Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2018 Issue »

    Critical Canon Pedagogy

    Applying Disciplinary Inquiry to Cultivate Canonical Critical Consciousness

    Jeanne Dyches

    In this article, Jeanne Dyches investigates the ways in which inquiry models of instruction have failed to provide students with a space in which to grapple with discipline-specific histories and hegemonies. Accordingly, this study offers critical canon pedagogy (CCP) to help students problematize and disrupt the practices specific to a discipline. Drawing from critical curriculum theory and critical Whiteness studies, Dyches details the experiences of high school students who participated in a CCP unit that investigated the disciplinary practices that have marked the teaching of canonical British literature in secondary English classrooms. Dyches shows how the unit provided students with an opportunity to restory their entirely White curriculum and, in doing so, reconsider and resist the traditional narratives and voices of the canon, develop an increased sense of canonical critical consciousness, and demonstrate a sense of discipline-specific agentive identity.

    Click here to access this article.

    Jeanne Dyches, an assistant professor of secondary literacy education at Iowa State University, researches the intersections between social justice and literacy. Her scholarship, which has investigated teachers’ and students’ critical engagements with canonical disciplinary texts, has been published in journals such as Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Literacy Research, Urban Review, Changing English, ALAN Review, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Her experiences as a high school English teacher and literacy coach in Raleigh, North Carolina, inspire her scholarship.

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    Winter 2018 Issue


    The Quandary of Youth Participatory Action Research in School Settings
    A Framework for Reflecting on the Factors That Influence Purpose and Process
    Gretchen Brion-Meisels and Zanny Alter

    Book Notes

    Uneasy Peace
    Patrick Sharkey

    When Grit Isn’t Enough
    Linda F. Nathan

    The Experience of Neoliberal Education
    edited by Bonnie Urciuoli

    The Newcomers
    Helen Thorpe