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ALER Yearbook

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Alexandra Babino
added a research item
The theme of this year is Educate to Liberate. A reminder to faculty in the field that education and literacy extends beyond the content and courses we teach. As Freire puts it, “Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people—they manipulate them.” Instead, as literacy educators we should strive to work along with our students, to co-create with them, to learn from them. Freire reminds us too that “the (literacy) teacher is of course an artist...What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for students to become themselves.” Therefore, as literacy educators and researchers, it is our duty to provide access and opportunities for students of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds as they navigate their way in our classrooms. All the articles within this 43rd Yearbook represent a portion of the ses- sions presented at the conference. After a peer-review process for conference acceptance, the ensuing articles underwent an additional two rounds of double- blind peer review before acceptance in the Yearbook. It is our sincere hope that the articles reflect the theme and embolden our practice to Educate to Liberate. xiii —JA, AB, KD, & NC
Juan Araujo
added a research item
The theme for the 63rd annual conference of the Association of Literacy Educa- tors and Researchers Building Bridges with and for Literacy. The first section of the Yearbook begins with Connie Briggs Presidential address, titled Lessons Learned from Marie Clay: What is Possible? In her address, she highlights Marie Clay’s work as an eminent scholar and innovator, highlighting her contributions to the field of literacy. This is followed by the Betty Sturtevant Award recipients Aimee Morewood, Susan Taylor, Allison Swan Dagen, Julie W. Ankrum, and Christina Glance. Their article, titled Online instruction: An Innovative Envi- ronment Bridging Literacy and Leadership Learning explores the conversations that took place between those seeking reading specialist certification and the sense of community that developed. Next, Kristal Elaine Vallie shared out the findings from her dissertation research titled Middle School Librarians’ Percep- tions and Promotion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Books. In it, she reports out the difficulty librarians had in finding LGBTQ-related books. Following this is the Masters Research Award Winner. Kate Sheridan’s work titled Can a Picture Elicit a Thousand Words? Using Pho- tography to Foster Early Writing Development shares how students work with meaningful photographs, those selected or taken by them demonstrated growth in the quality of writing and attitudes about writing. Robin D. Johnson’s work, titled Barrio Writers: Sharing Our Voice and Experience Through Creative Writ- ing is the Spotlight article for the Judy Richardson Literacy as a Living Legacy Award. In it, she highlights the work done with Barrio Writers. Winning the Living Legacy Award in 2018, this article is an extension of that research as it shares out creative writing from teens who participated in the Barrio Writers’ project. This section is concluded with the work of Stephanie Grote-Garcia, Evan Ortlieb, Bethanie Pletcher, Micharl Manderino, Vassiliki Zygouris-Coe, Juan Araujo, and Alexandra Babino titled Building Bridges Between Research and Practice: Reflecting Upon the Results of the 2019 What’s Hot in Literacy Survey. In it, the authors share the three “hottest” topics in literacy from 2019; digital literacy, disciplinary literacy, and English learners. In section two, titled Building Bridges with English Language Learners and Families, articles focus on ways to connect literacy with English language learners and their families. Katie Walker introduces the section by exploring how a high school English teacher drew upon her prior experiences and knowledge in an ESL classroom. This is followed by Daibo Guo, Eun Hye Son, and Katherine Landau Wright’s article which focuses on supporting English Language Learners through multimodal text. Next, Larkin Page explores her work on home-based literacy practices in comparison to school literacy expectations. Section three focuses on connections between literacy, content, and Online learning. This section includes work by Caroline M. Crawford, Janice Newman, and Elaine Hendrix incorporating reading into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM). This section is concluded by Kayy N. Tracy, Roya Q. Scales, and W. David Scales’ work on an online pedagogy course. Section four focuses on making connections about diversity through lit- eracy. This section includes work by Melanie Loewenstein and David Brown; Chelsea Herndon; and Abby Pierece, Erin K. Washburn, Chyllis E. Scott, and Carly Waters, whose articles focuses on the connection of literacy and identity. Additionally, Ashley E. Pennell and Connie Green report their work with discus- sions about adolescent and young adult literature with genderqueer characters. Finally, section five focuses on learning with and for literacy. This work looks at writing in professional learning communities, classroom literacy instruction, and tutoring programs. After a peer-review process for conference acceptance, the ensuing articles underwent an additional round of double blind peer review for acceptance in the Yearbook. The articles reflect the conference theme, Building Bridges Through Literacy, and expand upon it to explore ways to connect literacy through technol- ogy, with families, for English language learners, and diverse groups. —NC, JA, AB, & R
Alexandra Babino
added a research item
Reading and writing expand horizons, open windows, facilitate exploration, support connection, share ideas, challenge thinking, change perspectives, and more. Literacy builds bridges. And currently too many gulfs exist. The 2019 conference yearbook strives to build bridges across gulfs, cultural gulfs, contextual gulfs, methodological gulfs, and more. Join us in building bridges with and through literacy! Access the full yearbook here: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aleronline.org/resource/resmgr/yearbooks/9781883604097.pdf
Juan Araujo
added a research item
The What's Hot in Literacy Annual Survey serves as a springboard for idea generation and reflection about what areas of literacy should be a focus of attention.
