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Shifting language ideologies and pedagogies to be anti-racist: a reconstructive discourse analysis of one ELA teacher inquiry group

Melissa Schieble (Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, New York, USA)
Amy Vetter (Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
Kahdeidra Monét Martin (Postdoctoral Scholar of Education, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 27 December 2022

Issue publication date: 20 March 2023




This paper aims to present findings from a three-year qualitative study that used a model of teacher learning referred to as teaching as inquiry (Manfra, 2019). Teaching as inquiry centers the teacher as a learner in a prolonged and “systematic process of data collection and analysis focused on changing teaching” (p. 167). Findings from the larger qualitative study demonstrate the work of collecting transcripts and using discourse analysis to analyze classroom discourse fostered high school English teachers’ knowledge and skills for facilitating critical conversations (Schieble et al., 2020). For this paper, the authors highlight Paula, a white, female secondary teacher who is dual certified in English Language Arts and ESL. Findings from Paula’s case demonstrate the ways the teacher inquiry group disrupted Paula’s language ideologies of linguistic purism, an ideology embedded in white supremacist and colonialist, hegemonic language policies and practices (Kroskrity, 2004), and transformed her instructional practices over time.


The research used qualitative methods for design and scope to generate an information-rich instrumental case study (Stake, 1995). Case study is a form of qualitative inquiry that concentrates on experiential knowledge of the case. This study used case study methods to construct an instrumental case to understand how participation in the teacher inquiry group shaped Paula’s facilitation of critical conversations. Data analysis used inductive and deductive qualitative coding procedures and discourse analysis (Gee, 2004; Rogers, 2018) to address the research questions.


Findings demonstrate that prior to meeting with the teacher inquiry group, Paula’s teaching practices embodied linguistic separatism by emphasizing that standardized English was the “appropriate” way to participate in critical conversations. Through studying her classroom discourse, the inquiry group supported her to critically question these instructional practices and ideologies. Findings demonstrate that the work of the inquiry group supported her embodiment and articulation of a translanguaging ideology that supported her facilitation of critical conversations.


Findings from this study contributes to scholarly and professional knowledge about how models of teaching as inquiry (Manfra, 2019) demonstrate a positive or reconstructive impact on teacher and student learning. This study highlights the potential for reconstructive shifts in the context of how teachers learn together and the tools that support them in doing so.



The research reported in the article is made possible (in part) by a grant from the Spencer Foundation (#201700139). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Spencer Foundation.


Schieble, M., Vetter, A. and Monét Martin, K. (2023), "Shifting language ideologies and pedagogies to be anti-racist: a reconstructive discourse analysis of one ELA teacher inquiry group", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 96-111.



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