I designed the Collaborative Peer-Led Units assignment because I wanted to honor the interests of the class members while modeling the literacies-based classroom strategy or Laurillard's pedagogical pattern I call a Collaborative Critical Inquiry (CCI). The ECI 521 CCI builds on the strategy developed by the Freinets described in Brave New Schools by Cummins and Sayers..
Principles of Collaborative Critical Inquiries:
  • CCIs begin with a compelling inquiry question that generates related questions that scaffold the inquiry.
  • Each CCI provides a pre-, during-, and post-stage with active student engagement that is socially mediated. Digital technology is often used.
  • CCIs encourage critical thinking because participants are guided through Brookfield's elements for critical thinking:
"(1) identifying the assumptions that frame our thinking and determine our actions,
(2) checking out the degree to which these assumptions are accurate and valid, including
(3) looking at our ideas and decisions (intellectual, organizational, and personal) from several different perspectives, and
(4) on the basis of all of this, taking informed actions" (Brookfield, 2012, p. 1).
  • CCIs require critical reflection throughout as one's assumptions are identified and appraised in light of new information and multiple perspectives.

For more on Brookfield's strategies for teaching critical thinking note that he has generously shared handout materials on his web site . . .
To read more about ECI 521's Collaborative Critical Inquiries . . .




Week 2 Collaborative Critical Inquiry: What might literacies-based teaching of literature look like?

Related questions: What is literacy today? What is literature? How do we connect real world/out-of-school learning? What is the most successful balance of the actual (in classroom) and the virtual (online)?

Intro: In this CCI, we will use Gordon Wells's research as a foundation and layer on what we learn from three additional resources linked from our CCI VoiceThread below.

Pre -- Use the resources below and any additional ones you find helpful to critically reflect on our questions -- if you have any outstanding ones you'd like to share, you can add them via text message on the appropriate VoiceThread slide.

Step 1 (Element 1-- Identify your assumptions . . .) Reflect on your own assumptions about what literacy and literature are and based on those what a literacy-based teaching of literature might look like.
Step 2 (Elements 2 and 3 -- Appraise your assumptions by looking at them from multiple perspectives) Your appraisal should include considering Gordon Wells's social constructivist-oriented theory of language and literacy development -- our research-based source.The chapter is long and thick with classroom scenarios so focus simply on identifying his assumptions about literacy and how those would influence his ideas about a literacy-based teaching of literature.

Step 3 (Continuing with Appraisal and Perspective-Taking) Layer on some additional perspectives via the VoiceThread below. Please respond to the slide about the book club slide and the add questions for the fanfiction writers. Respond to others only if so moved. Again, this Pre-activity is designed so you can contribute fully to the discussion of the inquiry and related questions during our Google Hangout.

Heads-up that you will see links on Slides 3, 4, and 5 (yellow-gold on a black bar just below the center of the slide which disappears after a few seconds until you summon it again by moving the cursor over the advance arrow) -- click to pursue your inquiry. I'll also post them below.
Literacies to Learn -- Linn Talks -- Bonnie Stewart
Fangirls for Fangirl -- Standing Up for Fangirl at the 2014 Melinda Awards
The Literacies of Fandom -- Fanfiction, What Educators Really Need to Know


During -- We'll conclude our appraisal and perspective-taking by interviewing our guests -- just two of the many fanfiction writers from the Eva Perry Mock Printz Club. Then we'll participate in a Decision Web to collect everyone's contributions to the conversation and try to reach consensus.


Post -- We'll each critically reflect on both the process and the product of our CCI in our first Critical Reflection blog posts.