'Tell me your story': developing creative classrooms

Kathy Rushton, Janet Dutton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    While all teachers aspire to develop creative classrooms in which students are engaged, self-directed learners, often these aspirations are pushed aside under the pressure to focus on 'the basics'. This may be especially true for teachers working with socially and economically disadvantaged students, especially those from Language Backgrounds other than English (LBOTE) or for whom English is an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D). Developing a creative classroom can be accomplished through a syllabus-based approach which engages students to direct their own learning by making appropriate, independent choices about language while producing an Identity Text. An Identity Text can be any oral, written or multimodal text that connects to a students' community. When students are supported to choose which language or languages, they will use to tell their stories, their classrooms will truly become creative spaces (Dutton et al, 2018; Dutton and Rushton, 2018a, 2018b). Our research explores the use of the translanguaging space (Wei, 2018) in confirming identity and developing student agency through the production of 'Identity Texts' (Cummins and Early, 2011; Cummins, Hu, Markus and Montero, 2015). Translanguaging refers to the 'flexible and meaningful actions through which bilinguals select features in their linguistic repertoire in order to communicate appropriately' (Velasco and Garcia, 2014, p. 7). If students are supported to develop Identity Texts they are no longer viewed as passive blank slates (Freire, 1975) but rather supported to direct their own learning by using all their linguistic and cultural knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number146212498
    Pages (from-to)14-18
    Number of pages5
    JournalPractical literacy: The early and primary years
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


    • literacy
    • English
    • creative pedagogy
    • drama pedagogy
    • EAL/D
    • oral language


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