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ERIC Number: EJ913217
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8204
Writing Wounded: Trauma, Testimony, and Critical Witness in Literacy Classrooms
Dutro, Elizabeth
English Education, v43 n2 p193-211 Jan 2011
In this article, the author emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the "hard stuff" of life in literacy classrooms. She considers how difficult experiences--exposed wounds and the "exposing" of wounds--function in literacy classrooms. She is particularly interested in how such experiences, as they enter the public spaces of schools and classrooms, might foster the kinds of relationships and stances necessary to challenge entrenched inequities and privileged assumptions about Others' lives and facilitate engagement and intellectual risk-taking for students and teachers. As the presence of difficult experiences in literacy classrooms has moved to the center of her work, the author has considered how those hard stories enter classrooms, particularly urban classrooms, how they are taken up and with what consequences and how they might function differently than they sometimes do; that is, she is interested in thinking about how "the difficult" can be productive pedagogically and relationally within literacy classrooms. Using her research and teaching in urban classrooms as a primary context, the author argues that to be effective witnesses for the testimonies of students, educators need, in turn, to allow them to be witnesses--even when it is hard, even when it feels too risky. (Contains 1 note.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A