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The Brothers and Sisters Learn to Write

Group Presentation - LLED 556A
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stephanie Bonnar

on 16 July 2014

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Transcript of The Brothers and Sisters Learn to Write

Example:
If Marcel started singing a song he learned from the local hip hop radio station he was only joined by select children; “African American children, with the exception of European American Tommy (whose older brother had a hip-hop CD collection)” p.49.
Implications
Major Findings


With classrooms becoming more multicultural, how do we as educators incorporate non-English popular culture in our classrooms?
Personal Reflections
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   

“Being aware of what your child is aware of” (p. 193).
Help children to “become thoughtful decision makers as they move among others’ stories, songs and facts” (p.193).

To further children’s communicative flexibility, have an inclusive approach to cultural art forms
“Adopting an inclusive approach to the communicative arts [sic] involves more than [sic] teacher agency. It involves a major ideological rethinking on the part of schools, educational agencies, and society as a whole about schooling, literacy, and the nature of contemporary childhood itself” (p. 191).
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   



Allow children to explore “textual toys” 
Denise’s play with the textual toys of popular media:
“In playing the role of singer (as opposed to simply singing), Denise deliberately appropriated and organized her verbal material within an imagined situation—that of herself being a professional singer, a conceptualization that foregrounded one career possibility against a backdrop of possibilities” (p. 173).

“Children may construct links between texts and contexts that adults would never anticipate” (p. 180)
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   




Landscape approach vs. Linear approach ("perhaps a contoured landscape approach"? (Richgels, 2003, p.1036))
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Children negotiate participation as writers (p.71).
“As the school year progressed, there was evidence that all the brothers and sisters were becoming more deliberate about using writing, as a cultural tool, to negotiate boundaries…
The children were becoming more sensitive to the cultural material appropriate in particular contexts” (p.99).
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
“In this brief tour of children’s responses to the official space unit, the brothers and sisters were always engaged, but not necessarily, and not exclusively, within the official classroom world. Within that world, Rita’s goal was for writing to become a substantive tool in children’s symbolic and social repertoire, so that they could use it to deliberately reflect, organize, imagine, and communicate. She explicitly connected this academic goal with the need for a classroom community: child engagement, through any symbolic means, is dependent on agency—on a role to be played, decisions to be made, products to be prepared for a community to which one belongs” (p. 71)
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Children regularly draw in media, tv and music knowledge (e.g. Star Wars, Monica, Space Jam from unofficial space), into their everyday school conversations (official space) p.70
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
“Gender boundaries were constructed as children appropriated specific cultural material from textual practices involving sports media (especially basketball or football), a social action taken by 54% of boys from January of the school year onward, but not by girls” (p.72)
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Children have a racial awareness:
“Racial boundaries were visible in differentiated patterns of song appropriations: about a third of the children of African American heritage appropriated songs (all from the local hip hop radio station, KMEL), but no European heritage child did” (p.72).
Interestingly, the three girls from the middle-class neighborhood “rarely appropriated any popular media material for free composing” (p.72)
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
There is an interplay between ‘
official
’ worlds
(i.e. school, curriculum, classroom) and ‘
unofficial
’ worlds (i.e. family, friends, church, neighborhoods, pop culture) that influence children’s writing experiences
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Children share similar cultural landscapes with their ‘fake’ family of brothers and sisters (p. 24)

Children are influenced by “
textual toys
” (e.g. the Barney song) which are “symbolic materials useful for play” (p.4) from popular culture

Children move through recontextualization processes – “a process of differentiation, appropriation, translation and reframing of cultural materials across symbolic forms and social practices (p.24)”
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Children build on their knowledge
from
what they already know and
with
what they know (p.10)

Literacy development is a process rather than a “series of stages nor a set of sequentially learned skills (p.11)” where children are active participants

Children do not develop in a “singular pathway” but in a complex landscape (p.12)
Anne Haas Dyson [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://images.sciencedaily.com/2009/02/090212125137-large.jpg

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model. Adapted from Blackboard Learn, by M. Chapman, 2012 Retrieved October 28, 2012, from: https://connect.ubc.ca

Chapman, M. (2012). Perspectives on Early Literacy [Video Recording]. Retrieved October 28, 2012, from: https://connect.ubc.ca

Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.

Edmund Huey [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://covers.openlibrary.org/a/id/6454754-M.jpg

Lev Vygotsky [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/1/17/LSvygotsky.jpg

Richgels, D. J. (2003). Book Review: The Brothers and Sisters Learn to Write. Journal of Literacy Research. 35.4, p.1057-1066

[The brothers and sisters learn to write photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from: http://covers.booktopia.com.au/big/9780807742808/the-brothers-and-sisters-learn-to-write.jpg

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2012). Anne Haas Dyson. Retrieved on October 28, 2012, from: http://education.illinois.edu/people/ahdyson

Urie Bronfenbrenner [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://vihik.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/uriebronfenbrenner.jpg



  
References
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Hybrid nature of children’s written texts:
“Marcel did not need to read football books to learn written language, nor did he need a football fan as a teacher. But he did need to use familiar textual practices, and the embedded knowledge they contained, to mobilize his agency and resources and to orchestrate his evolving literacy knowledge” (p.106)
Role-model conflict resolution and give children a voice
“Rita did not resolve tensions, but brought them out into the open where the range of opinions under girding them could be made audible. And this process of naming and discussing diffused power struggles and promoted social and intellectual discussions of text types and preferences (cf. Dyson, 1997)” (p. 103).
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Denise demonstrates how music media is used in literacy development. Her case history is about “entering and participating in new social dialogues through a new medium. Denise ventured out into the official world, trying on, combining, and even deliberately appropriating certain kinds of textual voices in certain kinds of social scenes (p. 167).

