Sharing the good work of colleagues, teachers, students, and tribal youths and teens as we struggle to make a difference.
Across all courses that I teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels, my main goal is to engage all of my students in learning through experiential, multimodal, activity-based pedagogies in a comfortably rigorous environment. Such a goal is asset based— it assumes that students are eager, smart, engaged, and willing to try out new knowledge and meaning making. I support students’ development as thinkers, writers, and composers through state-of-the-art curricula, a respectful and challenging classroom climate, and an engaged and engaging pedagogy. I've taught youths as young as 5 and adults as old as 82 in community organizations, after-school projects, and summer programs with my tribe. All of my teaching is geared toward helping learners strive toward their educational goals, to learn to express and represent themselves, and to make a difference where it matters most to them.
Selected Graduate Classes
AL 992: Seminar in Language, Literacies, and Power
Offering an introduction to interdisciplinary perspectives on issues, questions, and trends in literacy studies with special emphasis on literacy research taking place in communities, classrooms, and tribes, the class explores the mutually sustaining relationships between literacies, power, culture, and the expressive tools people use.
AL 878: Composition Research
Surveys the research, writing, and thinking that's shaped the field of Composition and Rhetoric over the last 25 years.
TE 918: Disciplinary Knowledge and School Subjects
This course has a twofold purpose: to explore the nature of disciplinary knowledge (e.g. how it comes to be made, contested, extended, and valued) and to understand the correspondence between disciplinary and school knowledge.
AL 872: Methods of Research Methods of Research into Language, Learning, and Literacy. The course overviews qualitative inquiry methodologies and methods, with a special emphasis on the development of a professional identity.
Selected Undergraduate Classes
English 408: Reading Theory for Preservice High School Teachers
Research on reading theory applied to the literacy practice. Preservice teachers work with learners in preparation for college writing classes to explore the meaning making process.
English 413: Composition Workshop for Teachers
Investigate the nature of writing while considering theories of writing pertinent to middle and high school students. Preservice teachers place with diverse learners in preparation for college writing classrooms.
Wra 360: Visual Rhetoric
Introduction to document design for professional writing majors. Course content follows a standard curriculum developed by Dr. Danielle DeVoss for all professional writing majors at MSU.
Wra 331: Writing in the Public Interest
Methods class for professional writing majors in the cultures and community track designed to teach them to become researchers of and writers for community organizations.
Wra 110: Writing Science and Technology First year writing course exploring the theme of science and technology. Critical reading and writing about the knowledge making practices of sciences and the use of technology.
This collaborative of linguists and tribal language teachers will serve linguists and learners interested in sustaining their languages across Ojibwe and Cherokee speaking tribes.
Preservice teachers are thinking about and learning to teach urban, critical and cultural sustaining literacies in their placements with writing instructors who teach the diverse first generation and international students in our preparation for college writing classes. Sam Caughlan and I have written about this project. Click on the students' names to view a sample of the outstanding work preservice teachers' accomplished in our English education classes.
Caren (Rama) Kadri's literacy narrative in film above and her teaching philosophy talks about her painful struggle to learn to read and succeed in the US.
Adva Ringle: On culturally sustaining pedagogy
A former MSU Women's Ice Hockey team member, psychology minor, and volunteer with Wounded Warriors, Ms. Purcell has also worked with students who have a variety of academic impediments ranging from ADHD to autism. Check out her powerful teaching philosophy, modeled after Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail".
Following Kris Gutierrez's pedagogical third space, Andrew Catterall performs his teaching philosophy.
Erin Parr creates engaged and engaging English classes with her teaching philosophy: "There are five main components that I believe will make my English classroom its very best:
Rob Black's graphic organizers are great prewriting activities for his writing prompts on activists groups such as Anonymous.
Tribes & Communities
Native American Film Institute
22 American Indian youths and teens from several tribes around Michigan, Canada, and Illinois created digital videos in our NAFI film workshop this summer. They're thinking about topics important to them, from domestic violence, fishing rights, and mass media's portrayal of women while learning the basics of digital video editing. The Native American Institute and CAITLAH jointly sponsor this annual event introduced here by Isaiah Roffino and Devin Dean.
Check out "Violence Against Native American Women" by Destiny Soney.
Cherokee Four Worlds Curriculum
Working with twenty-three representative language speakers, teachers, storytellers, medicine people, and leaders from the Cherokee Nation between 2010-2012, our team was tasked to produce a scalable, standardized curriculum that represents Cherokee lifeways. In January of 2011, we produced an eighty-page curricular framework for the Learn and Serve program for grades 4-12 in the fourteen county jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation. Between 2011-12, a smaller team finalized the Four Worlds curriculum for the Johnson O'Malley Co-Partner Program for grades 6-12.
Learning to Teach Diverse Learners
Outstanding instructors in our preparation for college writing and across the college of arts and letters participate in several workshops I've developed. These workshops offer teachers materials and training in critical, cultural, and translingual pedagogies. They include slide shows, lesson plans and activities, and writing prompts fully adaptable to your classes
Please check out these culturally sustaining writing workshops on our CAITLAH website.
Past Engagement Projects
Scholars as public intellectuals can work with community members to forward their goals and learning. The research, teaching and service we do can impact public discourse, shape the learning and work in communities, and help cultures persevere. For the last 15 years, I've tried to do just this in a variety of projects.