth
Family Literacy Workshops:  Connecting and Supporting In-School and Out-of-School Literacies
Kelly Allen, University of Arizona, Kathryn Chavez, Tucson Unified School District & Lea Prassas, Marana School District

This presentation describes a study of two family literacy support groups designed to support families of readers identified by their schools as "at risk". Parents met for two hours in the evening biweekly for six sessions. Group experiences focused on reading as meaning making, connecting out of school and in school literacies, read alouds and the connection between parental literacy beliefs and ways parents support their children as readers. This study is steeped in Ken Goodman’s theory of revaluing and Yetta Goodman’s theory of retrospective miscue analysis, asserting that as readers revalue themselves as language users, they revalue themselves as readers. Readers come to see themselves as knowledgeable and come to see good things they do (Goodman, 1999). This presentation addresses the importance of parents’ perceptions and beliefs pertaining to the reading process and how their literacy beliefs influence literacy support in the home. We will share the process experienced by parents as they revalued not only their children as readers, but their own literacy beliefs through strength- and resource-based pedagogies and their own personal literacy identities.
Reading, Writing, and Building Community in and beyond High School Classrooms: Promising Classroom Practices with a Patty Anders’ Touch
Terry Burant, Marquette University & Terry Penland, Ashland, North Carolina

As former high school teachers, as well as former doctoral students of Dr. Anders, using reading, writing, speaking, and listening as tools for engaging students, developing content knowledge, strengthening relationships, and building community have become pillars of our teaching practices. In this roundtable, we would like to share several of the classroom and community-based literacy practices, inspired by our association with Dr. Anders, that we used to build on our students’ strengths, as well as the strengths of their families and communities. Through carefully considered classroom participation structures, book clubs with family involvement, and readers’ workshops, students built chemistry knowledge and created community within themselves and with their families. Tools for advocacy helped shaped how her students saw themselves as agents for education about disabilities in their community.

Room 331:  Roundtable Session #1:  2:15 – 3:00pm 
Developing Critical Literacies and Perspectives Through Literacy Engagements 
Theorizing Reading Comprehension as Intertextual Practice
David Bloome, The Ohio State University

Using discourse analysis of video recordings of high school language arts classroom events, we argue for a reconception of reading comprehension as intertextual practices. By “intertextual” we mean the inherent, but socially constructed relationship of a text to other texts within a context of use. Through intertextual practices, teachers and students socially construct ideational meanings, social significances and cultural import. We use the phrase “meaning, social significance, and cultural import” instead of “meaning,” to emphasize that the meaningfulness of a reading comprehension intertextual practice goes beyond ideation and includes social identities, social positionings, and social relationships of the interlocutors, as well as constructions of the “worlds” in which the readers and others live, and the institutional and cultural ideologies that frame how things mean and what constitutes the rational and irrational.  Inherent to a conception of reading comprehension as intertextual practice is socially constructed movement through time and space.
Room 351:  Roundtable Session #2:  3:05 – 3:55pm
Strength-based Models of Instruction for Middle School Students
Tales from Home
Judith Langer, SUNY, Albany

This presenter suggests a set of instructional activities that were developed as a way to help middle grade students who are learning English as an additional language to call upon, become aware of, and use their implicit language and literacy knowledge they already have acquired from the tales they have heard in their family and communities. The activities were developed as part of the Tales from Home studies. This project helped students become overtly aware of the genre, structure and word choices that underlie the tales with which they are familiar and can recall. Activities and guided prompts helped them retell, practice, record, reflect on and write (with assistance, when needed) in the language of their choice and to later translate into the other languages. Peer, school and community become involved.
Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy: Mobilizing Strength Based Pedagogies
Judith Dunkerly-Bean, Thomas Bean, Old Dominion University & Barbara Guzzetti, Arizona State University

