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Teaching for Change: Promoting Social Justice Through Counter-Discursive Writing

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Kelsey Carey

on 21 November 2016

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Transcript of Teaching for Change: Promoting Social Justice Through Counter-Discursive Writing


1. Public education & curriculum as it relates to identity development through signification

2. Dominant discourses & how they create master narratives

3. Contesting master narratives through counter-discourse & agency

4. Role of educators in equipping & empowering students to contest master narratives through instructional practices
Pushing back against narratives through counter-discourse

Using Language to Change the Narrative
Contesting Master Narratives
Curriculum & Identity Development

Teaching for change:
promoting social justice through counter-discursive writing

not an elegy for Mike Brown
by Danez Smith

I am sick of writing this poem
but bring the boy. his new name
his same old body. ordinary, black
dead thing. bring him & we will mourn
until we forget what we are mourning
& isn’t that what being black is about?
not the joy of it, but the feeling
you get when you are looking
at your child, turn your head,
then, poof, no more child.
that feeling. that’s black.
think: once, a white girl
was kidnapped & that’s the Trojan war.
later, up the block, Troy got shot
& that was Tuesday. are we not worthy
of a city of ash? of 1000 ships
launched because we are missed?
always, something deserves to be burned.
it’s never the right thing now a days.
I demand a war to bring the dead boy back
no matter what his name is this time.
I at least demand a song. a song will do just fine.
look at what the lord has made.
above Missouri, sweet smoke.

"a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time
'Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.'"
-Audre Lorde, Power
Examples of Implementation
Role of Teachers in Contesting Master Narratives
"What I Wasn't Taught In School"
Dominant & Pervasive Narratives
Key Terms
Master Narratives
Signifying Practices
Social Identity
This project was a collaborative effort.
The script was written collaboratively and the resources selected were by the group members of this project.

The section on poetry and contesting master narratives was primarily completed by Kelsey Carey and Cathy Hearn.

The section on instruction and implementation was primarily completed by Erika Mendez and Christine Quince.

Glossary of Key terms

Poems relating to the Black Lives Matter movement:

Poetry by young people and students:

Negative Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys

Organizations facilitating youth agency through literacy

Individuals encouraging youth literacy through representation:
Additional Resources
meanings shared by a social group that claim to be universal truths; Used to maintain power by dominant social groups
Master Narratives:
a historical account that is accepted by a large group of people as true.
Signifying Practices:
activities that produce meaning through signs( e.g. body language, images, words)
: Production of knowledge and practices developed through language
A way of thinking that opposes dominant ideas
: the understanding a person has of themselves; also a person's sense of who they are based on their group membership(s)
: the description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way

Atlas, J. (Writer). (2011). Too important to fail. [Documentary series episode]. In Tavis
Smiley Reports. Arlington, VA: PBS.

{AJ+.} (2016, October, 16). Fourth graders shatter lies.. [Video File]. Retrieved from


[Black Poets Speak Out Image] Retrieved from http://blackpoetsspeakout.tumblr.com/post/104306798027/blackpoetsspeakout

Barker, C. (2012). Cultural studies: Theory and practice. Fourth Edition. Thousand
Oaks: Sage.

Black poets speak out. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from http://blackpoetsspeakout.com/

[Button Poetry]. (2014, November 17). Danez Smith - "Not an elegy for mike
brown" [Video File] Retrieved from youtube.com/watch?v=ujxShArG7Ks

[Word on the Curb]. (2014, October 23). What I wasn't taught in school [Video File]
Retrieved from youtube.com/watch?v=TNfH41-LI4w

Brown, K. D. & Brown, A. L. (2012). Useful and dangerous discourse: Deconstructing
racialized knowledge about the African American student. Journal of Educational Foundations, 26(1-2), 11-26.

Chiricos, T. & Eschholz, S. (2002). The Racial and ethnic typification of crime and the
criminal typification of race and ethnicity in local television news. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 39(4), 400–420.

Gay, R. (n.d.) A small needful fact. Retrieved fromhttps://www.poets.org/poetsorg/

Ghandnoosh, N. (2014). Race and punishment: Racial perceptions of crime and
support for punitive policies. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. Available at: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_Race_ and_Punishment.pdf (pp. 33–5).

Lorde, A. (2000). The collected poems of Audre Lorde. New York: Norton.
McManus, B. (2014, December 4). Blame only the man who tragically decided to resist.
New York Times. Retrieved from http://nypost.com/2014/12/04/eric-garner-was-a-victim-of-himself-for-deciding-to-resist/

Tucker-Raymond, E.; Rosario-Ramos, E. M.; Rosario, M. L. (2011). Cultural
persistence, political resistance, and hope in the community and school-based art
of a Puerto Rican diaspora neighborhood. Equity & Excellence in Education, 44(2), pp. 270-286.

Wilson, C. M., Ek, L.D., & Douglas, T.M.O. (2013). Recasting border
crossing politics and pedagogies to combat educational inequity: Experiences, identities, and perceptions of Latino/a immigrant youth. The Urban Review.
(DOI) 10.1007/s11256-013-0246-5.

Write On! (Image File). Retrieved from http://www.nycore.org/2012/06/write-on
Expose students to culturally relevant material
Allow students to showcase their experiences
Represent student/ community voice & culture in classrooms
By Erika Mendez
Cathy Hearn
Christine Quince
& Kelsey Carey

Note: Summarized using Barker (2012) as a resource
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[pause presentation, then push play on video]
Full transcript