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Final Presentations: Applied Technology Projects & Proposal-Writing Projects (This is available on my website: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~mmj34 >Courses>ENG 581 Why Choose the Technology Option? You can use it as a link on your professional web site, which always impresses employers
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(This is available on my website: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~mmj34
Dr. Mary Juzwik 13-14
Dr. Martin Nystrand 15-16
Autobiographical Narratives in Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Classrooms:
How Narratives in Teaching Impact Student Discourse, Classroom Ecology, and Literacy Learning at the Middle Level
The project I propose, Autobiographical Narratives in Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Classrooms (ANLCDC), will explore how autobiographical narratives in teaching discourse impact learning outcomes, student discourse, and the overall classroom ecology of one literacy classroom. ANLCDC extends previous research on narratives in classrooms to examine such discourse in a linguistically and culturally diverse classroom, taught by a teacher of color.
The following research questions will focus the study: a) What kind of ethos does autobiographical narrative construct for this teacher? b) What impactson student discourse do such narratives have, over time, in the classroom? c) What impact on the overall classroom ecology do these narratives have? d) How do these narratives impact students’ learning in a literature unit?
This project responds to these questions by examining the following possibilities about autobiographical discourse in the context of a middle-level literature unit: e) that it positions the teacher culturally and ethnically in communities of practice outside the classroom, and thereby constructs an ethos for the teacher as a person of color, f) that it invites students to voice narrative responses to literature in terms of their own ethnic identities and cultural experiences beyond the classroom, g) that it results in dialogic classroom discourse about literature, and consequently h) that it is positively correlated to high student achievement in the English Language Arts.
A data set for this analysis has already been generated: funding for this project will go toward time-consuming data analysis procedures as well as dissemination of results. Data analysis will require my time during the summer, the employment of two undergraduate research assistants in the summer, the purchase of audio/visual equipment, and consultation with a collaborator outside of NAU. Requested support for dissemination primarily involves expenses incurred traveling to give conference presentations about the research.
Theprocesses and results of this study have potential significance for students at NAU, the NAU faculty, the English department, NAU as a university, and most generally for the field of English education. Relative to the students of NAU, the most immediate effects of this study will be on the undergraduate assistants hired to collaborate on the data preparation and analysis work. Perhaps more importantly, however, the results of this study may have a number of important effects on undergraduate and graduate students in English Education, as well as students and faculty at NAU generally. This project will support the department’s new and growing M.A. program in the area of English Education, at the same time that it supports NAU’s Strategic Plan Goal of building a national reputation for excellence in professional programs. In English education, this project will explore a previously unstudied phenomenon—the relationships among teacher narratives, dialogic classroom discourse, and students’ learning. This research will provide both educational researchers and literacy educators with a model for understanding narrative form as it relates to cultural and linguistic diversity in classrooms.
A central question in the field of educational research asks, “How can teachers and schools best deliver a high-quality education in linguistically and culturally diverse contexts?” This question is particularly relevant for educators in the state of Arizona, at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels, where the diversity of classroom populations is growing. While recent federal policies have responded by emphasizing in-depth knowledge of content at the middle and secondary levels (e.g., U.S. Department of Education, 2002), some educational researchers have focused on understanding the interactional practices of high quality teachers in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms (e.g., Dyson, 2002). A growing body of research in literacy education is following this latter course. For example Nystrand and his colleagues (1997, 2003) explored the correlation between classroom discussion and student achievement in English language arts. Similarly, both Cazden (2001) and Rex and McEachon (1999) compared the linguistic patterns teachers used in communicating with students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and the literacy learning of these students. Yet scholars of language and literacy, who seriously consider the impact that social and interactional contexts of classrooms have on learning, are only beginning to study the impact of narratives in particular on classroom environments and student achievement.
