Journal Title/Source

Journal of Language and Literacy Education

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Journal Article




In this multiple case study that uses narrative research methodology, two beginning English teachers’ stories, their use of young adult literature, and their dialogic interactions with university mentors are examined through a lens of culturally responsive pedagogy. This study is focused on how teachers’ stories indicate the difficulties they have incorporating culturally relevant young adult literature into their secondary English classes, how they establish connections between the texts, their students’ lived experiences, and their own lived experiences, and why they struggle with the application of culturally responsive pedagogy. Findings indicate that beginning teachers’ stories (a) express uncertainty regarding the place of young adult literature in their curricula and seek guidance from mentors; (b) demonstrate difficulties meeting students’ needs, which include connecting with characters and plots that “resonate” with their life experiences; (c) struggle with the dominant narrative of a standardized curriculum that perpetuates teaching the same texts to everyone; moreover, they do not feel empowered to challenge the dominant narrative; (d) struggle with obtaining culturally relevant resources that meet all students’ needs; and (e) recognize, that after exposure to young adult literature in university coursework and secondary teaching, they feel empowered to bring young adult literature into their curricula.


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