Elizabeth Birr Moje, in her article, Re-Framing Adolescent Literacy Research for new Times: Studying Youth as a Resource, she explains the important reasons to study “adolescents” in their reading. She argues that there is a lot of studies for children and even adults, but adolescents are often overlooked. Research used to based around teaching and learning structures of the classroom but she argues there needs to be more research about how adolescents  literary practices reflect the intersection of multiple groups. Along with this she says that the contexts of secondary schooling needs to be looked at. The focus should be on the literacy demands made by different content areas. This is to help support students as they navigate the different discourse practices of everyday life, in school, and life beyond formal schooling.

Youth or adolescents have to be defined. There are many misconceptions about youth that contribute the understudy of this age group.One misconception and a common stereotype is that adolescents are raging with hormones.  Society and the media portray adolescents as “wild, troubled, sweaty, and lustful teen just looking for action, which promotes a fear of adolescents among parents, researchers, and teachers”. If this view changes to looking at them in a more sophisticated sense then some great findings could be had about their literacy and their strategies.

She points out that there are really many things that researchers can learn from these youth. The first is that researchers and teachers could, “obtain great access to complex thinking about literacy and text by working with youth”. Another major issue concerning the stereotype– and is continually overlooked or hasn’t been thought about–  is that “youth have more opportunities to construct new and different literacy practices and to read and write a wider range of texts than do children”.  A third, is that we “need to have a better understanding of youth in secondary schools so we can better know how to handle multiple situations and communities”. The final one is that youth “have access to so many different experiences and discourse communities can help literacy researchers understand the relationship between identity construction or representation and literacy practices with different texts”.

She concludes by saying that people will continue to “develop incomplete theories of literacy, learning, development, and practice, and we will overlook a group of people with much to offer educational theory and the world.” If people keep overlooking this age group then we won’t really know how to relate to them or teach them well.

Gee’s article, Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research in Education, explains the importance and the different stages of identity for people of different races and different ages. These are the different theories:

  1. Nature-identity:  a state developed from forces in nature.
  2. Institution-identity:  a position authorized by authorities within institutions.
  3. Discourse-identity:  an individual trait recognized in the discourse of/with “rational” dialogue individuals.
  4. Affinity-identity: experiences shared in the practice of ‘affinity group’s

Gee defines an affinity group as a group of people from anywhere that share a common interest. An example he gives for this are Trekkies. They can be people from all walks of life but all come together for a common goal of loving the Star Trek television shows and movies. There is an allegiance to the group.

Other groups have a combination of other groups and don’t always have to adhere to one of those four identities.

There are modern approaches to identity and post-modern identities. The modern identity shows that people must choose and form their identity as a “life” project rather than accept outside sources. They have to have some outside influence but this helps them for their own identity. Post-modern has diversity and a great deal of change. People can communicate with other like minded people from all around the world. The new capitalist model emphasizes this as well.

To help with more of this research people discourse identities have to be worked out and involves interaction across, and relationships among, different social groups, and not just intragroup relations. They also have to look at how diverse institutions align and disalignwith eah other to create positions and outcomes for people. This is part of the institution identity. In the nature identity there can be biological research on how people learn and how it helps determine their futures. There also needs to be study of networks and other forms of communications that emphasize affinity identity.

Gee concludes by saying that institutional identity constraints poor people and people of poverty from really getting a chance of their future. Future analysis of these identity phenomenons can really help people in the future and learn more about how to approach students in the classroom.

Sentence Stalking: “The other major issue that looms over the administration — and it’s also one inherited from the previous administration — is the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan and the president’s decision to increase the amount of U.S. troops in that lethal conflict.”