Matching Items (10)

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A socio-cultural analysis of teacher learning: developing professional identities amidst struggles for inclusive education

Description

One of the critical imperatives for the development of inclusive school systems is the capacity to nurture and develop teachers who have the skills, critical sensibilities, and the contextual awareness

One of the critical imperatives for the development of inclusive school systems is the capacity to nurture and develop teachers who have the skills, critical sensibilities, and the contextual awareness to provide quality educational access, participation, and outcomes for all students; however, research on teacher learning for inclusive education has not yet generated a robust body of knowledge to understand how teachers become inclusive teachers in institutions where exclusion is historical and ubiquitous. Drawing from socio-cultural theory, this study aimed to fill this gap through an examination of teacher learning for inclusive education in an urban professional learning school. In particular, I aimed to answer the following two questions: (a) What social discourses are present in a professional learning school for inclusive education?, and (b) How do teachers appropriate these social discourses in situated practice? I used analytical tools from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Grounded Theory to analyze entry and exit interviews with teacher residents, principals, site professors, and video-stimulated interviews with teacher residents, observations of classroom practices and thesis seminars, and school documents. I found two social discourses that I called discourses of professionalism, as they offered teachers a particular combination of tools, aiming to universalize certain tools for doing and thinking that signaled what it meant to be a professional teacher in the participating schools. These were the Total Quality Management like discourse (TQM-like) and the Inclusive Education-like discourse. The former was dominant in the schools, whereas the latter was dominant in the university Master's program. These discourses overlapped in teachers' classrooms practices, creating tensions. To understand how these tensions were resolved, this study introduced the concept of curating, a kind of heuristic development that pertains particularly to the work achieved in boundary practices in which individuals must claim multiple memberships by appropriating the discourses and their particular tool kits of more than one community of practice. This study provides recommendations for future research and the engineering of professional development efforts for inclusive education.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Assemblages of radicalism: the online recruitment practices of Islamist terrorists

Description

This dissertation explores the various online radicalization and recruitment practices of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, as well as Salafi Jihadists in general. I will also outline the inadequacies of

This dissertation explores the various online radicalization and recruitment practices of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, as well as Salafi Jihadists in general. I will also outline the inadequacies of the federal government's engagement with terrorist / Islamist ideologies and explore the ways in which early 20th century foundational Islamist theorists like Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and Abul ala Mawdudi have affected contemporary extremist Islamist groups, while exploring this myth of the ideal caliphate which persists in the ideology of contemporary extremist Islamist groups. In a larger sense, I am arguing that exploitation of the internet (particularly social networking platforms) in the radicalization of new communities of followers is much more dangerous than cyberterrorism (as in attacks on cyber networks within the government and the private sector), which is what is most often considered to be the primary threat that terrorists pose with their presence on the internet. Online radicalization should, I argue, be given more consideration when forming public policy because of the immediate danger that it poses, especially given the rise of microterrorism. Similarly, through the case studies that I am examining, I am bringing the humanities into the discussion of extremist (religious) rhetorics, an area of discourse that those scholars have largely ignored.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Distributed teaching and learning in Pokémon go

Description

This dissertation shares the results of a study of the community of the mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go. It also serves to build on and expand the framework of

This dissertation shares the results of a study of the community of the mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go. It also serves to build on and expand the framework of Distributed Teaching and Learning (DTALS), which here is used as a framework through which to explore the game’s community (Gee & Gee, 2016; Holmes, Tran, & Gee, 2017).  DTALS serves to expand on other models which examine learning in out-of-school contexts, and in particular on the connections between classroom and out-of-school learning, which numerous scholars argue is of critical importance (Sefton-Green, 2004; Vadeboncoeur, Kady-Rachid, & Moghtader, 2014). This framework serves to build bridges as well as fill gaps in some key literature on learning in out-of-school contexts, including connected learning (Ito et al., 2009), participatory culture (Jenkins, Purushotma, Weigel, Clinton, & Robison, 2009), learning ecologies (Barron, 2006), and affinity spaces (Gee, 2004; Gee & Hayes, 2012). The model also focuses on teaching in addition to learning in and across informal contexts.

