Chapter 6 Spaces for Composing Literate Narratives

Adolescent Boys' Literate Identity

ISBN: 978-0-85724-905-0, eISBN: 978-0-85724-906-7

ISSN: 1479-3687

Publication date: 3 May 2011


The opportunity to learn (OTL) as a concept in education has been evolving since at least the 1960s. The OTL research suggests that when students are allotted more opportunities to learn, they learn more (e.g., Harrison, 1968). The admonition from OTL researchers is often a call for an expanding definition of opportunity as well as a plea to educators to provide more opportunity of all types. Following the line of logic of the OTL research, the students in this study composed their literate identities because they were given greater opportunity to story themselves as literate as well as to distribute literacy. If that is the case, then even hurtful experiences, like when Robert was asked to redo his assignment because Superfoot was judged as inadequate, became an opportunity to relive and retell the story of his literate identity in either a positive way. The OTL research raises a question about what opportunities for storying are in the hands of the teacher in a classroom, which are in the hands of the student, which are in the hands of family members, and which are in the hands of those increasingly peripheral to the classroom milieu. Uncovering understandings about how teachers open opportunities on the landscape of the classroom for developing narratives of comedic literate identity may lead to more sophisticated strategies for dispensing occasions for students to compose comedic literate identities.


Rice, M. (2011), "Chapter 6 Spaces for Composing Literate Narratives", Rice, M. (Ed.) Adolescent Boys' Literate Identity (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-111.

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