Throwing the book away: incorporating students' out-of-school literacies into a secondary school English classroom




Cunningham, Bradley Thomas

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This thesis explores how the inclusion of students’ out-of-school literacies in a secondary English classroom affects students’ engagement, motivation, and sense of community. A mixed case study and action research approach was used in which the researcher taught a semester long multi-grade senior English class which used hip hop as its core content. Data was collected using audio field notes, focus group, one-on-one interviews, and written communication. Findings revealed that students felt the inclusion of hip hop made this English class more relevant and meaningful to the students and helped to foster a strong sense of community among the class members. This study also found that student-directed curriculum, teacher vulnerability, and the inclusion of community members as mentors were very important to the students’ sense of community. This sense of community, however, did not extend beyond the classroom.



hip hop, multimodal, Secondary, English, community, classroom, 21st century learning, curriculum, assessment, teacher authority, out of school literacies, rap