While DTALS can be used to examine any number of phenomena, this dissertation focuses on the community around Pokémon Go. The game, with its emphasis on geography and community, presents unique opportunities for research. This research draws on existing video game research which focuses on not only games but their communities, and in particular the learning and literacy activities which occur in these communities (Gee & Hayes, 2012; Hayes & Duncan, 2012; Squire, 2006; Steinkuehler, 2006).

The results here are presented as three separate manuscripts. Chapter Two takes a broad view of a local community of players, and discusses different player types and how they teach and learn around the game. Chapter Three focuses on families who play the game together, and in particular three focal parents who share their perceptions of the game's merits, especially its potential to promote family bonding and learning. Chapter Four discusses teaching, in particular guides written about the game and the ways in which they are situated in particular Discourses (Gee, 2014). Finally, Chapter Five offers implications from these three chapters, including implications for designers and researchers as well as calls for future research.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Small groups and figured worlds: an analysis of identities and literacy practices in small-group literacy sessions

Description

Small-group literacy instruction is frequently used in schools in order to engage students in discussions around texts. Instructional settings vary and produce a range of results. They are complex social

Small-group literacy instruction is frequently used in schools in order to engage students in discussions around texts. Instructional settings vary and produce a range of results. They are complex social spaces in which students position one another and themselves as they enact different identities. These identities are associated with sets of literacy practices. This paper describes the results of a study examining the ways in which 3rd and 4th grade students and their teachers positioned themselves and one another in three different small-group literacy settings and the literacy practices that they used as they performed their identities. Using a multimodal discourse analysis (Kress, 2012) and D/discourse analysis (Gee, 2005, 2011), the form and function of language and gestures were used to look at the kinds of identities that the participants enacted and the literacy practices that the students engaged in the different settings. The results of the analysis suggested that the identities that the participants performed were related to the context in which interactions around texts took place. The identities themselves were connected to the use certain literacy practices. The literacy practices used by the participants were also related to the classroom context. The findings suggest that it is important for teachers to consider the figured worlds active in small-group settings, the identities performed within those worlds, and the literacy practices in which students engage.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Creative disruption

Description

This study examined instructional and attitudinal changes influencing faculty members in a proprietary college after the parent company divorced itself from day-to-day leadership decisions during a "teach-out." A teach-out is

This study examined instructional and attitudinal changes influencing faculty members in a proprietary college after the parent company divorced itself from day-to-day leadership decisions during a "teach-out." A teach-out is the process of school closure, when the college stops enrolling new students, but teaches out currently enrolled students. It explores the strongest influences on faculty members during the teach-out process; how faculty members negotiate their work and how the changes appeared to impact students. Study findings revealed that the strongest influences were fellow faculty members. Several rose as leaders and essentially became educator activists starting a movement focused on what they believed to be an essential component of education and what had been missing previously, namely, creativity. They were supported in this endeavor by local leadership who served as "uplinks" and silently gave power to the movement. Students and the organization became beneficiaries of the renewed engagement of their instructors, which led to increased retention and placement rates. This study sought to understand the marked shift in the organizational culture and climate that governed faculty work life through the framework of organizational discourse as well as from a social justice context of freedom from oppression. Through the use of phenomenology and qualitative methods, including autoethnography, this study found that the structure of the teach-out effectively created a space for transformational leaders to emerge and become educator activists. This initial study provides a promising model for faculty engagement that appears to have positive outcomes for individual faculty members, students and the organization.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Analyzing digital literacy demands, practices, and discourses within a library computer programming club for children

Description

Among researchers, educators, and other stakeholders in literacy education, there has been a growing emphasis on developing literacy pedagogies that are more responsive to the ways young people experience literacy

