DOI: 10.1177/23522798231206190 ISSN: 2352-2798

“Living in These Two Places Really Shaped My Life”: Examining Multimodal Playlist Assignments in Social Studies and Language Arts Methods Courses

Mary L. Neville, Kaitlin E. Popielarz
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Education

In this article, the authors consider the use of a “Playlist of My Life Assignment” in helping social studies (SS) and English language arts (ELA) teacher candidates (TCs) conceptualize multimodal and humanizing SS and ELA curricula. The Playlist Assignment asked teacher candidates to center the music, texts, land, spaces, and places that are most important to them, and potentially relate these back to their own pedagogies as SS and ELA teachers. Taken from two qualitative studies of two teacher education courses at two separate, large research universities in the U.S. Southwest, this article examines teacher candidates’ understandings of their disciplines as humanizing and multimodal, and as centered in their and their students’ communities, through the Playlist Assignment. Data included the Playlist Assignment, curated by TCs in each methods course, and TCs’ class response journals. TCs offered profound texts they carried within them throughout their lives, demonstrating (1) their multimodal disruptions of the definition of a “text” and (2) the empowering and limiting effect of life texts for humanizing curricula. This work has implications for SS and ELA teacher educators interested in supporting teacher candidates as they conceptualize multimodal and humanizing curricula with and for their future students.

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