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Noah Asher Golden

I am a literacy education researcher and teacher-educator who strives to illuminate connections between theory, methodology and teaching/learning practices. My work engages socio-cultural and critical approaches to literacy education, and centers on issues of equity and opportunity. As a scholar and teacher-educator, I participate in multiple communities invested in the creation of deep and authentic learning experiences for all learners.

The thread that ties all of my work together is a deep-seated belief that our work in education can and should make powerful differences in people’s lives. There are important things at stake in our research, methodological and theoretical discussions, teaching, and service in multiple fields. It is for this reason that I believe that our work should be in dialogue with the members of multiple communities: fellow scholars, practitioners, community activists, parents, and students. In my past work as a high school English teacher, literacy coach, and instructor in teacher education programs, I felt that there were many unnecessary borders between these domains. I work alongside others to engender collaborations that can transcend these artificial divisions.

Education

City University of New York Graduate Center

Ph.D. in Urban Education: Languages, Cultures, and Contexts

Teachers College, Columbia University

Ed.M. in English Education

Teachers College, Columbia University

M.A. in Philosophy and Education

Tufts University

B.A. in Philosophy and English

Research Interests

My scholarship investigates the social positioning of minoritized students as well as these students’ endeavors to (re)position themselves along desired storylines and life trajectories. This research agenda includes the factors and sets of conditions that support student (re)positioning, including critical literacy practice, justice-oriented teacher education and activism, and responsive, strength-based teaching and learning.

Through my research, I seek to understand the sets of conditions that support minoritized adolescent learners as they work to (re)position themselves along desired life pathways and storylines. This research agenda necessitates investigation of the undesired ways learners might be socially positioned in particular learning spaces based on their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, location, or linguistic resources, among other categories of identity, but does not end here. While existing scholarship has documented the negative effects these undesired positioning practices can have on learners, my agenda hones in on what I term ‘(re)positioning’: the identity work minoritized adolescent scholars do to be ‘read’ in particular ways and achieve their preferred outcomes. Growing from this empirical work are additional research interests in critical literacy practices and approaches to a justice-oriented teacher education that can connect with and support learners’ desires and (re)positioning work.

The need for research on student (re)positioning stems from the fact that adolescent scholars of color in urban schools are often framed as “at-risk” in a way that locates deficiencies in people as opposed to social processes. While my scholarship is focused on these social processes and is not restricted to a type of learning environment, I am particularly interested in researching alternative learning spaces due to the ways that learners are often positioned within these environments. More often than not, deficit models positioning working-class and poor adolescent scholars of color as intrinsically lacking are used to account for disparities in academic achievement in these educational programs. Alternative education spaces are variously termed “second-chance” schools, continuation schools, or vocational programs, and the learners are often referred to as “over-age/under-credited” youth in the research and policy literature. In U.S. educational systems, there are over 600,000 adolescents in such learning spaces, which primarily serve students ages 16-21 who have previously been, for a multitude of reasons, unsuccessful in formal education. The assumption of innate deficiencies can limit the potential to earn an education that allows one to fully participate in civic, communal, and economic life. Further, these learners are the least likely to receive learning opportunities that engage critical literacy, understood here as the analysis, critique, and potential transformation of processes and systems that shape everyday life, opportunity, and what counts as knowledge. Critical literacy has the potential to support efforts to (re)position oneself when facing undesired interpellations of who one is or might become. My scholarship is predicated upon the conviction that the experiences and understandings of these young scholars can meaningfully inform critical literacy praxis and a teacher education that is responsive to learners’ needs and desires. Further, this scholarship contributes to broader debates on how to work towards equity and justice in and through education.

This research agenda emerges from fifteen years of practitioner work as a secondary-level literacy educator and teacher coach. Teaching and mentoring teachers of working-class and poor youth of color in urban schools, I became interested in the identity work of high performing adolescents as well as young learners with much potential for excellence. Some of these learners would say things like “I’m not a good enough student to go to college” despite strong academic achievement. Existing scholarship points to resistance to continuing colonizing practices, the internalizing of low expectations, lack of access to academic support and resources, or ethno-racialized, classed, or gendered (among other) discourses of who gets to be seen as a worthy or strong student as the explanatory locus for such utterances. The understandings and experiences of the adolescent scholars themselves remain largely absent from this body of research, and my agenda seeks to build knowledge on how these young people understand themselves to be positioned within educational disparity discourse. More importantly, my research seeks to highlight the resources, including literacies, that adolescent scholars employ as they work to (re)position themselves along desired storylines of who they are. As multiple factors can cultivate, enable, or constrain student (re)positioning, my scholarship also investigates enactments of critical literacies (including digital and media literacies), language ideologies, justice-oriented teacher education, teacher agency and activism, and culturally-responsive pedagogies. My empirical research thus contributes to the fields of Adolescent Literacy, Urban Education, and English Education.

Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

Golden, N.A. (accepted). The importance of narrative. Moving towards sociocultural understandings of trauma-informed praxis. Article to be published in the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series.

Golden, N.A. and Bieler, D. (2019). "People not profits": Fighting for the professional organizations we need.  Berkeley Review of Education, 9(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5070/B89146425. Also available on Academia and ResearchGate.

Golden, N.A. & Pandya, J. (2019). Understanding identity and position for responsive critical literaciesLanguage and Education, 33(3), 211-225. Also available at Researchgate and Academia.

Golden, N.A. & Bieler, D. (2018). From "Turning the Page" to getting our noses out of the book: How NCTE can translate its words into activismEnglish Education, 51(4)80-93. Also available at ResearchgateAcademia, and Digital Commons.

Golden, N.A. (2018). Narrating neoliberalism: Alternative education teachers’ conceptions of their changing roles. Teaching Education, 29(1), 1-16. Also available at Researchgate, and Academia.

Golden, N.A. (2017). “In a position I see myself in:” (Re)positioning identities and culturally-responsive pedagogiesEquity & Excellence in Education, 50, 355-367. Also available at ResearchgateAcademia, and Digital Commons.

Golden, N.A. (2017). Critical digital literacy across scales and beneath the screen. Educational Media International, 54, 373-387. Also available at ResearchgateAcademia, and Digital Commons.

Golden, N.A. (2017). “If you can’t go through the door, there’s always a window”: The problem with ‘grit’Urban Education, 52, 343-369. Also available at ResearchgateAcademia, and Digital Commons.

Zavala, M. & Golden, N.A. (2016). Prefiguring alternative worlds: Organic critical literacies and socio-cultural revolutionsKnowledge Cultures, 4, 207-227. Also available at ResearchgateAcademia, and Digital Commons.

Golden, N.A. & Womack, E. (2016). Cultivating literacy and relationships with adolescent scholars of colorEnglish Journal105(3), 36-42. Also available at ResearchgateAcademia, and Digital Commons.

Practitioner Columns

Golden, N.A. (in press, January 2020). Organizing for meaningful assessment. Column to be published in English Journal

Golden, N.A. (2017). (Re)Framing education for equity: Acknowledging outputs and inputs in literacies educationEnglish Journal106(4), 86-88. Also available at ResearchGate, Academia, and Digital Commons.

Golden, N.A. (2014). Education reform and potemkin villages: expanding conceptions of “data.” English Journal104(2), 115-117. Also available at ResearchGate, Academia, and Digital Commons.

Book Chapters

Golden, N.A. (2019). Challenging misrecognitions through reflexive teacher education: Knowing and growing in an age of commodification. In Charest, B. & Sjostrom, K. (Ed.s) Unsettling Education: Searching for Ethical Footing in a Time of Reform. Peter Lang Publishing, Social Justice Across Contexts in Education series.

Pandya, J. & Golden, N.A. (2018). Fostering impossible possibles through critical media literacies. In Mills, K. A., Stornaiuolo, A., Smith, A. & Pandya, J. (Eds.). Handbook of Writing, Literacies and Education in Digital Cultures. New York, NY: Routledge.

Creative Works

Sieben, N., Golden, N.A., & Emert, T. (2016). A world where all people are safe and valued. Literacy and NCTE. Retrieved from http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2016/08/all-people-safe-valued/.

Conference Presentations

Upcoming presentations

Research presenter (accepted). “Doubting themselves”: The disembedding effects of platform pedagogies for ‘at-risk’ youth. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA, April 2020.

Working Roundtable Presenter. (accepted). Transnational Critical Literacies for the Public Good. Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA, April 2020.

Peer-refereed presentations

Research presenter. Navigating trauma in school: Youth repositioning and the fostering of literate identities. Research presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Tampa, FL, December 2019.

Discussant. Critical Digital Literacies in Teacher Education. Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Tampa, FL, December 2019.

ELATE Research Initiative Award Winners Research presenter. Supporting marginalized students’ (re)positioning: Investigating the role of instruction in adolescent learners’ identity work. Research presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Workshop presenter (with Martin, Kahdeidra, Schieble, M., and Vetter, A.). Race, Whiteness, and Teaching English Language Arts. Workshop enacted at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Roundtable research presenter. Critical Literacies and Secondary STEM Education. Research presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Roundtable research presenter. Unsettling Education: Searching for Ethical Footing in a Time of Reform. Research presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Roundtable Chair. Images of Possibility: Teaching and Learning Toward Freedom. Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Respondent. Critical Media Literacy in English Education. Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Respondent. Diverse Inquiries on Preparing English Teachers to Practice Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy. Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Baltimore, MD, November 2019.

