Equity & Cultural Responsiveness in the Middle Grades

Edited by:
Kathleen M. Brinegar, Northern Vermont University
Lisa M. Harrison, Ohio University
Ellis Hurd, Illinois State University

A volume in the series: The Handbook of Research in Middle Level Education. Editor(s): Steven B. Mertens, Illinois State University. Micki M. Caskey, Portland State University.

Published 2019

While developmental responsiveness is a deservingly key emphasis of middle grades education, this emphasis has often been to the detriment of focusing on the cultural needs of young adolescents. This Handbook volume explores research relating to equity and culturally responsive practices when working with young adolescents. Middle school philosophy largely centers on young adolescents as a collective group. This lack of focus has great implications for young adolescents of marginalized identities including but not limited to those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ youth, and those living in poverty. If middle level educators claim to advocate for young adolescents, we need to mainstream conversations about supporting all young adolescents of marginalized identities. It empowers researchers, educators, and even young adolescents to critically examine and understand the intersectionality of identities that historically influenced (and continue to affect) young adolescents and why educators might perceive marginalized youth in certain ways.

It is for these reasons that researchers, teachers, and other key constituents involved in the education of young adolescents must devote themselves to the critical examination and understanding of the historical and current socio-cultural factors affecting all young adolescents. The chapters in this volume serve as a means to open an intentional and explicit space for providing a critical lens on early adolescence–a lens that understands that both developmental and cultural needs of young adolescents need to be emphasized to create a learning environment that supports every young adolescent learner.

Foreword. Acknowledgments. SECTION I: UNPACKING THE FAILURES OF RELYING ON DEVELOPMENTALISM AT THE MIDDLE LEVEL. Exploring the Convergence of Developmentalism and Cultural Responsiveness, Lisa M. Harrison, Ellis Hurd, and Kathleen M. Brinegar. Missed Opportunities, No More, Mark D. Vagle and Tracy M. Hamel. A Framework for Responsive Middle Level Mathematics Teaching, Cheryl R. Ellerbrock and Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanovic. SECTION II: SUPPORTING YOUNG ADOLESCENTS WITH MARGINALIZED IDENTITIES. The (un)Muted Voices of Middle Grades Youth Experiencing Homelessness, Matthew J. Moulton. “Sounding Funny” and Making Sense: Multimodal Codemeshing as a Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy in an English-Centric Classroom, Mark B. Pacheco and Blaine E. Smith. Middle (Mis)Management: Staff Sanctioned Victimization in the Middle Grades, Brendan Downing. Illuminating the Power of Personal Narrative Writing to Affirm the Literacies and Lives of Black Youth, ThedaMarie Gibbs Grey. SECTION III: BUILDING EQUITABLE SPACES THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRACTICES. Creating a Space for Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, James Nagle and Will Andrews. #NoDAPL: Collaboratively Designing Culturally Responsive Curriculum, Becky Beucher and Amy Smith. Middle Level Administrators’ Perspectives on Disciplinary Consequences Assigned to African American Female Students, Kriss Y. Kemp-Graham. Educators’ Practice for English Language Learners’ Critical Consciousness: From Marginalized Identities to Active Agents, Bogum Yoon and Christine Uliassi. SECTION IV: EMPOWERING MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATORS TO WORK WITH YOUTH WITH MARGINALIZED IDENTITIES. Enacting Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: A Multicase Study of Middle Level Teachers in Urban, Priority Schools, M. Shelley Thomas and Penny B. Howell. Preparing Culturally Responsive Middle Level Educators to Engage in Critical Conversations: Preservice Teachers Learning in an Integrated Curriculum Course, Toni M. Williams. Preparing Teachers to Prevent Classroom Management Challenges Using Culturally Responsive Classroom Practices, Amy S. Murphy and Brianna L. Kennedy. Establishing a Pedagogy of Equity and Culturally Responsiveness in the Middle Grades, Kathleen M. Brinegar, Lisa M. Harrison, and Ellis Hurd. About the Editors. About the Contributors.