The theme of the 2017 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting is a call to examine critical dimensions of educational opportunity and rigor in research as they pertain to the diversity of issues, populations, and contexts served in and by educational inquiry. These range from young children to their parents and families, from PreK-12 to postsecondary education and adult learning, from affluent districts to financially struggling schools, and from immigrant to low-income communities within urban and rural settings alike. They are studied in large datasets and in field studies, and through multiple methods, including qualitative approaches, experimental designs and discourse analyses. They are investigated in both vastly different and complementary theories of learning, human development, literacy, sociolinguistics and culture and within different contexts. They are connected to race, language and gender, and are embedded in systemic inequalities. Finally, they exist alongside enormous technological innovation, new approaches to studying diverse and historically underserved populations, refinement of existing methodologies, recurrent policy revisions and the wide reach of global exchanges.
When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.
Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music
My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.
Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film
Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.
Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio
La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.