In 2012 Dr. Limor Pinhasi-Vittorio and I set out on a research project in a school near the university where we taught. We heard that there were students locked in “warehousing” classrooms to make sure they stay in school and don’t run away during the school day. They were considered beyond hopeless academically, so we were given time to try a different way for teaching in these two classes: accessing learning and engagement through personal stories using multimodal approaches and possibilities.
Our first article regarding this project dealt with creating fertile ground for learning through care, trust and community building.
Our second article dealt with content that can be taught after trust and respect have been established. Using a word-slam poetry format and critical reading of a mentor text, the students found voice in rethinking their lives and rescripting their stories.