2014 in Review

Now that 2015 is here, I thought I’d summarise my 2014 publications. I’ve included the abstracts and links to the journal articles and book chapters below. I am very fortunate to continue my collaboration with Jayne Lammers and Alecia Magnifico, and I’m happy that my undergraduate honours student Georgina Willmett and I co-authored a chapter as well.

Curwood, J.S. (2014). English teachers’ cultural models about technology: A microethnographic perspective on professional development. Journal of Literacy Research, 46(1), 9-38. [PDF]

Prompted by calls for research on technology-focused professional development, this ethnographic case study investigates how teachers’ participation in learning communities may influence technology integration within the secondary English curriculum. In this paper, I draw on educational psychology, cognitive anthropology, and sociolinguistics to build a theory of teacher learning. I then take a microethnographic approach to discourse analysis to show how teachers’ use of language and contextualization cues within a learning community reflect their cultural models, or everyday beliefs, about technology. This study addresses two gaps in the literature. First, it explores the role of situated language in constructing English teachers’ cultural models related to technology. Second, it examines micro-level interactions within a professional learning community to understand how teacher learning occurs in social and cultural contexts. The analysis suggests that the implementation of educational reforms, including reforms associated with technology integration and literacy education, are often dependent upon teachers’ skills, values, and cultural models.

Curwood, J.S. (2014). Between continuity and change: Identities and narratives within teacher professional development. Teaching Education, 25(2), 156-183. [PDF]

This year-long ethnographic case study examined high school teachers’ participation in technology-focused professional development. By pairing a dialogical perspective on teacher identity with a micro-level analysis of narratives, findings indicate that teachers use language and other semiotic resources to express their own identity as well as to acknowledge, expand on, and counter others’ identity claims. Moreover, technology integration may challenge teachers’ established identities or threaten their authority in the classroom. This analysis suggests that teacher educators need to value teachers’ established and emergent identities as well as create space for dialogic narratives in order to facilitate technology integration in schools.

Curwood, J.S. (2014). Reader, writer, gamer: Online role playing games as literary response. In H.R. Gerber & S.S. Abrams (Eds.), Bridging literacies with videogames (pp. 53-66). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. [PDF]

This chapter examines literacy practices related to The Hunger Games, a young adult trilogy. Drawing on sociocultural theory, this ethnographic study highlights the ways in which youth use online role-playing games as a response to literature. Specifically, it considers how Tumblr, a microblogging site, offers a platform for readers to readily become writers and gamers. The chapter includes an analysis of one young woman’s creative writing and role playing process. It closes with practical ideas related to the teaching of literature in a participatory culture.

Curwood, J.S. (2014). From collaboration to transformation: Practitioner research for school librarians and classroom teachers. In K. Kennedy & L.S. Green (Eds.), Collaborative models for librarian and teacher partnerships (pp. 1-11). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. [PDF]

As part of educational reforms, educators are increasingly expected to gather and interpret data, implement initiatives, and analyze outcomes. Practitioner research offers a framework for conducting school-based inquiry; consequently, it can be an instrumental part of educational change. Due to its focus on local contexts, collective knowledge, and critical reflection, practitioner research can foster collaboration between school librarians and classroom teachers. This chapter explicates the core features of practitioner research and discusses new findings from a three-year study of digital literacy conducted by a high school librarian and an English teacher.

Lammers, J.C., Magnifico, A.M., & Curwood, J.S. (2014). Exploring tools, places, and ways of being: Audience matters for developing writers. In K.E. Pytash & R.E. Ferdig (Eds.), Exploring technology for writing and writing instruction (pp. 186-201). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. [PDF]

This chapter explores how writers respond to interactions with readers and audience members in two
technology-mediated writing contexts: a Hunger Games fan’s use of FanFiction.net and a classroom using
Scholar to write original narrative texts. The authors look across the two spaces to analyze similarities
in how the technology is used to foster interaction with readers and develop writers’ craft through these
interactions. In particular, they analyze how writing functions in each space as a tool, a place, and a
way of being. By considering the affordances of these two contexts, the authors argue that technology is
changing how we write and learn to write, in and out-of-school, by connecting writers with an audience
that can significantly shape their goals, skills, and processes.

Willmett, G.K. & Curwood, J.S. (2014). iLiterate: Exploring iPads, multimodality, and writing pedagogy in secondary English. In R.S. Anderson & C. Mims (Eds.), Handbook of research on digital tools for writing instruction in K-12 settings, (pp. 243-258). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. [PDF]

Digital technologies significantly shape and mediate adolescents’ writing practices. Consequently, this chapter investigates the relevance and use of emergent technology in Year 8 English classes in an Australian high school. The importance of this study stems from the introduction of the Australian Government’s Digital Education Revolution and the growing prominence of technology in local schools. Building on sociocultural perspectives and new literacies scholarship, this case study critically considers how iPads influence student writing. Moreover, it examines what pedagogical strategies teachers use when implementing iPads in their classes to support student learning outcomes. Findings from this study contribute to our understanding of how digital tools influence students’ collaborative learning, multimodal practices, and writing processes.

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