Recent work on classroom discourse in English Education, including my own (Juzwik, 2003, March; Juzwik, 2003, April; Juzwik 2003), has begun to uncover, describe, and analyze how narratives in classroom teaching can influence the motivation and achievement of students in literacy learning. For example, I have examined how one teacher deployed narratives of vicarious experience (Labov, 1972) in her middle-level lesson about the Holocaustto poetically frame and implicate events such as Kristallnacht as moral lessons for students to identify with their own lives (Juzwik, 2003, April). A central concept driving the broader project was the Aristotelian notion of ethos—defined as the rhetorical construction and transformation of one’s identity for persuasive purposes (Juzwik, 2003, March). Using this rhetorical framework, my project revealed how one teacher’s ethos, enacted through improvised narratives performed in her teaching, shaped a classroom ecology (Nystrand & Graff, 1999) in which heightened engagement and full participation were valued and increased(Juzwik, 2003).
In connection, the work of Rex et al. (2002) has shown that narrative discourse can establish motivating expectations for what students should learn in the high school English classroom. Rex et al. moreover found that narratives could provide a bridge between students from a diversity of backgrounds and the course content and goals. Yet very little of this work has explored the relationship between narratives in teaching and the literacy learning outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Goals and Objectives
The project I propose, Autobiographical Narratives in Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Classrooms (ANLCDC) will explore how autobiographical narratives in teaching discourse impact literacy learning outcomes, student discourse, and the overall classroom ecology in a middle-level literature unit. ANLCDC extends previous research on narratives in classrooms to examine such discourse in a linguistically and culturally diverse classroom, taught by a teacher of color.
The following research questions will focus the study: a) What kind of ethos does autobiographical narrative construct for one teacher of
color? b) What impactson student discourse do such narratives have, over time, in the classroom? c) What impact on the overall classroom ecology do these narratives have? d) How do these narratives impact students’ literacy learning in a literature unit?
This project responds to these questions by examining the following possibilities about autobiographical discourse: e) that it positions the teacher culturally and ethnically in communities of practice outside the classroom, and thereby constructs an ethos for the teacher as a “person of color,” f) that it invites students to voice narrative responses to literature in terms of their own ethnic identities and cultural experiences beyond the classroom, g) that it results in dialogic classroom discourse about literature, and consequentlyh) that it is positively correlated to high student achievement in the English
ANLCDC builds upon the research agenda that commenced with my dissertation study. It draws on the theories and methods developed in that project to explore at a micro-level how classroom interaction influences the classroom environment, as well as learning outcomes, for culturally and linguistically diverse students. I anticipate this proposed study to be the second in a series of three studies of narratives in teaching, the first being the dissertation. The subsequent project I have planned will examine the relationship between narrative in teaching and students’ analytical writing development in a classroom with a significant population of Native American students. This proposal will be sent to the Small Grants Program at the Spencer Foundation.
When put together, these three case studies will allow me to generate broader hypotheses about narrative classroom discourse in a book-length work. After the current proposed project and the following project—about teacher narrative and student writing—are under way, I plan to apply to the Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) Grant Program, funded by the Arizona Board of Regents, for support to conduct teacher development work that will extend the findings of this work into improved middle and secondary teaching practice in the state of Arizona.
Having the support of the Intramural Grant Program at NAU would provide an opportunity for continued mentoring from Dr. Martin Nystrand, a senior researcher who has made significant contributions to the study of classroom discourse in education. This award would also strengthen my planned application to the Spencer Foundation for a third phase of studying narratives in teaching and to the ITQ program for a teacher development project based on all three phases of this research on narrative in teaching.
Methodology and Plan for Research.
A data set for this analysis has already been generated: I am seeking funding for the time-consuming data analysis procedures as well as for the dissemination of results, including conference presentations and journal publications as detailed in the final section.
While I will be the principal investigator on this project, my collaborators will include two undergraduate student research assistants working 20 hours per week at NAU, as well as Dr. Martin Nystrand, who will perform the quantitative part of the analysis and consult with me on the integration of the qualitative and quantitative analyses.
