Welcome to the Summer 2019 issue of UnBoxed.
In this first-ever retrospective issue of the journal, we showcase a range of previously-published articles which tackle the topic of literacy, along with a new interview with an educator who has been deeply influential to High Tech High schools. What does literacy mean in the 21st century? Why does literacy matter for students? How can project-based teachers authentically incorporate literacy practices into their classrooms? These are some of the questions that the articles in this issue tackle. Not coincidentally, these questions are ones which teachers and leaders across High Tech High’s fourteen schools have been puzzling over with particular intensity over the past year. There is much still to be learned, but there is also much to celebrate. In reprinting some of the best essays on literacy to appear in UnBoxed since its inception in 2008, we hope to both celebrate and deepen this work.
The pieces which we have selected range widely while also sharing an emphasis on what it means to help students to develop into stronger and more joyful readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. In an original interview, EL Education’s Ron Berger reflects on how his thinking about teaching literacy in the context of project-based learning has changed. Kelly Williams writes about how the practice of “doing the project yourself” not only helped her to hone her project design but also to grow as a writer. Bobby Shaddox describes how the practice of “graffiti discussions” helped him learn to draw out the thinking of reticent students, and Briony Chown unpacks the practice of using checklists to deepen peer critique. Several other pieces describe projects which skillfully incorporated literacy: Randy Scherer writes about projects in which the student publications provide the entry to authentic literacy skill development; Tom Fehrenbacher describes deep collaboration as a way to integrate the humanities with the sciences; student Timoteo Delgado shares how authentic projects helped him rigorously engage with important literacy skills and Juli Ruff reflects on how a safe classroom space welcomed a student with specific needs.
We invite all of our readers to join us in conversations about teaching, learning, design and leadership by submitting your thoughts for publication or serving as a peer reviewer. To learn more, visit www. hightechhigh.org/unboxed
We accept submissions on a rolling basis for online and print publication. Please submit content to email@example.com
Read, enjoy, and participate! —The Editors