Among researchers, educators, and other stakeholders in literacy education, there has been a growing emphasis on developing literacy pedagogies that are more responsive to the ways young people experience literacy in their everyday lives, which often make use of digital media and other technologies for exchanging meaning. This dissertation project sought to explore the nature of these digital-age literacies in the context of children learning through and about new technologies. Conducting a year-long, multimethod observational study of an out-of-school library-based program designed to engage students in self-directed learning around the domain of computer programming, this project was framed around an analysis of digital-age literacies in design, discourse, and practice. To address each of these areas, the project developed a methodology grounded in interpretive, naturalistic, and participant-observation methodologies in collaboration with a local library Code Club in a metropolitan area of the Southwestern U.S between September 2016 and December 2017. Participants in the project included a total of 47 students aged 8-14, 3 librarians, and 3 parents. Data sources for the project included (1) artifactual data, such as the designed interfaces of the online platforms students regularly engaged with, (2) observational data such as protocol-based field notes taken during and after each Code Club meeting, and (3) interview data, collected during qualitative interviews with students, parents, and library facilitators outside the program. These data sources were analyzed through a multi-method interpretive framework, including the multimodal analysis of digital artifacts, qualitative coding, and discourse analysis. The findings of the project illustrate the multidimensional nature of digital-age literacy experiences as they are rendered “on the screen” at the content level, “behind the screen” at the procedural level, and “beyond the screen” at the contextual level. The project contributes to the literature on literacy education by taking an multi-method, interdisciplinary approach to expand analytical perspectives on digital media and literacy in a digital age, while also providing an empirical account of this approach in a community-embedded context of implementation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Real Padonki:: a cultural model performed through language : a case study of an online discourse community of creative writers

Description

This longitudinal exploratory research study examines a Russian language online community of creative writers who refer to themselves as Real Padonki. Grounded theory was used as the method of data

This longitudinal exploratory research study examines a Russian language online community of creative writers who refer to themselves as Real Padonki. Grounded theory was used as the method of data collection and analysis. Based on analysis of the texts published on udaff.com and interactions between the members of this community several conclusions were made. It is proposed that udaff.com should be viewed as an online resource for writers who have created a new form of literature: post-Soviet Russian literature. This new of form literature is characterized by several features that distinguish it from previous forms. This new form of literature is based on the cultural model of a Real Padonak - a new kind of person that embodies both the writer and the hero (a new archetype) created by this writer. In the same way as dissident writers made criminal argot a part of Russian literature, the writers of udaff.com rely on the use of Albanskij, a linguistic innovation, a variation of the Russian language that they have created. Finally, this new literature uses the Internet as its main medium of publication. As a new archetype, Real Padonak represents a continuum of characters (real life people as well as invented literary characters) created by udaff.com writers. From the perspective of Discourse analysis, the cultural model of Real Padonak is shown as multiglossia of Discourses that represent beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices that exist in contemporary Russian society.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Anatomy of a villain: play, story, and conflict in single-player video games

Description

During the first half of the last decade, there was a heated debate regarding what type of critical approach best suits the study of video games. Those who argued for

During the first half of the last decade, there was a heated debate regarding what type of critical approach best suits the study of video games. Those who argued for approaches traditionally associated with narrative studies were primarily interested in video games as a new frontier for storytelling. The opposition claimed that video games are not systems for storytelling, and that applying literature and film theories to video games dismisses the interactive nature of video games as games. The argument was bitter, but ended abruptly with no clear results or consensus. Yet are narratology and ludology, the two proposed critical theories, so disparate that the use of one means the exclusion of the other? This paper suggests the possibility that narratology and ludology share more in common than critics have thus far realized. Both games and story share themes of conflict, and in focalizing on the antagonist of single-player video games it becomes possible to trace the development of conflict and how it functions in the video game medium. In analyzing antagonists and the conflict they embody, it becomes apparent that narratology and ludology are not so incompatible in their methodologies and assumptions. Finally, because video games themselves are a multifaceted medium, it is only appropriate that critics use multiple theoretical approaches in their analysis to broaden critical knowledge of how the medium functions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Digital storytelling in primary-grade classrooms