The purpose of this critical ethnography is to explore how justice system involved youth (pre-adjudicated) read, respond and create alternative texts such as zines. “A zine is a handmade, amateur publication that focuses on the particular interests of the publisher” (Gustavson, 2007, p. 29). They are typically produced as hand crafted hard copies that utilize photocopies and a cut and paste style (Guzzetti, Foley, & Lesley, 2015). The topic of zines can range from fan-fiction to social issues and parodies of popular culture. Zines (as well as Flash Fiction and lyric composition offer a creative platform where youth have agency and voice to interpret and re-interpret issues, concerns, and ideas that matter to the author. The present study began in summer, 2017 at a crisis center in the southeast United States and will continue for one to two years. Thus, data presented at the conference will highlight theories (e.g. nomadic knowledge) approaches, artifacts, and findings from the summer and fall, 2017 research.

Room 333:  Roundtable Session #2:  3:05 – 3:55pm
Strength-based pedagogies examined through Literature & the Arts
Children’s Literature in Chinese Heritage Language Classrooms 
Jun Li, University of Arizona

As authentic documents, children’s literature provides insight into beliefs and values of the target culture and offers heritage language students excellent opportunities to learn about social, cultural, and moral issues. In the meantime, heritage language learners experience the pleasure of immersing themselves in the unfolding of the verbal and visual narrative. In this project, sociocultural perspective and Reader Response Theory provide the framework for analyzing a case study of a heritage language classroom where children’s literature is used to assist heritage language learners to explore Chinese language and culture. The purpose of this study is to investigate the process of integrating children’s literature into a Chine heritage classroom and examine students’ response to the children’s literature-based curriculum.
Youth Arts, media and literacies: Mobilities, Margins and Public Engagement
Theresa Rogers, University of British Columbia

For the past 15 years I have been engaged in arts and media practices with adolescents in schools and communities.  Many of these youth were on the margins of schooling or living in the streets. I have been particularly interested in how youth draw on in arts and media to represent and communicate something about these lived experiences to various local/global audiences as forms of public pedagogy and civic engagement.  I will draw examples from two more recent publications: Youth Critical Literacies and Civic Engagement (2015) and “Youth Arts, Media, and Critical Literacies as Forms of Public Engagement in the Local/Global Interface” (2016) in Literacy Research: Theory, Method, Practice.  These examples include youth work in zines, digital media, and theatre on issues such as homelessness, violence, gender and adolescence.  Using a relational mobilities lens (e.g. Urry, Delanty, Braidotti and Massey), I illustrate both the real and potential movement or mobilities of the youth and their work.  In particular, I examine how youth participate in local and transnational material and cultural spaces, adding their voices to larger public conversations. 
Room 353:  Roundtable Session #2:  3:05 – 3:55pm
Building Community, Cultural, and Personal Literacy Identities
ELL Adolescents Blog Writing Processes and Identity Expression
Mariia Khorosheva, University of Arizona

This presentation investigates the blog writing processes of ELL international adolescents. It addresses: 1) the processes of blog writing for ELL bloggers, and 2) how ELL bloggers use images to express their identities and cultural background in blogging episodes. The study shows how blogs can allow for new forms of engagement and the formation of intercultural connections. This presentation discusses the use of blogs with ELL international students to, express their identities and to better connect with the community.
Adolescent, Family, and Community Literacy:  Strength-based Pedagogies through the Arts
Janelle Mathis, University of Northern Texas

Diverse modalities are reflective of one’s identity, open up spaces for literacy learners to “infuse our identity into texts” (Pahl & Roswell, 2012, p. xviii) and offer forms of communication that build on the semiotic resources one brings into the classroom. Therefore, a focus on multimodality in literacy is critical when considering strength – based pedagogies. Art nurtures agency as it “allows us to explore who we are, how we are different, what makes us unique, what contributions we might make to the ongoing conversation” (Harste, 2014, p. 97). Such strength-based pedagogies afford the building of community as its members use multiple communicative modes to enhance community interaction and realize their membership in the larger global community.  This session’s discussion will focus specifically on music, a living, vital aspect of how we learn about ourselves, share our stories, understand the cultures and stories of others, and use a semiotic system to comprehend the world around us. Music is acknowledged as a traditional cultural form, but the intricate connection between literacy learning and music that speak to comprehension has not frequently been elaborated upon in education, despite such resources in the field of music theory.  Shared elements include form, rhythm, conventions, embodiment, empathy, units of “thought” and other parallel experiences between music and literacy.  Using the genre of blues/rock as an example, the semiotic connections between music and literacy that support literacy learning and the significance of music that goes beyond tradition and aesthetic pleasure.  

