Building on the growing interest in school-based “making” and “makerspaces,” this paper aims to map the emergence of a literacy-oriented makerspace in a non-selective urban public high school. It examines how competing conceptions of literacy came to be negotiated as students and teachers shaped this new space for literacy practice, and it traces how the layered uses of the space, in turn, reworked understandings of literacy in the larger school community.
Part of a longitudinal design-research partnership with an urban public high school, the paper draws on two years of ethnographic data collection to follow the creation, development and uses of a school-based literacy-oriented makerspace.
Using notions of “re-territorialization,” the paper examines how the processes of designing, mapping and building a literacy lab offered space for layered and contested purposes that instantiated more expansive views of literacy in the school – even as it created new frictions. In presenting two analytic mappings, the paper illustrates how mapping can offers resources for people to make and remake the spaces they inhabit, a form of worldmaking that can open possibilities for reshaping the built world in more just and equitable ways.
The study offers insights into how mapping can serve as a research and pedagogical resource for making legible the emergent dimensions of literacy practice across time and spaces and the multiple perspectives that inform the design and use of educational spaces. Further, it contributes to a growing literature on “making” and literacy by examining how informal making practices are folded into formal school structures and considering how this reconfigures literacy learning.
The authors would like to thank the members of the CDS school community. No external funding was received to support this research.
Stornaiuolo, A., Nichols, T.P. and Vasudevan, V. (2018), "Building spaces for literacy in school: mapping the emergence of a literacy makerspace", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 357-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-03-2018-0033Download as .RIS
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