Description of Data
This analysis will be based on video data (twelve 60-minute tapes) that I generated over a four-week period in Spring 2003, during a middle-level literature unit in a culturally and linguistically diverse urban classroom. The analysis will also be based on test data that were generated during the 2002-2003 school year in that same classroom. Included among the twenty-three students in that classroom were white students, Latina/o students, Hmong students, and African American students.Five of these students (over 20 % of the class) were identified as English Language Learners.The teacher in this classroom was a Latina woman with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience in that community.These particular data were generated for analysis first because this teacher, due to her extensive use of autobiographical narrative discourse, provided an ideal case study to illuminate the focal phenomenon of narrative. Second, because these datacaptured the narrative discourse of a teacher of color in a culturally and linguistically diverse classroom, they provided an ideal opportunity for exploring the relationships among diversity, narrative, and students’ learning. Thus, these data were generated in a classroom that, in its diversity, is reasonably representative of the population in our nation’s middle schools today.
This analysis will incorporate both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the discourse data described above. The primary instruments for data analysis will be a) the qualitative transcription of all narratives in the unit, b) CLASS program files, and c) a literature test, designed to measure students’ learning. The first apparatus, the transcribed narratives, will follow the procedures described in Juzwik (2003). In brief, this time-intensive method involves reviewing all video data and manually transcribing the narratives that are found using a technique that notes pauses, intonation, and pitch. The second apparatus, the CLASS program, was developed by Dr. Nystrand for the in-class analysis of classroom discourse (Nystrand et al., 1997; Nystrand et al., 2003; O’Connor & Juzwik, 2002). Essentially, this analytical tool accounts for the activities (e.g., seatwork, lecture, group work) and the quality of interactions (e.g., authentic vs. inauthentic questions, higher vs. lower level thinking tasks) that are occurring throughout Language Arts class periods. Because of its micro-level attention to interaction embedded in classroom activity, as unfolding in time, the CLASS program provides a measure for determining the emergence of dialogic discourse in the classroom, a phenomenon that previous studies by Dr. Nystrand and his colleagues have shown to correlate with increased achievement in the English Language Arts (e.g., Nystrand et al, 1997). Finally, a literature test, as described in Nystrand et al. (1997) will be used to measure students’ learning and achievement in the classroom.
While generating the video data described in the “Data Description” sub-section above, I also generated a CLASS computer file—in real-time—for each class period. The files, however, are raw and need to be edited in order to triangulate the codings of classroom discourse and activities that were initially made. Research assistants are needed to edit these computer files in the CLASS program, as well as to transcribe narratives in the videotaped classroom discourse.
The undergraduate research assistants and I, at NAU, will do the transcription work and edit the CLASS program files. I will conduct the qualitative analysis, examining the transcribed narratives to determine first the themes of the narratives (e.g., Juzwik, forthcoming) and secondly the teaching ethos constructed through these narratives (e.g., Juzwik, 2003, March). The quantitative analysis, to be performed by Dr. Nystrand, will examine the edited CLASS files to quantify the degree to which dialogic discourse emerged in the classroom talk. Next, Dr. Nystrand will consult with me as I use the qualitative narrative analysis to elaborate the quantitative CLASS program findings. Our emphasis will be on a fine-grained examination of how, when, and to what extent the narrative discourse patterns correlate to both narratives performed by students and the emergence of dialogic discourse more generally. Finally, we will score the outcomes of the literature test in order to measure students’ learning, following the procedures used in Nystrand et al. (1997). We will use comparative data from a bigger study (of which this classroom was part) to define “high” achievement.
The timetable for completing this project is outlined in Table 1. Timetable for Project Completion.
Table 1. Timetable for Project Completion
July 1-2, 2004 10 hours of Training for 2 undergraduate Research Assistants
July 5-23, 2004 Narrative transcription and CLASS editing work completed by Dr. Juzwik & 2 research assistants at NAU
July 26-30, 2004 Dr. Juzwik performs qualitative analysis of narratives & Dr. Nystrand performs quantitative analysis of edited CLASS files
Aug. 2-13, 2004 Dr. Juzwik, in consultation with Dr. Nystrand, conducts comparative analysis of narratives, CLASS program outcomes, and test data.
Oct. 15-16, 2004 Dr. Juzwik presents findings at the annual meeting of the Arizona English Teachers Association.
