Speaker Series

Elizabeth Moje, University of Michigan

Friday, February 11, 2011 1:00PM to 2:30PM
SEL 2087

Teaching Youth to Navigate the Literate Contexts and Practices of Life

In this talk, Elizabeth Moje will situate the work of teaching high-level literacy skills to adolescents in two key contexts highly relevant to teaching and learning in today’s society. One is the context of popular culture, or the texts that young people read, write, view, and talk about with passion and power. The second is the context of the disciplinary, or subject-area, domains of secondary school education, which young people must navigate to experience economic and political success in life after secondary school. Moje’s goal, as a teacher and researcher, is to help youth move back and forth across the contexts of popular/youth cultures and the school subject-matter domains, and to help them learn to read and write the challenging texts of school subjects by drawing from their sophistication and skill with the texts of popular and youth culture. In the talk, Moje will use data from her work with young people and teachers in Detroit, Michigan to examine the knowledge, dispositions, skills, and strategies youth bring to their reading, and to discuss possible teaching practices that can encourage youth to transfer those skills to disciplinary reading tasks. At the same time, Moje will highlight the challenges of such work and will engage participants in a discussion of the contextual and structural supports necessary for teachers and youth to be successful in subject-matter literacy teaching and learning.