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Critical digital literacies and school reform

Title: Critical digital literacies and school reform: Urban teachers' civic action, heteroglossia, and emerging dialogue structures.
Name(s): Stewart, Trevor, author
Boggs, George L., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Date Issued: 2016-04-09
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The hierarchical organization of the teaching profession and traditional modes of education reform discourse have created a simplistic view of teachers’, and especially urban teachers’ responsibility for quality in education. Historically, the structure of and content of education reform discourse has cast teachers in a static role and inhibited their active participation in discussions of educational policy. This paper contextualizes education reform discourse in relation to past educational crisis narratives to interpret recent shifts in the structure of education reform dialogue. Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of heteroglossia and addressivity, the authors examine contributions to online discussions and debate composed ostensibly by urban teachers in response to top-down reform discourses. The data were analyzed with respect to discursive choices and grouped subsequently as themed arguments and rhetorical moves. The authors argue that teachers’ strategic responses to education reform exemplify the notion of heteroglossia as they challenge stifling truisms of reform that seek to suspend discussion of all other factors besides teacher quality. Teachers’ use of critical digital literacies thus re-creates critical conversations in place of monologues about school improvement. The online, public discussion of education reform by urban teachers marks a shift in the structure of reform discourse that has the potential to benefit those currently faulted for a variety of social problems. Examining this shift in the discourse of educational policy creates opportunities for teachers, policymakers, and educational researchers to re-examine their roles in dialogue around education reform.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1479056911 (IID)
Keywords: Education reform; Teacher activism; Dialogism; Heteroglossia; Addressivity; Critical digital literacies; On-line civic participation
Publication Note: This work was presented at American Educational Research Association Convention on 04-09-2016.
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: American Educational Research Association Convention.

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Stewart, T., & Boggs, G. L. (2016). Critical digital literacies and school reform: Urban teachers' civic action, heteroglossia, and emerging dialogue structures. American Educational Research Association Convention. Retrieved from