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Pandemic meaning making: messing toward motet

Mary Beth Schaefer (Curriculum and Instruction, St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA)
Sandra Schamroth Abrams (Curriculum and Instruction, St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA)
Molly Kurpis (St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA)
Charlotte Abrams (St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA)
Madeline Abrams (St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 19 January 2021

Issue publication date: 20 July 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

In this child–parent research study, three adolescents theorize their meaning-making experiences while engaged in exclusive online learning during a three-month stay-at-home mandate. The purpose of this study is to highlight youth-created understandings about their literacy practices during COVID-19 in order to expand possibilities for youth-generated theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This child–parent research builds upon a critical dialectical pluralist (CDP) methodology, which is a participatory research method that looks to privilege the child as a co-researcher at every stage of the inquiry. In this research study, the adolescents work together to explore what it means to create and learn alone and then with others via virtual platforms. Research team discussions initially were scaffolded by the parent–researchers, and the adolescents developed their analyses individually and together, and their words and insights situate the findings and conclusions.

Findings

The musical form of a motet provides a metaphor that three adolescents used to theorize their meaning-making experiences during the stay-at-home order. The adolescents determined that time, frustration, and space were overarching themes that captured the essence of working alone, and then together, in messy, orchestrated online ensembles.

Originality/value

In this youth-centric research paper, three adolescents create understandings of their meaning-making experiences during the stay-at-home order and work together to determine personal and pedagogical implications.

Keywords

Citation

Schaefer, M.B., Abrams, S.S., Kurpis, M., Abrams, C. and Abrams, M. (2021), "Pandemic meaning making: messing toward motet", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 261-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-07-2020-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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