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Abstract

Informed by theorizing positioning and agency, this article presents a case study by examining a science teacher’s positioning acts and her agency development in a middle school in New York City. An analysis of this teacher’s teaching narratives reveals that when she positioned her emergent multilingual students as “whole people,” who had social, cultural, emotional, and linguistic needs, she utilized their lived experiences as inspirations and resources to modify and inform instruction. The mediated pedagogy, developed by considering her students’ complicated and frustrating realities outside of the classroom, made them feel greater self-worth and valued, and encouraged them to persevere in school. Findings suggest that this teachers’ positive positioning acts inspired by her multilingual students' lived experiences can trigger positive agency, which can become a direct driving force for pedagogical decisions and transformation. It also can contribute to emergent multilingual students' positive self-positioning and stimulate and develop their agency for active and engaged classroom participation and interaction.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5422/jmer.2020.v10.85-104

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