Critical talk moves in critical conversations: examining power and privilege in an English Language Arts classroom

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Vetter, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Critical conversations take on heightened importance with current tensions about issues involving race, income inequality, sexual orientation, and gender identity, both locally and globally. These tensions demonstrate a dire need for classroom discussions about literature to serve as a space where youth engage in rigorous, critical conversations about institutionalised forms of privilege and oppression and learn how to act as agents of change. To address that need, this study explored how teacher talk moves shaped critical conversations in one U.S. secondary English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. Findings illustrate that the teacher engaged in the following four families of critical talk moves to foster critical conversations: inquiry, inclusion, disruption, and action. Implications remind teachers that using critical talk moves to foster critical conversations involves the consistent practice of critical self-reflection, vulnerability, and knowledge about critical theories and pedagogies.

Additional Information

English in Education,
Language: English
Date: 2020
critical conversations, racial literacy, critical literacy, classroom discussion

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