Global Conversations in Literacy Research (GCLR) is a series of interactive open access web seminars that feature cutting-edge literacy research conducted by international literacy researchers. GCLR is grounded in critical literacy, and sees as its mission to use networked technologies to connect global audiences in a virtual space that allows participants to exchange ideas on literacy theory, research, and practice. Each year, GCLR features scholars whose work addresses a range of literacy areas of interest to international audiences. GCLR is sponsored, in part, by the National Writing Project. We are proud to say that we have provided live professional development to over 3000 people world-wide, and the GCLR website has been seen by people in over 150 countries, has had over 30,000 visits and 60,000 views, and we continue to reach new people daily. As a critical literacy project, we invite you to take our GCLR survey after viewing web seminars. Your responses will help us understand the significance of this project, and how we might better serve the global audiences through these web seminars. We invite you to take the survey after each participation in a web seminar. If this is a class requirement, we invite you to ask your students to take this survey as well. We greatly appreciate your participation in this way! We have now created a GCLR YouTube Channel with archived web seminars, and over 4000 people have viewed past seminars. Please access our GCLR Channel here. Multiple Ways to Participate: Web seminars: Participate actively with participants through the chat format of the seminar, pose questions to the speaker.
GCLR Survey: Please take our survey after participating in a web seminar. Your responses will help us continue to serve global audiences in valuable ways.
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GCLR: 2014-2015 Web Seminar Series
Below is the distinguished speaker list for GCLR’s 2014-2015 series of seminars. The 2014-2015 series will again engage global audiences in significant conversations about literacy in global contexts. Please schedule GCLR’s 2014-2015 series seminars into your calendar, add them to your syllabi, share them with organizations interested in literacy, tweet this information to your followers, post on your Facebook pages, and share with others interested in global literacy issues.
Please join any of the seminars by clicking on the link below within 90 minutes of the start of the seminar
(First time attendees: please access this link at least 15 minutes before the start of the seminar; it takes time to download the necessary software)
APRIL 12, 2015: Dr. Raúl Alberto Mora, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia. “Revisiting Today’s Language Ecologies: New Questions about Language Use and Literacy Practices.” 3:00 p.m. EDT/USA.
Dr. Raúl Alberto Mora is a professor of English education and literacy at UPB-Medellin in Colombia. At his university, he currently coordinates the MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages (Maestría en Procesos de Aprendizaje y Enseñanza de Segundas Lenguas), or ML2 and holds the post of Research Coordinator for the School of Education and Pedagogy. He also chairs the Literacies in Second Languages Project, a research team featuring preservice teachers and master’s student that studies the emergence of alternative literacies in urban, virtual, and school contexts in the city.
Dr. Mora participates on several editorial boards, including Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy (where he currently serves a Policy and Advocacy Department Editor), and the Editorial Boards for PROFILE and HOW journals in Colombia. He is currently involved in diverse research and publication efforts with scholars in Colombia, the U.S., and England. He has presented and published his research (both in person and virtually) in Colombia, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Vietnam, Spain, India, and Russia.
A former Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Mora earned his Ph.D. in Language and Literacy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Today, he is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Colombian Fulbright Commission. Dr. Mora’s first language is Spanish, but he also speaks English, French, Portuguese, and is learning Russian. He has presented and published his research (both in person and virtually) in Colombia, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Vietnam, Spain, India, and Russia.
