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Forming a collaborative model for appropriating youth practices and digital tools for new literacies development with Latino high school students and teachers

, The University of Arizona, United States

The University of Arizona . Awarded


Youth experiences with digital technologies demonstrate untapped potential for informing school-based learning responsive to adolescent identity and socialization practices (Ito et al., 2008). This study presents the formation of a collaborative model for appropriating youth and digital practices for developing new literacies with high school students in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands (New London Group, 1996). The research incorporates diversity in technology access and participation of predominately Latino students in English classrooms as a resource to engage literacy development across multiple discursive domains and challenge deficit discourses for Latino youth.

The participatory approach combines interventionist research, in the cultural historical tradition of expansive learning (Engeström, 1987) with ethnographic methods for informing curricular practice (González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005; Lee, 2007) and new literacies pedagogy stressing collaborative, critical, and multimodal semiosis infused with Freirian praxis (Coiro et al., 2008; Freire, 1999; Lemke, 2003). Research involved codeveloping, co-teaching and daily participant observation within the multiple online and offline spaces of a high school writing course, a weekly after school club begun with students from the class and several additional classrooms. A variety of data illustrates tensions and synergies of migrating practices across systems of activity represented by teacher, researcher and student standpoints. The research maps how socio-spatial relationships among academic and youth discourses, modalities, and participants' classroom positions were reconfigured through the use of digital tools joined with pedagogies responsive to adolescents' social and digital practices.

An afterschool group's wiki participation extended students' oral and visual literacies into written expression and gave other participants a model of collaborative practice to guide classroom interaction. Engaging familiar and new tools for inquiries based on youth interests and complementary analytical concepts emphasized the primacy of the social and pedagogical aspects of technology. Students’ agency in theorizing identity and developing representational spaces (Lefebvre, 1991) emerged as a key mediator for expanding their literacies across personal and academic contexts. In the collaborative process, participants forged new, hybrid genres, audiences and identities for distributing and developing their literacy practices across false dichotomies of home/school and online/offline spaces, and for reconfiguring normative school literacy regimes.


Schwartz, L.H. Forming a collaborative model for appropriating youth practices and digital tools for new literacies development with Latino high school students and teachers. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Arizona. Retrieved April 22, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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