Joy and the "smart kids": Competing ways of being and believing

Yolanda J. Majors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Through a sharing of personal experience, this article aims to draw attention to the language of schooling - a language, both simple and sophisticated, that many schools, as institutions, devise to communicate with insiders and outsiders. The author argues that there is a mismatch between assumed best practices embedded in this language and the challenging demands of cultural, community-based pedagogies. Institutional discourses, while appearing neutral, simultaneously cling to explicit and implicit colorblind discourses. Such discourses allow the institution of schooling, and the individual teacher, to evade critical examination, thereby sustaining a complex landscape in which consumers (students, parents, and stakeholders) engage producers (teachers, administrators) in stances relative to the expectations that each has of the other. FREE author podcast

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Achievement gap
  • Adolescence
  • Adult
  • Childhood
  • College/university students
  • Community-based programs, resources
  • Critical literacy
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Early adolescence
  • Home language
  • Home language practices
  • Home-school connections
  • Intergenerational literacy
  • Narrative, narrative inquiry
  • Parental involvement
  • Reflection
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Transformative


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