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A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research


Elizabeth P. Quintero and Mary Kay Rummel

This is a book about story, the human experience, teaching and learning, creativity and community. Story is so much more than decoding text and writing using academic language. It also includes literature and all forms of the arts; digital forms of story, from social media to documentation of history; and new forms of multilayered, multigenre research. Story is the backbone and the catalyst for personal connections, appropriation of knowledge, and synergy of knowledge for global citizens. Critical qualitative research is the methodology by which to document and analyze what is really going on in the complex, multidirectional interactions. The authors maintain that story in a broad and newly enlightened sense may help us to break out from the narrow concepts of literacy, content knowledge related to measureable standards, and random facts that are unrelated to dispositions for addressing human needs. Literacy as a conceptual synthesis of knowledge, skills, and dispositions has been giving us glimpses of synergistic ways to approach learning and teaching.
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Chapter Two: Critical Approaches to Learning With Refugee Stories

← 18 | 19 →CHAPTER TWO


In Ms. Rafiq’s first-grade class, every child has recently come to this country from another country. Some have never spoken English until kindergarten last year. Some speak the English of Guyana and don’t qualify for English language services, but the dialect is so different that it is as if the children are working with a second language. Some children are from Central America, some are from India, some are from Russia, and others are from Haiti. And they become engaged participants in the poetry that Ms. Rafiq adores and introduces them to.

Ms. Rafiq began her collaborations in qualitative action research with her first graders by sharing with them part of a poem she had written for a “Where I’m From” List Poem activity. Her belief is that teaching and learning involve sharing and disclosing personal stories as a collaborative way to learn others’ stories and encourage critical literacy. Ms. Rafiq’s poem includes the following stanza.

I am from spices and scarves,

hand-me downs and baseball cards

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