Dr. Mora posits that technology and the different diasporas we are experiencing are reshaping how people learn and live languages and we need to frame these events with concepts that reflect those realities more accordingly. He also studies the different ways in which literacy is understood as “interpretation and creation of texts,” and how technology invites us to rethink how we read and write. Most of these ideas are part of the research efforts he and his students are developing in the Literacies in Second Languages Project (LSLP) Medellín from the Student Research Group in Second Languages (SRG-L2). His seminar will encompass some of the conceptual discussions and research endeavors he and his students at LSLP and ML2 have developed for the past two years in relation to his current research inquiries. Host: Tuba Angay Crowder
Please join any of the seminars by clicking on the link below within 90 minutes of the start of the seminar (Click here for technical support if needed)
Presented Seminars: 2014-2015
SEPTEMBER 14, 2014: Dr. David E. Kirkland, New York University, New York, USA; “A Song of the Smoke: Critical Thoughts on the Literacies of Young Black Men.” David E. Kirkland is a bestselling author, activist, cultural critic, educator, researcher, and thinker. He is also an associate professor of English and urban education at New York University. His transdisciplinary scholarship examines the intersections among language, race, gender, and urban youth culture under the lens of literacy. His work has also explored, among other things, urban teacher preparation, digital media and technology, and the sociopolitical aesthetics of revolutionary justice as (re)produced in artifacts of popular Black culture. He has spent the past decade analyzing the culture, language, and texts of groups of urban American youth, and has expertise in critical literary, linguistic, and ethnographic research methods. He has received many awards for his groundbreaking work including an NAEd/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, a NCTE Cultivating New Voices Fellowship Award, the 2006 AERA Division G Dissertation Award, among many others. He has published widely. His most recent titles include: “‘Books Like Clothes': Engaging Young Black Men with Reading” (Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy), “Listening to Echoes: Teaching Young Black Men Literacy, and the Distraction of ELA Standards” (Language Arts), “‘Black Skin, White Masks': Normalizing Whiteness and the Trouble with the Achievement Gap” (TCRecord), “English(es) in Urban Contexts: Politics, Pluralism, and Possibilities” (English Education), and “We real cool: Examining Black males and literacy” (Reading Research Quarterly). A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Black Males is a TC Press bestseller and the fifth book that Dr. Kirkland has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited. He is also co-editor of the newly released Students Right to Their Own Language, a critical sourcebook published by Bedford/St. Martins Press. Dr. Kirkland’s seminar is based on a decade of research aimed at understanding the complexities of Black male social life and the myriad forces influencing their literacy development. The goal of the presentation is to raise awareness to the effects of educational injustice in the lives of Black males in order to find ways to intervene and interrupt cycles of miseducation. What are the forces at play (e.g., gangs, peer pressure, poverty) competing for the attention of young Black men? How their literacies shaped? How might cycles of inequity influence how, why, and what Black males learn about literacy within schools and beyond? How might educators disrupt the cycles of inequity so that Black males might become empowered to transform their communities, their lives, their educational destinies? Host: Sarah Turnbull
OCTOBER 12, 2014: Dr. Richard Beach, University of Minnesota, USA: “How Affordances of Digital Tool Use Foster Critical Literacy.” 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone/USA. Richard Beach is professor emeritus in English Education at the University of Minnesota, USA. Dr. Beach’s research interests include reader response, particularly multicultural literature, digital writing and use of literacy tools and critical inquiry. He is the author of over 20 books including Teaching Literature to Adolescents (2011, Routledge) [with Appleman, Hynds, & Wilhelm]; Using Apps for Learning Across the Curriculum: A Literacy-Based Framework and Guide (2014, Routledge) [with O’Brien], and Understanding and Creating Digital Texts: An Activity-Based Approach (2014, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) [with Anson, Kastman Breuch, & Reynolds]. He has held numerous offices in professional organizations including president of Literacy Research Association, president of National Conference on Research in English. Dr. Beach’s seminar will focus how five affordances of digital tools—multimodality, collaboration, interactivity, intertextuality/recontextualization, and identity construction, serve to foster critical literacy. Dr. Beach will begin with a review of how uses of digital tools are transforming instruction through supporting experiential (McLain) and connected (Ito et al.) learning, as well as alternative learning spaces (Leander). Drawing on an Activity Theory perspective on how tool use mediates object-driven activity (Engstrom, Leontev), he will posit that the five affordances are not “in” digital tools but rather are evoked