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Community responsive literacies: the development of the Ethnic Studies Praxis Story Plot

Edward R. Curammeng (University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Daisy D. Lopez (Longfellow Elementary School, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, California, USA)
Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales (San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 5 December 2016



Momentum around the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies in US K-12 classrooms is increasing. Opponents have argued that Ethnic Studies does not challenge students academically and prepare them for high stakes testing (Planas, 2012; Sanchez, 2007). Conversely, research continues to show ways Ethnic Studies contribute to students’ academic achievement, especially for students from marginalized and vulnerable communities (Cabrera et al., 2014; Halagao, 2010; Tintiangco-Cubales et al., 2015). This study aims to demonstrate the possibilities and potential of Ethnic Studies-framed tools for English and Language arts teachers. This moment concerning Ethnic Studies in schools illuminates an important opportunity to demonstrate how Ethnic Studies-framed tools positively affect learning mainstream school content, namely, English and Language Arts. The authors consider the following point: To what extent can Ethnic Studies-framed tools affect approaches for learning English, writing and reading while simultaneously being responsive to a community’s needs? The authors maintain the importance of such tools that exist in how they support the development of community responsive literacies (CRLs).


This paper examines CRLs through the Ethnic Studies Praxis Story Plot (ESPSP). The authors begin by exploring the development of the ESPSP, first used in Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP), an innovative K-college Ethnic Studies teaching pipeline. Next, the authors examine each coordinate of the ESPSP, examining their purpose, theoretical underpinnings and ways the ESPSP offers nuanced approaches for learning literacies.


The authors then discuss how CRLs emerged to support PEP teachers and students’ reading and writing skills using the ESPSP.


Finally, the authors learn from students’ experiences with the ESPSP and offer implications for English and Language Arts teachers in the pursuit of teaching and serving students in more socially just and community responsive ways.



Curammeng, E.R., Lopez, D.D. and Tintiangco-Cubales, A. (2016), "Community responsive literacies: the development of the Ethnic Studies Praxis Story Plot", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 411-429.



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