chapter  4
Writing in the Margins of Classroom Life: A Teacher/Researcher Partnership Using Dialogue Journals
Pages 19

In this chapter I explore how through written texts young adolescent Black girls constructed and mediated their subjectivities and social worlds within a learning environment that silences them. As they engaged in journal writing, the girls expressed themselves in ways rarely available to them in whole-group classroom discourse, using what Carole Boyce Davies (1995) calls “transgressive speech.” For Black women, Boyce Davies explains, “transgressive speech” challenges situations of oppression:

Here I focus specifically on the processes and outcomes of using dialogue journals with two Caribbean American students, Caprice and Georgette.1 The experiences that I discuss in this chapter, which took place during the 1997-1998 academic year, were part of a 4-year classroom research relationship during which I worked with Enid Johnson, the girls’ teacher, and many of her middle school ESL (English as a second language) female students on a project investigating teacher practice and student learning.