Middle school English Language Arts (ELA) teachers are expected to spend a great deal of instructional time teaching informational, rather than literary, texts. The goal of this study is to develop a framework for the disciplinary, equity-oriented use of informational text by learning from and with middle school ELA teachers who (a) identify anti-racism as a professional/personal goal and (b) incorporate informational texts into their instruction with the goal of improving students’ disciplinary literacy skills. Before teachers can teach students to read and write informational texts, they must have a clear framework for the purposes of informational texts in ELA classrooms and the kinds of practices best used to engage young people in discourse and composition in relation to such texts. Focused on middle school ELA teachers working towards anti-racism, our research questions are:
- For what purposes and outcomes do they understand informational texts to be of use in their discipline?
- What criteria do they use in selecting informational texts?
- How do they anticipate and leverage classroom discussion to engage students with informational texts?
This project was funded by a Catalyst Grant from the Friday Institute and NC State College of Education.