Becoming AP: The Socialization and Identity Development of Students of Color in the Advanced Placement English Classroom

Becoming AP: The Socialization and Identity Development of Students of Color in the Advanced Placement English Classroom

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Secondary schools across the nation structure the high school curricula into several tracks based on perceptions of student ability. In diverse high schools, non-dominant students of color often find themselves in the lower tracks along the academic pipeline, therefore, students of color in advanced classes are often one of only a few. An achievement gap exists even for those students who do manage to take advanced courses. Deficit theories have often dominated the discourse on why there are so few students of color in these classes and for the so-called lack of achievement. This interpretive case study of one diverse high school's student experiences within advanced courses sheds light on the ways that students of color negotiate Advanced Placement English classrooms. The study relies on observations of four AP English classrooms and two focus group interviews with students of color enrolled in AP English classrooms as well as AP course descriptions to understand the ways that the College Board, the school, and students construct formal and informal definitions of AP and the ways that students socialize to and through AP English. Drawing on Bourdieu's notions of cultural capital and linguistic habitus and on Gee's conceptions of cultural models, this study uses portraiture and counternarrative to reveal the ways that students use discourse practices to claim space in AP classrooms. Three types of discourse practices are outlined: Peer Discourse, Curricular Discourse, and Sociocritical Discourse. Each plays a role in students' ability to assert a social and academic identity and unveils their ability to critically read their world. The author suggests that AP classrooms can be sites of rich dialogue that respects linguistic and cultural diversity rather than hierarchical sites of resistance and contestation.These skills aquot;cannot be a part of the AP Exam, aquot; but it is hoped that they will aquot;help | studentsa#39; ] performance on the test itself (p. 7). ... choice questions based on passages from literary texts all of which require students to analyze language usage a€” i.e. authora#39;s purpose, rhetorical strategy, diction, etc. Students are also expected to demonstrate their own facility with language by writing an analytical essay.


Title:Becoming AP: The Socialization and Identity Development of Students of Color in the Advanced Placement English Classroom
Author: Kimberly Grace Nao
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008
ISBN-13:

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