Using the “Right Poem” to Raise Sociocultural Consciousness

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Abstract: This essay posits performance poetry as an innovative pedagogical tool in teacher education. The expanding racial divide between white teacher candidates and schoolchildren of color calls for new and meaningful ways to inform teacher candidates’ sociocultural understandings of schoolchildren of color. Excerpts from the author's autoethnographic narrative poems are interwoven with the words and wisdom of notables Nikki Giovanni and Gwendolyn Brooks. Reflections on the author's efforts to integrate the right poem reveal success when framed by Urie Brofenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Forum
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • autoethnographic poetry
  • critical literacy
  • critical race theory
  • neopoetics
  • teacher education


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