through activity mediated by these tools. Enactment of the following affordances contribute to critical engagement (Lewis & Tierney) leading to critique of the status quo and institutional transformation: multimodality: how use of curation/infographic, concept maps, e-book authoring, digital video/screencasting, and image/audio production tools to create multimodal digital texts (Albers, Pahl) enhance student engagement and critique, for example, of visual representations of the effects of climate change; collaboration: how use of collaborative writing, social networking/ bookmarking, blogging, and wiki tools mediate collaboration associated with collective, organized sharing of knowledge leading to transformation; interactivity: how use of social networking, chat/discussion, and blogging tools fosters interaction related to exposure to alternative cultural perspectives, leading to challenging status quo perspectives and change in audience beliefs and attitudes; intertextuality/ recontextualization: how use of tools for identifying intertextual patterns leads to critique of cultural representations evident in these patterns as well as the recontextualization (VanLeeuven) of texts by applying alternative cultural lenses, resulting in redesign (Janks) of institutional practices; identity construction: how uses of social networking, online role-play, and gaming tools involve adopting “projective” (Gee) or “cosmopolitan” (Hull) identities enhancing student agency necessary to challenge status quo institutions. Please access Dr. Beach’s handout for this session here. Hosts: Ji Hye Shin and Cindy Fujimoto
NOVEMBER 9, 2014: Dr. David Berliner, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ USA: “Education, politics and literacy.” 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone/USA.
Dr. David C. Berliner is Regents’ Professor of Education Emeritus at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, USA, and has also taught at the Universities of Arizona and Massachusetts, at Teachers College and Stanford University, and at universities in Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, and Switzerland. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, the International Academy of Education, and a past president of both the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Berliner is the winner of numerous awards, most notably the Brock award and the AERA award for distinguished contributions to education, the E. L. Thorndike award from the APA for lifetime achievements, and the NEA “Friend of Education” award for his work on behalf of the education profession. An interview with Professor Berliner on Your Education Matters can be found here. Dr. Berliner has authored more than 200 published articles, chapters and books. Among his best known works is the book co-authored with B. J. Biddle, The manufactured crisis, and the book co-authored with Sharon Nichols, Collateral damage: How high-stakes testing corrupts American education. He co-edited the first Handbook of educational psychology and the books Talks to teachers, and Perspectives on instructional time. His most recent book, 50 Myths and Lies that Threaten America’s Public Schools, was co-authored with Gene V Glass and students, and published in March, 2014. Host: Aram Cho
FEBRUARY 1, 2015: Dr. Barbara Comber, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia; “Literacy, Place and Pedagogies of Possibility.” 5:00 p.m. EST/USA.
Barbara Comber is a Research Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She is particularly interested in literacy education and social justice. She has conducted longitudinal ethnographic studies and collaborative action research with teachers working in high poverty and culturally diverse communities. Her research examines the kinds of teaching that make a difference to young people’s learning trajectories. Her current work explores ethical educational leadership, teachers’ work in literacy classrooms and the affordances of place-conscious pedagogies for developing critical and creative literacies. She has also undertaken an institutional ethnography focusing on mandated literacy assessment and the reorganization of teachers’ work. Her most recent book entitled, Literacy, Place, and Pedagogies of Possibility (available on July 31, Routledge, 2015) explores the positive synergies between critical literacy and place-conscious pedagogy. Dr. Comber draws from rich classroom research demonstrates how theories of space and place and literacy studies can underpin the design and enactment of culturally inclusive curriculum for diverse student communities and provides teachers with ideas on how to design enabling pedagogical practices that extend students’ literate repertoires. She has co-edited a number of books including the International Handbook of Research in Children’s Literacy, Learning and Culture (Hall, Cremin, Comber & Moll, 2013) and Literacies in Place: Teaching environmental communications (Comber, Nixon & Reid, 2007) and Turn-around pedagogies: Literacy interventions for at-risk students (Comber & Kamler, 2005). Host: Tuba Angay-Crowder