Nov. 18-23, 2004 Dr. Juzwik presents findings at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual meeting in Indianapolis, IN
Apr. 11-15, 2005 Dr. Juzwik presents findings at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association
Sept., 2004-Apr., 2005 Journal articles prepared and submitted by Dr. Juzwik & Dr. Nystrand.
Dissemination and Expected Outcomes
This project will allow us to explore, in fine-grained detail, how autobiographical narratives function in one diverse classroom context. We expect to learn more about how, using narrative, this teacher positions herself culturally and ethnically in communities of practice outside the classroom; about the extent to which students, in their discourse, respond to these autobiographical narratives and to the literature they are studying, especially in terms of their own ethnic identities and cultural experiences beyond the classroom; about the relationship between narrative discourse in teaching literature and the emergence of dialogic classroom discourse; and finally about the relationship between autobiographical discourse in teaching and high student achievement in the English Language arts. This case study will allow us to generate new hypotheses, for further study, about narrative discourse and its impact on learning in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms.
At the local level, I will make special efforts to make these findings available to students and faculty at NAU. I will present findings at brown bag presentations in the English department for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. I will also share the findings of the research with pre-service undergraduate and graduate students in English Education, through my teaching in the English department and through my supervision of pre-service teachers. At the statewide level, I plan to submit a proposal to the annual meeting of the Arizona English Teachers Association, as the first step in disseminating findings to teachers in Arizona. If external support based on this project becomes available (for example, through the ITQ Grant Program), I also aim to prepare a teacher development workshop for secondary teachers in the state of Arizona, based on the findings of this and my prior study of narrative in teaching.
In keeping with the goal of bringing the English Education program at NAU to greater national prominence, a proposal based on findings from this project will also be submitted to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual meeting, which is predominantly attended by secondary English teachers. In order to bring this research to the community of educational researchers, a proposal based on it will also be submitted to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Following up on these presentations, we plan to publish findings from the research in appropriate practitioner and research journals.
Cazden, C. (2001). The language of teaching and learning. New Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Dyson, A. H. (2003). The brothers and the sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers College Press.
Juzwik, M. M. (2003, March). Enacting history: Narrative and ethos in pedagogical discourse. Paper presented at the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication. New York, NY.
Juzwik, M. M. (2003, April). Verbal art as teaching method: Identification through oral narrative genres in middle-level Holocaust pedagogy. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL.
Juzwik, M. M. (2003). Towards a rhetoric of teaching: An investigation of pedagogy as performance in a middle-level Holocaust unit. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Juzwik, M. M. (forthcoming). Voices of remembering the Holocaust: A cultural historicalanalysis of narrative performances in a middle-level Holocaust unit. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA.
Labov, W. (1972). Language in the inner city. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Nystrand, M., A. Gamoran, R. Kachur, C. Prendergast. (1997). Opening dialogue: Understanding the dynamics of language and learning in the English classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.
Nystrand, M., & Graff, N. (2001). Report in argument’s clothing: An ecological perspective on writing instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 101, 470-493.
Nystrand, M., Wu, L. L., Gamoran, A., Zeiser, S., & Long, D. A. (2003). Questions in time: Investigating the structure and dynamics of unfolding classroom discourse. Discourse processes 35 (2), 135-198.
O’Connor, K. & Juzwik, M. M. (2002, March). Video data and language in education research. Paper presented at the University of Pennsylvania Ethnography Forum, Philadelphia, PA.
Rex, L. & McEachen, D. (1999). “If anything is odd, inappropriate, confusing, or boring, it’s probably important”: The emergence of inclusive classroom literacy through English classroom discussion practices. Research in the Teaching of English, 34, 66-130.
Rex, L. A., Murnen, T. J., Hobbs, J., McEachen, D. (2002). Teachers’ pedagogical stories and the shaping of classroom participation: “The Dancer” and “Graveyard Shift at the 7-11.” American Educational Research Journal 39 (3), 765-796.
U.S. Department of Education. (2002). No Child Left Behind. http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml. Viewed January 4, 2004.