14 SES 12 B, Bridging the Divide between Hegemonic Discourses and the Lived Discourses of Diverse Communities: Perspectives from Spain, Taiwan, US, and Pakistan
Against the backdrop of globalization with its emphases on standardization, commodification, and distal agents, the authors agree on the importance of developing dialogues between local actors to conceptualize and implement successful literacy curricula capable of bridging the divide between the included and the excluded. Helpful is the scholarship on New Literacy Studies, which defines literacy as a socio-cultural construct as opposed to merely learning skills of reading and writing. This theoretical shift highlights the cultural assets that students, teachers, and communities can potentially bring to teaching and learning processes. However, it remains a challenge to integrate these cultural assets within the hegemonic Discourses of school, especially when these assets belong to minority and/or marginalized groups. This panel addresses such challenges through the examination of various pedagogical environments in Spain, Taiwan, U.S., and Pakistan. These qualitative studies do not only analyze the divide between the hegemonic Discourse of schools and the lived Discourses of diverse communities, but also articulate implications and offer solutions.
• Racionero’s paper presents a unique case of non-academic Roma adults in Spain working successfully to mentor Roma students’ language learning through dialogue in the classroom. This pedagogy builds upon the success of a dialogic learning environment: Interactive Groups developed and implemented in collaboration with community members whose funds of knowledge have traditionally been excluded by the official discourse.
• Lilly chronicles the lived experiences of low-achieving students in an urban US school who resist the official literacy curriculum in favor of what they perceive as the more relevant out-of-school hip hop venues. This divide is complicated by the rebellious, anti-institutional nature of the hip hop culture and schools’ exclusive claim of access to dominant or power discourses.
• Hsin examines the conflicting conceptions between new-immigrant parents and teachers in urban Taiwanese schools regarding literacy acquisition. Her study reveals that teachers and parents enact different practices to promote children’s literacy, which results in teachers deeming the parents’ practice as a “cultural deficit. Her study leads towards a rethinking of the intersection between the lived and the official discourse of literacy.
• Khurshid presents another case study of “localized” literacy by examining how Pakistani teachers interpret and contest the literacy program developed by an international development organization. Her work shares evidence that literacy programs are impeded when local actors fail to collaborate with policymakers in the development and implementation of literacy programs.
• Garcia shares data from a literacy program in which students and families from racial and ethnic minority groups in Spain have improved their literacy levels and engaged in processes of personal and social transformation through discussions of classical texts. These discussions challenge the stereotypes that limit the usefulness of such texts to certain social groups and classes.
The symposium sheds light on a common challenge in urban schools worldwide: how to enact effective democratic pedagogies in the increasingly diversified and contested fields of education. The cases we present may serve as stimuli to think about the improvement and validation of school/home/community relationships.
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