Keeping it Real: Shaping Adolescents’ Identity and Agency With YAL & Action Research
Cindi Koudelka Fieldcrest CUSD 6, Minonk/Aurora University and Katie Russell, Murphysboro CUSD #186 Murphysboro Middle SchoolCollaboration 142
The pandemic and social divisiveness has exacerbated inequities and made it difficult for teens to reflect on their place in the world. Apprenticing adolescents in action research grounded by inclusive Young Adult novels is an authentic and engaging way to reframe their civic learning and empower them to shape their world for healing, dreaming, and unity. The presenters will share work grounded in Freire's Critical Literacy theory and further scaffolded by scholarship in action research and positioning. The presenters will model how to use Young Adult Literature and Critical Action Research to provide students the participatory spaces to critique the world and engage them with relevant interrogation of texts and exploration of of political language, civic values, and their agency in the world (Cammarota & Fine, 2008, Freire, 2016; Mirra & Garcia, 2017). As educators continue to shape literacy practices, we recognize schools, one of the largest enculturating institutions in the world, have the opportunity to teach adolescents how to use literacy to navigate humanity & social contexts. This presentation is of interest to educators wishing to reimagine a liberating pedagogy that privileges inclusive adolescent voices.