National Writing Project

Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction

Antero Garcia and Cindy O'Donnell-Allen

No Longer Available from NWP

"Pose, Wobble, Flow" is a pedagogical model to encapsulate the challenge of teaching and the process of growing as an educator who questions existing inequities in schooling and society and frames teaching around a commitment to changing them. The authors provide six different culturally proactive teaching stances or "poses" that secondary ELA teachers can use to meet the needs of all students, whether they are historically marginalized or privileged. They describe how teachers can expect to "wobble" as they adapt instruction to the needs of their students, while also incorporating new insights about their own cultural positionality and preconceptions about teaching. Teachers are encouraged to recognize this flexibility as a positive process or "flow" that can be used to address challenges and adopt ambitious teaching strategies like those depicted in this book.

Each chapter highlights a particular pose, describes how to work through common wobbles, incorporates teacher voices, and provides questions for further discussion. Pose, Wobble, Flow presents a promising framework for disrupting the pervasive myth that there is one set of surefire, culturally neutral "best" practices.

Book Features

  • A structure for career-long growth for ELA teachers, including ways to adapt pedagogy from one year to the next.
  • A focus on culturally proactive positions within ELA classrooms to ensure criticality in how we teach and how we advocate for the teaching profession.
  • Six different poses that are standards-aligned, critical, and expand the possibilities of what takes place in school.
  • Guidelines for creating original poses beyond the scope of the book, discussion questions for courses, and resources for classroom teachers.

Testimonials

"In Pose, Wobble, Flow, Garcia and O'Donnell-Allen remind all of us that teaching is not about following directions: it's about listening to our students and paying attention to the social forces that shape their lives; about learning how to navigate department, school, district, and federal rules to benefit our students so we can keep a job while we continue to honor our core beliefs about education."
Linda Christensen, Director, Oregon Writing Project, Lewis & Clark College
"Antero Garcia and Cindy O'Donnell-Allen have written a book about teaching that I've been hoping someone would write. They deftly provide a clear and insightful framework from which any thoughtful teacher can build a vital practice, while also inserting a wealth of examples to ground the framework in working classrooms. It's a must-have for preservice and inservice teachers who care about their teaching."
Bob Fecho, Professor and Department Head, University of Georgia
About the Authors
  • Antero Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.

  • Cindy O'Donnell-Allen is a full professor in the English department at Colorado State University where she directs the CSU Writing Project.

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