Shirley Brice Heath and her Ways With Words. Lauren T hompson. Hannah Joy Saleeby. Ramona Renfroe. Jessica Burlamachi. Alex Lakatos. Brittany Glover. Who is Shirley Brice Heath?. Linguistic Anthropologist. Author, Professor, Researcher, Director. Interests & Specializations.
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Author, Professor, Researcher, Director
Interests & Specializations
Learning environments OUTSIDE of the teacher-led classroom
Oral & written language
Taught at Stanford University for 20+ years
Holds honorary degrees from Georgetown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Stockholm University, and University of London
Currently teaching at Brown University
Mexico Guatemala United States South Africa England Germany Sweden
1. Language socialization
3. Youth culture
2. Organizational learning
4. Language planning
“…to study communitieswho lead entrepreneurial and community building skills while developing and maintaining learning environments that contribute culturally and economically.”
Explores 4 youth-based art organizations:
Rural areas of Kentucky & northern California
“...profoundly illustrates ways in which young people can defy public perception of being vulnerable, apathetic, and
disengaged from productive challenge”.
2.Getting’ Onin 2 communities
3. Learning how to talk inTrackton
4. Teaching how to talk inRoadville
Teachers as learners
Learners as ethnographers
American Anthropological Society:
Word, Martha. Review, American Anthropologist, Vol. 86 No. 4 (Dec.1984), pp. 1047-1048. Web. Nov. 9th, 2010
Miller, Peggy. Review, American Journal of Education, Vol. 94. No. 1 (Nov. 1985), pp. 106-108. Web. Nov. 8th, 2010
Linguistic Society of America:
Feagin, Crawford, Language, Vol. 61. No. 2 (Jun. 1985), pp. 489-493. Web. Nov. 9th, 2010
Teachers, don’t forget:
Students who speak another language or who have a different dialect are NONE of the following:
but Heath points out that these are the first reactions that educators have towards ESL, ELL, and students of “other” dialects.
Suzanne deCastell & Tom Walker
* Suzanne deCastell and Tom Walker’s journal article, “Identity, Metamorphosis, and Ethnographic Research: What "Kind" of Story Is Ways with Words?” published in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, focuses on how Heath’s linguistic and ethnographic study of Roadville and Trackton is informative in understanding the cultural aspects behind language development.
* deCastell and Walker praise Heath’s highlighting of Roadville and Trackton’s oral traditions in Chapter 5 - it provides a good example of how young children are able to learn what is and is not a culturally acceptable means of “story telling” in their communities.
* However, deCastell and Walker also point out the issues that students have who have studied the text, regarding Heath’s contributions to the study of language.
Not being able to accept Heath’s study as a project of merit since it did not work.
* They also claim that Heath’s assertion that making beneficial changes to the educational system are not possible.
This made students feel upset at the belief that attempts to make a positive change would be pointless.
* Meaning Brodkey argues that Heath is merging actual occurrences the with narrative style details.
Believes this can come across as distracting to the reader.
“When Ways with Words was first published, its final word pointed to the merits of bridging between classrooms and communities in efforts to create opportunities for more students to demonstrate accurately their competence with and through language. The Bridging metaphor remains viable today, but the span of the bridge and the vehicles that cross it will differ.”
“Realignments of time and space, shifts of intimacy and social structures and new sources of entertainment and consumerism have influenced classrooms as much as communities since Ways with Words was first published. Language as both tool and target of socialization reflects these changes deeply and subtly in form, content and use… Exploring creatively the need for social connectedness of institutions, such as schools and youth organizations, as well as the workplace, offers us ways to create and tell new stories. As we do so, we have to acknowledge that what seem limits or losses can be beginnings as well as ending.”