Too many students don't see themselves as "doers" and "makers" of authentic work in any of the disciplines of high school. No wonder, then, that they make no connection between high school coursework and their future lives and work. But what if we took advantage of our students' tremendous potential by designing environments in which they can unleash, develop, and publicly share their talents? Instead of "doing school"--working from textbook-driven, often contrived school subjects--what if students worked toward something closer to the public, energized achievements of accomplished adults?
This book features educators in construction trades, English, math, and multidisciplinary teams who have created empowering disciplinary classrooms and projects that allow students, particularly those who are sometimes disenfranchised by the larger culture and current institutional structures, to gain new identities as makers and doers. Building on foundational work in authentic literacies and supported by NCTE's policy research brief Literacies of Disciplines, the authors center their examples in a continuum of disciplinary literacy learning, demonstrating how it can be used to look at and reconfigure lessons, units, courses, and programs.
This book is proof that classrooms like these are indeed possible in all schools and educational settings. In fact, they are necessary if we expect today's students to successfully bridge the gulf between learning and doing. More