From the 'Hood to the Classroom: A Rhetorical Perspective on Teaching Secondary English to the Urban Student

Topics: African American Vernacular English, Rhetoric, African American Pages: 136 (36834 words) Published: June 9, 2014
Georgia State University

ScholarWorks @ Georgia State University
English Dissertations

Department of English

12-20-2012

From the 'Hood to the Classroom: A Rhetorical
Perspective on Teaching Secondary English to the
Urban Student
Shae A. Anderson
Georgia State University

Follow this and additional works at: http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/english_diss Recommended Citation
Anderson, Shae A., "From the 'Hood to the Classroom: A Rhetorical Perspective on Teaching Secondary English to the Urban Student" (2012). English Dissertations. Paper 101.

This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by the Department of English at ScholarWorks @ Georgia State University. It has been accepted for inclusion in English Dissertations by an authorized administrator of ScholarWorks @ Georgia State University. For more information, please contact scholarworks@gsu.edu.

FROM THE ‘HOOD TO THE CLASSROOM: A RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON TEACHING SECONDARY ENGLISH TO THE URBAN STUDENT

by

SHAE ANDERSON

Under the Direction of Dr. Mary Zeigler

ABSTRACT
African American students, particularly those from low socio economic levels, are often at a disadvantage when it comes to being prepared for Georgia’s state mandated tests such as the End of Course Tests (EOCT). These students often fall behind not because they are not as intelligent as their middle class counterparts, but because of negative teacher attitudes and cultural insensitivities. The research question is “What should teachers of urban students know to successfully implement a blending of critical pedagogy and rhetorical pedagogy?” The purpose of this project is to make the case for a rhetorical pedagogy that focuses not solely on changing the material, but on changing the approach to fit the audience- thus a contribution to existing research that has not been fully explored. Stasis theory, a rhetorical framework for argumentative analysis is used to explain the problem and what steps should be taken to correct the problem; it offers a strategic method for

addressing the problem, discussing the nature of the problem, explaining the quality of the problem, and finally, stating what actions should be taken to correct the problem Within that framework, I will show why the guiding principles of critical pedagogy and the primary suppositions of rhetorical pedagogy should be used to teach “at risk” African-American students and prepare them for state mandated tests. Critical pedagogy helps students to find their own voices, find their place in society, and challenge traditional notions of power in thoughtful, effective ways. Rhetorical pedagogy is appropriate because its primary suppositions align with Asante’s tenets of an Afrocentric curriculum and also offer solid strategies for working with urban students. Rhetoric is power and is the central focus of any effective communication, so educators must understand the guiding principles of classical rhetoric and recognize the importance of audience consideration when preparing lesson plans. A rhetorical pedagogy should be at the core of working with urban students and educators must recognize themselves as “rhetor-teachers.” The culminating activity is a sample unit plan that aligns with Georgia Standards for 9 th grade English Language Arts.

INDEX WORDS: Afrocentric curriculum, African-American students, Rhetoric, Critical pedagogy, Stasis theory, At-risk, Urban

FROM THE ‘HOOD TO THE CLASSROOM: A RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON TEACHING SECONDARY ENGLISH TO THE URBAN STUDENT

by

SHAE ANDERSON

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
in the College of Arts and Sciences
Georgia State University
2012

Copyright by
Shae Alexis Anderson
2012

FROM THE ‘HOOD TO THE CLASSROOM: A RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON TEACHING SECONDARY ENGLISH TO THE URBAN STUDENT

by

SHAE ANDERSON

Committee Chair:

Committee:

Dr. Mary...

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