Fandoms in the Classroom

A Social Justice Approach to Transforming Literacy Learning

October 2024
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October 2024
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  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • ISBN 9781975506186
  • Language English
  • Pages 160 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

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October 2024
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What is a fandom, and why do fandoms matter for school?

Fandoms are passionate communities dedicated to appreciating and engaging with texts of interest (movies, TV shows, books, bands, brands, sports teams, etc.) via personally and communally meaningful literacy practices. It is increasingly obvious that scripted literacy curricula and standardized tests fall short of meeting meaningful literacy goals and create culturally destructive learning spaces. Fandoms in the Classroom provides an alternative for educators looking to center passion in their classrooms, individualizing their literacy curricula by building from youth’s interests. The book describes how educators in a wide range of secondary learning contexts can build curricula around students’ already-present fandom interests to support literacy growth. This text supports educators in a range of learning contexts with step-by-step processes for building learning spaces that support navigation of fandom and disciplinary literacies, with a particular focus on common obstacles and roadblocks that teachers have shared with us. It addresses how classrooms doing critical fandom work can address social justice issues across both fandom and disciplinary communities.

This book covers relevant topics such as:

  • Why Fandoms? We introduce readers to the concept of fandoms and how engaging students’ experiences in fandoms is not an extra or add-on but instead crucial to flipping the script on literacy learning.
  • Bring Your Fandom to Class: Critically Putting Communities in Conversation. The book discusses how to shift ideas of literacy learning contexts from teacher-centric instruction to a community learning model.
  • Fostering Engagement & Choosing Texts Together: Teachers are often nervous about teaching what they don’t know. The text provides strategies for making learning ecologies and having kids fill it with their own interests, describing specific step-by-step discussion routines that can support youth’s engagement with critical tools on texts of their choice.
  • Building Culturally Responsive Assessments Engaging Youth-Centric Audiences: the book describes how educators can design more expansive literacy assessments with examples of culturally responsive objectives and tasks. The authors include a range of fandom genres and audiences that they have seen in their own work.
  • Transforming Your Current Curriculum in Conversation with Fandoms: Supporting educators interested in expanding literature units in conversation with fandom texts, the text describes how to design units that put various discourse communities in conversation without deadening or co-opting youth interests.
  • Interdisciplinary Applications: there is a discussion about specific examples of how educators the authors have supported in various contexts have applied this kind of work. It includes a focus on cross-disciplinary literacy, with cases highlighting applications for math, science, social studies and music disciplinary learning.

Fandoms in the Classroom is a step-by-step guide for literacy instructors struggling to engage their students in meaningful learning. It is essential reading.

Perfect for courses such as: Foundations of Literacy; Disciplinary Literacy; Literacy Across the Curriculum; Children's or Young Adult Literature; Writing in the Classroom; Digital Media Literacy; New and Digital Literacies; Teaching Diverse Learners; Theory to Practice; Language, Literacy and Culture; Literacy Policy and Practice; Foundations of Literacy Education; Popular Culture in Literacy Classrooms; History of Literacy Practices; Reading and Language Arts; Critical Theory

Karis Jones

Karis Jones (Ph.D.) is an educator, literacy consultant, public humanities scholar, and community activist, as well as Assistant Professor of English Language Arts at Empire State University – SUNY. She studies issues of equity in literacies learning and writing across disciplinary, fandom, and gaming spaces. She has been published in the Journal of Literacy Research, Equity & Excellence in Education; Journal of Language & Literacy Education, Linguistics and Education, English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education -- English Education, and English Journal. She is the recipient of the 2022 Shelby Wolf Award from the AERA Literature SIG and serves on the executive board of AERA’s Writing & Literacies SIG.

Scott Storm

Scott Storm, PhD, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Education at Bowdoin College. Scott is a former high school teacher with 15 years of experience including his work in co-founding and sustaining open-admissions urban public schools. As a teacher-leader Scott has held many roles including curriculum developer, English Department Chair, Professional Learning Community Organizer, Grade Team Leader, and Writing Center Director. As a professor, Scott teaches courses on the social and cultural foundations of education, teaching for social justice, teacher education, urban education, and issues around literacies and language. Scott’s research agenda engages in three connected lines of inquiry aimed at improving schooling experiences—particularly for queer and working-class youth of color. This program of research includes: 1) studies of how educational systems reinforce inequalities, 2) asset-based studies of youth literacy and language practices, 3) design-based studies that transform educational spaces toward social justice. Scott’s research has appeared in Journal of Literacy Research, Equity & Excellence in Education, English in Education, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, English Teaching Practice & Critique, Theory Research and Action in Urban Education, Schools: Studies in Education, and Literacy Research and Instruction among others. In his spare time, Scott enjoys baking elaborate cakes and spending time with his husband.

literacy; literacies; theory to practice; education; design; fandoms; equity; engagement; culturally responsive