“The collaborative singing of Denise and her sisters Vanessa, Wenona, and Lakeisha made use of certain textual features of varied genres, including voice arrangements involving lead and backup singers; remix processes, in which one does not “make up” a song but uses “words [from] another song,” in Denise’s words; and rhythmic and melodic styles, among them those of rap and gospel” (p. 142). “The children’s sense of musical genres and their features allowed them to collaboratively “make up” songs and, moreover, to manipulate complex layers of symbolic material (syllables, words, phrases, and voices or vocal parts)” (p. 142).
Denise
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Children intentionally use media preferences (i.e. taste) to differentiate themselves socially.
Chapman, M. (2012). Perspectives on Early Literacy [Video Recording]. Retrieved October 28, 2012, from: https://connect.ubc.ca
Ecological Theory
Interplay of all systems in a child's world that impacts their learning and development
Influences from Bronfenbrenner
Chapman, M. (2012). Perspectives on Early Literacy [Video Recording]. Retrieved October 28, 2012, from: https://connect.ubc.ca
Literacy development is a process and differs with each person’s experiences
Reading should be taught in integration with other skills and in a variety of subjects
Literacy development is social in nature and success is correlated with motivation
Influences from Edmund Huey
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
This book is an ethnographic study that takes place in an urban school in the East San Francisco Bay area at the turn of the 21st century

The focus is on 6 African American children (Marcel, Wenona, Denise, Vanessa, Noah and Lakeisha) in Ms. Rita’s grade 1 classroom

These 6 children bonded at school and formed a make-believe family during school hours where they considered themselves fake siblings and were known as “the brothers and sisters” (p.vii)

Dyson spent 4-6 hrs each week documenting observations of the children’s interactions over an academic school year

Observations occurred mostly during the morning language arts period and sometimes on the playground during morning recess (p.20)
Background Information
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
To examine children’s interactions in and out of “official” (school) and “unofficial” (peers, family, religion, neighborhood, popular media, etc.) worlds and how these interactions influenced children’s literacy development

Specifically, Dyson examined from the children’s perspective, the influence of popular culture on children’s literacy learning
Purpose of the Book
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2012). Anne Haas Dyson. Retrieved on October 28, 2012, from: http://education.illinois.edu/people/ahdyson
Anne Haas Dyson [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://images.sciencedaily.com/2009/02/090212125137-large.jpg
Anne Haas Dyson has been a teacher her entire career

Experience:
She has taught all levels from preschool to university

Interests:
Influence of social and cultural aspects on literacy in school-age children

Achievements:
She has received many different awards both in the areas of teaching and research (including the Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award and Janet Emig Award)
Has published over 20 books and articles

Current position:
Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois
About the Author
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
VANESSA:
Darn it! (pause) I said “Gosh darn it”! (With bemused alarm, Vanessa is noting that she cussed.)
DENISE:
You said it again [when you admitted it]! (giggles)
VANESSA:
Oh God, plea:se take that away. I: really really really don’t wanna go there [hell]. I want to come up there with Joyce [one of her grandmothers]. Plea:se let me come up there. Plea:se. There’s no such as hell. There’s no such as hell. There’s no such thing. [She said the three lines with repetitive rhythm that reminded me of Dorothy’s “There’s no place like home” in The Wizard of Oz.] I LOVE God. Please! Gosh!
DENISE:
She’s cussing. Don’t you HATE people that cuss God? I mean—
VANESSA:
O::h! You said it.
DENISE:
There’s no such thing as the devil. There’s no such thing as the devil. There’s no such thing as the devil. I want to come up there with all the people who died. Great Grandma, my Grandpa - all the people that died.
VANESSA:
Grandma Joyce. And Lord thank you! (urgent voice) I want to come up there with Joyce. I feel like crying. I do.
DENISE:
I feel like dying. (Denise is rhyming with crying.)
VANESSA:
Girl! You got the rest of your life.
Vignette showing Denise and Vanessa’s oral language interplay of official and unofficial worlds (p. 146)


Vanessa and Denise’s dialogue show them “differentiating social worlds and their ways with words… actively exploiting differences for their own communicative ends” (p. 152).
Denise
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
“Noah was highly attentive to visual media” and his “preferred textual toys” was animated media (p. 111). He saw “the expansive space of a blank page in his writing workshop book as an irresistible invitation for constructing a visually dramatic world” (p.111). Noah demonstrates his process of recontextualization in the following example:





On another occasion, Noah attributes the rude words “shut up” (which is not allowed in class) in his written story, which he had picked up elsewhere, to a character in his story (p.127).
Noah
Chapman, M. (2012). Perspectives on Early Literacy [Video Recording]. Retrieved October 28, 2012, from: https://connect.ubc.ca
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
The difference between what a child can do without help vs. what they can do with help
Influences from Vygotsky
[The brothers and sisters learn to write photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from: http://covers.booktopia.com.au/big/9780807742808/the-brothers-and-sisters-learn-to-write.jpg
Presented By:
Stephanie Bonnar
Jennifer Polsky,
Cherrie Tam
Naleen Wong

Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Written By:

Anne Haas Dyson

The
Brothers and Sisters
Learn to Write

Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
Marcel’s interest in televised football supported academic interests: Mathematics (scoring), geography (where the team traveled), meteorology etc.

“Unlike most of his peers, [sic] Marcel also wrote the names of football teams and the numbers of favorite players (like 22, the Cowboy Emmitt Smith, and 88, another Cowboy, Michael Irvin). A drawing of a football field (Figure 4.2) suggests some of the complex knowledge embedded in his sports entries, much of it school valued (e.g., counting by tens, writing and reading 2-digit numbers, graphic design and paper arrangement, labeling, and symbol use)” (p.84).
“Marcel’s listing practice became a major means for organizing unofficial conceptual content” p.71
Marcel
Dyson(2002).The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers’ College Press.   
During a class discussion on space facts, the children were asked to write and share
something they learned about space. Dyson quotes from her field notes:
Denise and Vanessa are illustrating their chosen space fact: that “the earth orbits the sun." As they work, they consult a picture in a reference book, and then they try to reconcile the heavens above, populated with “Great Grandma, my grandpa...”, with the pictured expanse of the Milky Way which, perhaps, people in heaven use for “milk in their cereal." When the girls are nearly done with their planet-filled, multimodal text, they add a space robot-who soon gets long hair and a T-shirt, becomes a singer, and has a little girl robot named Precious. And when those robots get antennas they look, for heaven’s sake, like radios! “lt’s K-M-E-L [the local radio station]," they say. Then they slip from the official school space into the unofficial one and, under the expansive buzz of classroom voices, they sing the opening to Coolio’s (1995) “Gangsta's Paradise” rap: “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." (p. 66)
Interplay between “official” and “unofficial” worlds – an excerpt from the book
Urie Bronfenbrenner [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://vihik.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/uriebronfenbrenner.jpg
Lev Vygotsky [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/1/17/LSvygotsky.jpg
Edmund Huey [photograph] retrieved October 28, 2012 from http://covers.openlibrary.org/a/id/6454754-M.jpg
Large impact from social and cultural theories of development highlighting the importance of social learning and the influence of cultural factors on children’s development
Theoretical Perspectives
Background Information
Key Concepts
to Consider

Dyson observes the children using "textual toys" or media materials (p.43) in their official world.

In your experience how have you as an educator allowed children to express themselves through their "textual toys" in an authentic way in your classrooms?
Edmund Huey
Lev Vygotsky
Urie Bronfenbrenner
Question 1
Question 2

“April, who was of Chinese and European heritage, was considered by herself and others as “part African American” because her father was Chinese (i.e., “African American” was equated with “not White,” a confusion Rita [the teacher] eventually untangled)” P.49

“Vanessa was especially sensitive to relational nuances and to local racial boundaries constructed around music” p.49
Example:
Example:
In Noah’s response to an official classroom task on space: Noah explained, “many “real” cartoons have characters from space, [sic]. Noah’s production event included the usual content and the symbolic conventions of his many media-inspired and drawn dramatizations: good guy, bad guy, and victim characters; and a battle symbolized by graphic swirls of “fire power” (in this instance, a clearly labeled TNT blast—not
t
he result of space-age technology). p.70
During writing workshop time when Noah was writing a personal experience statement, “after drawing elaborate scenes involving shooting, he wrote variants of I saw a good boy. In each case, the drawn boy was good because he was “just having a water gun,” as Noah explained. (Guns, including pretend ones, were not allowed in school.) Thus, his texts included deliberate semantic choices evidencing sensitivity to Rita’s opinions and classroom rules” (p.120)
“All God’s children got shoes” metaphor:
Children slip into appealing shoes taken from diverse locations and, with experience and guidance, they become more skillful and more mindful of where they’re going (p. 167). The children’s discourse flexibility and sociocultural intelligence counter the unsound, misleading linear depictions of child literacy dominating public and professional discourse (p. 168). Dyson does not believe that child composing should be “reduced to “stages” of spelling” (p. 173)
Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model. Adapted from Blackboard Learn, by M. Chapman, 2012 Retrieved October 28, 2012, from: https://connect.ubc.ca
Richgels, D. J. (2003). Book Review: The Brothers and Sisters Learn to Write. Journal of Literacy Research. 35.4, p.1057-1066
Full transcript