Cheryl Jones-Walker: Do Identities Matter in Teaching and Learning?

Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Educational Studies Cheryl Jones-Walker shares her ethnographic research on dialogic identity construction in the classroom setting. Focusing on both student and teacher identity development, Walker explores how educators' perceptions of teaching across difference shapes classroom culture, student identities, and ultimately teacher identities and practices. She additionally presents discourse and dialogue as a component that influences identity construction and the decisions teachers make. Using specific examples from a fifth grade language arts classroom and a seventh grade math class, Walker frames her lecture in her research before broadening the to discussion to include the greater implications of her studies within the field of education. Her discussion is based on a new book, Learning and Becoming: Construction of Teacher and Student Identities in Urban Classrooms, which is currently being reviewed for publishing.