Room 353:  Roundtable Session #2:  3:05 – 3:55pm
Designing and Building Literacy Education Programs for Adults
Adult readers benefit from understanding the reading process
Yetta Goodman, University of Arizona

This presentation encourages the use of miscue analysis and literacy learning engagements for adult learners who are going to be professional educators as well as for parents, tutors, preschool support staff and all other adults interested in reading.  I will present experiences I have used with adults in such settings over the years, designed to involve adults in thinking about and understanding the reading process.   
The Sunnyside Literacy Zone: Creating Sustainable Community Literacy Partnerships
Heidi Bacon, Southern Illinois University

In spring 2010, the Sunnyside Neighborhood became Tucson’s first Literacy Zone. The Literacy Zones initiative directed by Dr. Patty Anders and Dr. Martha Gilliland was an outreach project of the UA College of Education in partnership with the Tucson Literacy for Life Coalition. Patty and Martha envisioned a neighborhood where community and literacy flourished. Too often community literacy initiatives and programs focus on “bringing people to literacy” (Reder, 2007, p. 255), treating literacy and community as problems in need of fixing. The Literacy Zones project employed strength-based pedagogies that emphasized local decision-making to address opportunities and challenges identified by community members. In this roundtable presentation, members of the Sunnyside Literacy Council pose important considerations, as they share their knowledge about how to build partnerships and grow assets from within that reflect their community’s unique funds of knowledge (González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005). Through a series of collaborative partnerships, prototypes for grant initiatives and community education programming were developed, impacting lives and enhancing a culture of literacy in Sunnyside that continues to thrive.
Room 331:  Roundtable Session #2:  3:05 – 3:55pm 
Readers and Writers with Exceptionalities
Meaning-making and Adult Writers with Major Mental Illness
Elizabeth Jaeger, University of Arizona

Members of a psych-social service center in the urban southwest have attended a voluntary writing group for the past five years.  They come together on a weekly basis to write together and share their work.  Data collection is in-process, so this session will feature time to analyze data from a member interview, written texts, and transcripts from group sessions.  The focus of this analysis will be on the theory of meaning-making.   Baumeister (1991) defines meaning as a “mental representation of possible relationships among things, events, and relationships.  Thus, meaning-making connects things” (p. 15).  Meaning creation has an affective as well as a cognitive dimension; it serves to promote mental health and buffer the individual from the stress of adverse life events (Bonanno, 2013).  Steger (2012) suggests that there are two components of meaning-making:  the ability to comprehend one’s life and the willingness to orient oneself to a related future.
Retrospective Miscue Analysis and Forensic Interviewing: Similarities and Differences
David Yaden, University of Arizona

This presentation compares the principles and guidelines, and interviewing techniques of Retrospective Miscue Analysis (RMA) (Goodman & Marek, 1996) with those of forensic and clinical interviewing procedures with young children employed in child witness testimony, mental health and legal proceedings (Lyon, 1999; 2002).  RMA is one of the only diagnostic techniques based upon the theoretical premise that children’s miscues or deviations from text are purposeful, based upon phonological, pragmatic, syntactic and semantic decisions that the child is making when reading and seldom the result of carelessness, reading too quickly or lack of knowledge about letters and sounds.  Child conversations, however, must be carefully interpreted since responses are influenced by, for example, the role (parent/teacher/other) and gender of the interviewer, the use of ancillary materials (e.g., puppets, type of book), location of interview, questioning format, as well as age of the child (Lyon, Ahern, & Scurich, 2012). 

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