Description

As digital media practices become readily available in today's classrooms, literacy and literacy instruction are changing in profound ways (Alvermann, 2010). Professional organizations emphasize the importance of integrating new literacies

As digital media practices become readily available in today's classrooms, literacy and literacy instruction are changing in profound ways (Alvermann, 2010). Professional organizations emphasize the importance of integrating new literacies (New London Group, 1996) practices into language-arts instruction (IRA, 2009; NCTE, 2005). As a result, teachers search for effective ways to incorporate the new literacies in an effort to engage students. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the potential of digital storytelling as participatory media for writing instruction. This case study was conducted during the fall semester of 2012 in one first-grade classroom and one second-grade classroom in the Southwestern United States. The study addressed ten interrelated research questions relating to how primary-grade students performed in relation to the Common Core writing standards, how they were motivated, how they formed a meta- language to talk about their writing, how they developed identities as writers, and how they were influenced by their teachers' philosophies and instructional approaches. Twenty-two first-grade students and 24 second-grade students used the MovieMaker software to create digital stories of personal narratives. Data included field notes, interviews with teachers and students, teacher journals, my own journal, artifacts of teachers' lesson plans, photographs, students' writing samples, and their digital stories. Qualitative data were analyzed by thematic analysis (Patton, 1990) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2011). Writing samples were scored by rubrics based on the Common Core State Standards. The study demonstrated how digital storytelling can be used to; (a) guide teachers in implementing new literacies in primary grades; (b) illustrate digital storytelling as writing; (c) develop students' meta-language to talk about writing; (d) impact students' perceptions as writers; (e) meet Common Core State Standards for writing; (f) improve students' skills as writers; (g) build students' identities as writers; (h) impact academic writing; (i) engage students in the writing process; and (j) illustrate the differences in writing competencies between first- and second-grade students. The study provides suggestions for teachers interested in incorporating digital storytelling in primary-grade classrooms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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The ",field_main_title:"hangout was serious business: exploring literacies and learning in an online Sims fan fiction community

Description

The purpose of this study is to explore the literacy practices members of an online fan community engage in to participate in the space and to question what learning happens

The purpose of this study is to explore the literacy practices members of an online fan community engage in to participate in the space and to question what learning happens through that participation. This dissertation is the product of a two-year virtual ethnographic study of The Sims Writers' Hangout (SWH), a discussion forum website established by fans of The Sims to support members' interests in creating and sharing Sims fan fiction. Affinity space theory informs an understanding of SWH's organization, and a definition of literacies as situated, social practices also frames the study. Data were collected following a discourse-centered online ethnographic approach, which guided systematic observation and interactions with eight key informants. The data corpus includes hundreds of pages of discussion forum posts, member profiles, moderator-created norming texts, numerous digital, multimodal Sims fan fiction texts, virtual interview responses from informants, field notes, and additional virtual artifacts, such as informants' websites and Flickr® photostreams. Study results are presented within three separate manuscripts prepared for publication and presentation, each exploring different lines of inquiry related to SWH. Chapter 3 focuses on tensions visible in the forum discussions to argue for an expansion of affinity space theory that accounts for the “hanging out” members do in the space. Chapter 4 analyzes one informant's literacy practices using a Design perspective. This analysis reveals the collaborative nature of Sims fan fiction literacies. The final manuscript (Chapter 5) offers an analysis of SWH pedagogy using Bernstein's pedagogic device concept. Data illustrate how pedagogic discourse in this online, informal learning space aligns with and challenges Bernstein's theory. Finally, Chapter 6 offers conclusions about how these three analyses expand our understanding of adolescent literacies and 21st century learning. This chapter also contains implications for theory and practice, recommendations for future research, and reflections on lessons learned.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011