Alexandra Babino
added a research item
The theme for the 62nd annual conference of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers was Educating for a Just Society. Connie Briggs, previous Program Chair, reminded us that, “Education has always been the foundation of a democratic nation. It is important that our students understand the principles upon which our nation was founded and develop personal qualities that value and celebrate diversity and equality leading to critical and independent thinking. Individual and collective potential will only be realized when community concern, social responsibility, and moral commitment of social justice is actioned by and for all of society, particularly the marginalized of our nation.” The indelible work we do as literacy professionals is reflected in this message and in the thinking that was shared as we gathered together in Louisville, Kentucky in 2018. From graduate students to senior scholars, the presentations and personal conversations all served as sites of opportunity to reflect on and enact this ambitious value. It’s continued to challenge us as editors through the process of conscientization (Friere, 1970), or continual reflexivity, in our multiple roles as editors, educators, researchers, advisors, administrators, and friends. In each context, we wondered how can we celebrate others that aren’t normally celebrated. Even more importantly, we’ve wrestled with how our teaching and research practices and policies might approximate greater justice for all of those we work with spanning the minoritized and majoritized spectrum (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017). Throughout the conference and since this time, a quote from renown bilingual writer and artist, Sandra Cisneros, has pierced my (Ale’s) heart, ultimately taking up residence to stay. In doing so, it’s both motivated and haunted me in response to the question, “Why consider and teach literacy from a social justice lens?” It’s “because the world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning” (Cisneros, 2018). While Cisneros shares this sentiment in relation to why she writes, this quote adjusts my theoretical lenses to clarify that literacy research is primarily about people, not acts or skills in and of themselves; it's about developing skills in people that allow them greater agency and human flourishing. We view our students as people we love first and then we value them as speakers, readers, writers, visual communicators, and change makers. To varying degrees, they utilize their literacies across time and space, but they are in danger. Often this danger occurs in the illegitimacy of their literacies; even more, this danger comes in the form of systemic, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized marginalization; but it’s always about being in danger of a reified humanity: for the teacher and the student; for the historically minoritized and the historically majoritized. Thus, it’s incumbent upon us, as literacy educators and researchers, to urgently see, feel, and respond to those who are in danger. In other words, we must teach and research with armed love (Freire, 1998). Dr. Briggs’ hope and Sandra Cisneros’s quote substantially inform the editorial team’s organization of this year’s yearbook.
Juan Araujo
added a research item
The authors of this chapter present the narrative findings and discussions of their collaborative study during year two as they continue to modify instruction in three undergraduate classes to aid preservice teachers as they acquire expertise in building sustained relationships with the parents of their students. In this iteration, our findings suggest that preservice teachers learned ways to have positive interactions through a literacy night, they learned that these interactions were not as difficult as they had imagined , and having varied situations where learning was at the forefront was a plus. Moreover, preservice reflexive narratives indicate that building these opportunities 368 Engaging All Readers Through Explorations within the courses cemented their beliefs about the benefits parental involvement have on the overall achievement of their students.