Storied moments : foregrounding community cultural wealth through digital storytelling
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Schools have historically been sites of acculturation, highly influenced by political issues. Concepts such as “subtractive schooling,” explain that schools that de-value young immigrants’ perspectives, strip them of their social and cultural resources and make them especially prone to academic failure. Building on the scholarship and research surrounding critical race theory and applied theatre, this qualitative MFA thesis examines how community cultural wealth was foregrounded in storied moments – planned and unplanned – when digital storytelling as an applied theatre practice was used with the aim of disrupting subtractive schooling. This study took place in a sixth-grade Spanish for Spanish Speakers class over a three-week residency and explores and analyzes how concepts of vulnerability, authentic caring, and communities of practice played out in the facilitator’s attempts to foreground community cultural wealth in the classroom. Based on the data collected, this document posits that employing digital storytelling as an applied theatre practice can counter subtractive schooling by making space and time for spontaneous and storied moments. Finally, this document discusses tensions that came up during the residency and invites practitioners to consider how they might bring personal story (dichos, cuentos, and testimonios) into the language classroom to center their students’ ways of knowing and lived experiences. This study hopes to contribute to the greater systemic change needed to create schooling experiences that build on the knowledges Latinx students bring with them into the classroom.