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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 Three: Naming Stories and Critical Literacy: A Classroom Narrative

← 34 | 35 → CHAPTER THREE


After the priests came among us, my great-grandmother said, She Knows the Bear became Marie. Sloping Cloud was christened Jeanne. Taking Care of the Day and Yellow Day Woman turned into Catherine. I became Margaret, but I always knew that would happen. The year they carried my great-grandmother out the western window, wrapped in red cloth and then tied into birch bark, the school finally got me. The girl who was named Center of the Sky became Margaret, then Margaret Kashpaw and then Rushes Bear. But I had already seen far back in time by then. I know who I was in relation to all who went before. Therefore, although I went to school I was not harmed, nor while I was there did I forget my language. Not Margaret. Every time I was struck or shamed for speaking Ojibwemowin, I said to myself, Here’s another word I won’t forget. I tamped it down. I took it in. I grew hard inside so that the girl named Center of the Sky could survive. (Erdrich, 2004 p. 7)

In this chapter we document the work of teacher Mary Tacheny and her fifth-grade Dual Language Learners as they create a series of activities focusing on the complex investigations of naming stories in literature, culture, and their lives.

Making language and culture visible through multicultural story literacy events is crucial for all students in school. Many students around our country have exquisitely complex stories of going and...

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