NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ944905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1175-8708
"I've Got Swag": Simone Performs Critical Literacy in a High-School English Classroom
Johnson, Elisabeth
English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v10 n3 p26-44 Sep 2011
Drawing on multimodal, post-structural, and critical theory, the author examines a high-school English classroom exchange about editing a student publication. Analysing a young woman's embodied identity performances, the author illustrates how Simone, a tenth-grader, employed, adjusted, and coupled modes of communication like speech, laughter, gesture, and silence to perform critical literacy amidst discursive subjectivities the local media and school officials were busy producing for young writers. She argues that Simone's decisions to try on a variety of genres of communication, to shift from speech modes to embodied gestural modes, and to address particular audiences at particular junctures, evidence her identity as a critically literate person in school. Moreover, shifts in genre, mode and audience afforded Simone opportunities to maintain multiple identities in the classroom, at times obfuscating her "critical" identity to maintain her status as an "obedient" student while simultaneously critical vis-a-vis other audiences. Teachers interested in critical pedagogy and ways to read participation might consider how gestures, body movement and shifts in volume are participatory, communicative acts that might provoke questions about authority and limits to classroom knowledge. Teachers can engage such questions to re-think curricula, rules, what they're willing to know about student identities in school. (Contains 4 footnotes.)
Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A