FEBRUARY 8, 2015: Dr. Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield, UK; “Young Children’s Online Practices: Past, Present and Future.” 3:00 p.m. EST/USA. Dr. Jackie Marsh is interested in the relationship between childhood cultures, play and literacy in the digital age. She has conducted research projects that have explored children´s access to new technologies and their emergent digital literacy skills, knowledge and understanding. She has also examined the way in which parents/carers and other family members support this engagement with media and technologies. Dr. Marsh also has conducted a number of research projects that have explored how creative and innovative teachers have responded to the challenges of the new media age. She has evaluated a number of national projects that have aimed to develop teachers’ expertise in the teaching and learning of digital and media literacy. In her more recent research, Dr. Marsh has explored changes in children’s play due to developments in media, technology and commercial cultures. She is co-author of a number of books that address young children, play, and digital literacy including Changing Play: Play, Media and Commercial Culture from the 1950s to the Present Day (2014, Open University Press); Children’s Virtual Play Worlds: Culture, Learning and Participation (2013, Peter Lang); Children, media and playground cultures: Ethnographic studies of school playtimes (2013, Palgrave), and Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (2nd ed.; 2013, Sage). Dr. Marsh has also authored numerous articles on children, play, and media. Dr. Marsh’s seminar will draw on data from a number of studies of young children’s (aged from birth to 8) literacy lives in the United Kingdom in order to consider the nature of their online literacy practices over the past decade and to examine some of their current practices. She argues that the key developments in young children’s engagement with online multimodal texts over the past ten years relate to the extent of this engagement and its nature in terms of how far it involves interactions with others and offers opportunities for creative design. That is, it is not the technology per se that matters but rather what the activity itself is and how that activity enables and structures engagement with others, offering opportunities to use the imagination and foster creativity. In the final section of the presentation, Dr. Marsh will review what she considers to be some potential future developments in this area and reflect on what these developments might mean for researchers who are interested in young children’s literacy learning in the digital age. Host: Ryan Boylan
MARCH 22, 2015: Dr. Jim Cummins, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; “Reversing Underachievement: The Rocky Road from Literacy Research to Policy and Practice.” 3:00 p.m. EST/USA. Dr. Jim Cummins is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto who studies language development and literacy of learners of English as an additional language. His scholarship focuses on Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency/Academic Language Proficiency (CALP), terms that he coined that reference processes that help teachers understand learners’ language abilities. Dr. Cummins holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) and has received numerous awards including the International Reading association’s Albert J. Harris award. He is author of numerous books and articles. His newest book is entitled Big Ideas for Expanding Minds: Teaching English Language Learners across the Curriculum (Pearson Canada). He is also author of Literacy, Technology, and Diversity: Teaching for Success in Changing Times (Allyn & Bacon), Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire (Multilingual Matters), Identity Texts: The Collaborative Creation of Power in Multilingual Schools (Trentham Books).
Dr. Cummins seminar: In order to develop and implement coherent policies designed to improve educational effectiveness we need to understand which groups of students tend to experience disproportionate underachievement and what are the causes of underachievement for each group. In addition to students with special education needs, three categories of students figure prominently in underachievement statistics: (a) students from linguistically diverse backgrounds (‘English language learners’), (b) students from low-socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, and (c) students from communities that have been marginalized in the wider society. Frequently, underachieving students fit into all three of these categories but they are conceptually distinct. In addition, different, albeit overlapping, causal factors can be identified for each group.
To what extent has literacy research contributed to the identification of evidence-based educational responses to reverse patterns of underachievement among these three categories of students? This question is addressed by examining the findings and recommendations of the National Reading Panel (2000) and the Report of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth (August & Shanahan, 2006). The presentation argues that neither of these research syntheses adequately represented the evidence, largely because of their reliance on experimental and quasi-experimental research and neglect of research that focused on social variables related to literacy attainment. As a consequence, literacy policies implemented in the United States (and elsewhere) during the past 15 years have been out of alignment with the research evidence regarding high-impact instructional responses aimed at reversing underachievement among low-SES, linguistically diverse, and marginalized group students. Specifically, policy has ignored the central importance of instruction that maximizes literacy engagement and promotes identities of competence associated with literacy practices. Hosts: Jin Jung and Myoung Eun Pang