Restorative Literacy Practices: Cultivating Community in the Secondary ELA Classroom

Restorative Literacy Practices: Cultivating Community in the Secondary ELA Classroom


What happens when learning is approached as a creative transaction between teachers, students, texts, and methods? Based on classroom action research conducted in a diverse suburban school district, the author shares a framework that encourages teachers to approach their work with a restorative mindset by focusing on four elements of instruction: methods; literature; relationships; and culture, identity, and language. In each chapter, Faughey shares a scenario or problem from her ELA classroom, the action she took to address it, and the outcomes. Examples include a 9th-grade classroom where students developed podcasts to share their thinking about Romeo and Juliet, a 10th-grade classroom where multilingual learners created graphic essays to share their comparative analysis of Things Fall Apart and the film Black Panther, and a 12th-grade classroom where students reimagined Dracula in order to connect personally with the text through restorying. This accessible text provides resources, lesson plans, and examples of student work, as well as suggestions for teacher preparation programs.

Book Features:

  • Shares the perspective of a classroom teacher who understands the daily interactions teachers have with students, as well as the possibilities and limitations of teaching in today’s schools.
  • Demonstrates a problem-solving thought process with a step-by-step explanation of the author’s teaching process.
  • Includes vivid anecdotes about students, pictures of students working together, and examples of student work.
  • Situates each scenario within a body of theoretical and research literature, introducing concepts such as cosmopolitan theory, reader response theory, and literary theory.
  • Offers lesson plans, rubrics, and handouts that teachers can use to inform their own practice.
  • Provides lists of podcasts, videos, articles, and books that can be used when teaching classic texts such as The Great Gatsby, as well as multicultural texts like Things Fall Apart.”
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Deirdre Faughey
Teachers College Press