Congratulations to David Jackson, who’s paper: “New Century Approaches to Literacy: Engaging the Margins”, has been selected for presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English this month in Washington D.C.
As a first time presenter, we thought we’d have a brief interview with David by one of St. Joseph’s more seasoned students; impending graduate David Jackson.
So, are you nervous about your first presentation?
DJ: Dude, what do you think? I’m planning on wearing a Depends under my suit and bra pads under my arms to absorb the sweat.
Seems drastic. So explain what your paper is about.
DJ: Well, this conference is given for teachers of English on various topics. This year the focus is on using story as a way to explain existence.
DJ: Over the years, it seems that education has favored empirical and objective modes of thought over subjective ones. But there seems to have been a gradual shift since the 1970’s that appreciates the contribution of narrative as an equally valuable tool in the formation of theory. It adds elements to non-narrative theories that can make it more fully understandable.
DJ: Women, children, disabled people, gender-nonconformists, and people of color have usually not been included in the formation of theory. Even so, throughout history these people have contributed to humanity moving forward as a society. They have kept journals, written poems, sang songs to their babies, made clothing and danced dances that explain our lived existence in ways that more scientific methods do not.
While I seem to be straying off track, all of these things are elements that tell a story, both overtly and covertly. This conference is devoted to plumbing the depth of these non-traditional forms of storytelling.
Tell us how your presentation interacts with this.
DJ: I have a presentation that tries to turn the challenge of in class cell phone use into a tool to help engage students that are often disinterested in standard teaching methodologies. If we use texting as a way to create story, we can take advantage of technology to harness the power of telling stories, which all humans do, and create a communal, reciprocal classroom where each member contributes and where all have equal value.
Good luck at your presentation!
DJ: Thanks. Know where I can get a discount on Depends?