Encouraging Student Voice: Constructing Spaces of Identity,Agency,and Scholarship in a Gifted Pull Out Enrichment Classroom
AuthorKiser-Chuc, Kevan A.
Keywordscritical and creative thinking
critical integration approach
culturally relevant responsive pedagogy
funds of knowledge
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation draws on the potential congruencies and commonalities in what I have termed a Critical Integration Approach which combines the theoretical lenses of Multiple Intelligences (MI), Funds of Knowledge, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP), Culturally Responsive Instruction (CRI), Critical Pedagogy, Gifted Pedagogy and Multimodal Arts Education. I examine the interplay between all of these pedagogical approaches by analyzing the use of five curricular components (i.e., original fables, reflective blog posts, art collages, poetry and interest-driven research projects) within an original thematic curriculum that I developed. The curriculum focuses on the theme of “Exploration” and integrates all seven educational approaches in a public school gifted pull-out classroom. The research demonstrates that these approaches work effectively in concert with each other and enhance the learning experiences of the student population. As a teacher-researcher who is a proponent of humanizing research, I use a qualitative ethnographic case study approach to examine how students in my classroom are impacted by a curriculum that encourages them to explore their identities using expressive arts and multimodal literacies. The curriculum creates spaces where students can share their voices and experiences as they navigate a myriad of learning pathways. I examine how ten students, representing a diverse range of socio-economic and cultural-linguistic backgrounds, responded to the use of expressive arts and multimodal literacies, as they explored their cultural identities, their sense of place, and their own developing epistemologies. Investigation into the philosophical tenets of multimodal arts education and culturally relevant pedagogy and instruction along with gifted teaching strategies using a Multiple Intelligences and Funds of Knowledge lens provides a way to empower student voice in educational settings. This study explores the praxis of these seemingly dissimilar literatures and frameworks by examining their commonalities and differences and application in the classroom. This research documents the application of what I have called a “Critical Integration Approach”. I observed the students in their on-going learning activities, conducted individual semi-structured interviews, and archived and analyzed student products and artifacts. Findings from the research conducted for this dissertation are hopeful. Students demonstrate that the curricular environment allowed them to foster a critical and agentive stance in their everyday school experiences through a process of reflective observations, thoughtful dialogue, revision of texts, and explicit analysis of artistic representations. Students specifically note the emancipatory feeling of having freedom to explore and have choice in their learning and ways of expressing their learning processes. Finally, I argue that the collective use of these theoretical frameworks and approaches prove beneficial in helping students regain a humanized, academic voice by refuting the hegemonic boundaries of schooling today. The amalgamated approaches and methods found in the “Critical Integration Approach” supports and empowers student voice, student agency, developing literacies, and academic success of students from all backgrounds. Though the study focuses on a student population identified by the school as “gifted”, the critical curriculum and pedagogical approach documented in this study provides significant implications for mainstream populations as well.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture