Creating border crossing spaces for decolonizing critical literacy encounters in teacher preparation

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2021-05-06

Authors

Batista-Morales, N. S.

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Abstract

Ultimately, this research study aimed to provide pathways for children of Color to engage in transformative literacy experiences that go well beyond developing basic, mechanical reading skills, to have access to learn in literacy classrooms that center opportunities for understanding and critiquing of their sociopolitical realities and colonial histories. In order to do that we need to understand the ways in which we can best prepare teachers to respond, include and engage with contemporary socio political, economic, and environmental realities in their literacy classrooms during increasingly difficult times in communities of Color. Guided by a critical case study methodology, this project sought out to answer two research questions: What discourses emerge from the deliberate cross-context collaboration of preservice teachers while learning about critical literacies and anti-colonial frameworks? And, how does a transnational collaboration, across teacher preparation programs in Texas and Puerto Rico, support preservice teachers’ understandings and applications of anti-colonial theories and methods? By bringing together critical literacy and de/anti-colonial theoretical frameworks, I learned that the most common discourses within the synchronous class discussions were the awakenings the preservice teachers experienced, how they participated in restrictions and ruptures through the possibilities of engaging in this work in elementary classrooms, and lastly how they held onto the double narrative argument. Regarding the collaboration in itself, my findings revealed the role of the collaboration, the teacher educators, and preservice teacher in the learning that occurred across contexts. Recommendations include a centering of voices of Color in the field of literacy teacher preparation, an openness to the ways in which preservice teachers will define colonialism in their own terms, and space to center emotion as a central to learning how to become critical de/anti-colonial literacy educators.

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