Shifting the literacy paradigm : writing, performing, and transforming monologues with 9th graders in an urban high school

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This presentation describes and explores a teaching collaboration between two 9th grade English teachers from Lincoln Center and Ms. Rosalind Bell, author of The New Orleans Monologues and 1620 Bank Street. It reveals 9th graders in the construction and performance of personal monologues and illuminates what their teachers did to support them. Videotaped excerpts of the unit, including student performances, are shared. The teaching raises questions about the role of narrative, autobiography, and voice in the construction of racial identity, the nature of teacher input and support in the construction of racial voices, and the relationship between literacy, power, and culture in schools.

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