Research presenter. The activism of remix: Helping students find their voices through digital re-creation. English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE, formerly CEE) biannual Summer Conference, Fayetteville, AR, July 2019.

Workshop presenter (with Bieler, D.). Interrupting Whiteness in and from English Teacher Preparation Programs. English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE, formerly CEE) biannual Summer Conference, Fayetteville, AR, July 2019.

Writing & Literacies research panel presenter. Critical digital literacies across scales and beneath the screen. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Toronto, ON, April 2019.

Writing & Literacies research panel presenter. “Now that I realize...I can grow”: Adolescent scholars self-authoring through trauma (re)Positioning literacy. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Toronto, ON, April 2019.

Research presenter. “We travel more and we gain…social capital”: Literacies and positioning in an alternative place-based learning program. Research presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Indian Wells, CA, November 2018.

Research presenter. Grounding adolescent literacies in desire and place: The value of a scalar analysis of narratives. Research presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Indian Wells, CA, November 2018.

Research presenter. Conexiónes Collaborative Action Research Project: Literacies and civic engagement in motion. Research to be presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Indian Wells, CA, November 2018.

Research presenter. Challenging misrecognitions through reflective teacher education: Knowing and growing in an age of commodification. Research to be presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Houston, TX, November, 2018.

Research presenter. Enacting justice and equity in English Education. Research to be presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Houston, TX, November, 2019.

Roundtable presenter (with Chapman future educators Cain, T., Llewyn, E., & Zeigler, K.). Building critical media literacy through journalistic writing and multimedia production. Project to be presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Houston, TX, November, 2018.

Research presenter. Re-claiming voices of youth within increasingly hostile school climates. Research presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), St. Louis, MO, November, 2017.

Research presenter. Cultivating equity across contexts:  Social justice with teacher candidates, secondary students, and in-service teachers. Research presented at the Conference on English Education (CEE) biannual conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.

Roundtable leader. Centering intersectional, justice-oriented English education. Research presented at the Conference on English Education (CEE) biannual conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.

Division K research presenter (with Allen, Q.) Black male youth and educational opportunity: Positioning theory as a framework for responsive teacher education. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Antonio, TX, April 2017.

Workgroup leader (with Bieler, D., Jones, D., & Dover, A.). How can equity-oriented teacher educators respond to corporatization? A research and resistance roundtable. Workshop presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Antonio, TX, April 2017.

Research presenter. ‘Social justice’ in English teacher education: A document analysis of CAEP Standard VI exemplars. Research under review for the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly of Research (NCTEAR), San Francisco, CA, February 2017

Chair and research co-presenter. The utility of identity as position: Working towards responsive critical literacies, desire-centered research, and equity. Research presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, December 2016.

Panelist. Navigating multiple pathways to publication and living the writerly life in academia. Work presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, December 2016.

Research panel chair. Advocating for meaningful assessment in neoliberal times. Review of research presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Atlanta, GA, November 2016.

Roundtable presenter. Equity and social justice in English education. Project and scholarship presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Atlanta, GA, November 2016.

Research panel co-presenter. (with Hulett, V., Loredo, S., Markey, C., Miller, E., Moser, R., & Vargas, G.) Learning lived realities through authentic writing. Research presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Atlanta, GA, November 2016.

Division G research panel presenter. A nation at promise: Challenging deficit constructions of male youth labeled “at-risk”. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, DC, April 2016.

Division G research panel presenter. Countering reified framings of social justice: Revisiting the ‘critical’ in critical literacy. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, DC, April 2016.

Division K research panel presenter. Neoliberalism on the ground: Teachers’ changing roles and relationships in an alternative high school equivalency program. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, DC, April 2016.

Writing and Literacies SIG research panel presenter. Revisiting literacies and identities: Agency, Intertextuality, and Positioning in learning spaces. Research presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, DC, April 2016.

Research presenter. Expanding culturally-responsive literacies: Camera as cultural tool. Research presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Carlsbad, CA, December 2015.

Research co-presenter. Improvisation and equity: The role of literacy in the identity enactments of marginalized youth. Research presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Carlsbad, CA, December 2015.

Research panel presenter. Language, identity, and social space: Building theory with youth through literary analysis and social science. Research presented at Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Minneapolis, MN, November 2015.

Roundtable presenter. Teaching for equity: Resisting entrenched notions of literacy education for social justice. Research presented at Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Minneapolis, MN, November 2015.

Roundtable presenter. Bridging Social Justice and Future Educators’ Dispositions. Research presented at biannual conference of International Federation of the Teaching of English (IFTE)/Conference on English Education (CEE), Bronx, NY, July 2015.

Research panel presenter. “You Actually Became Something:” Young Men of Color, (Re)Positioning, and Literacy. Research presented at Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Boston, MA, November 2013.

Research Strand Roundtable presenter. Naming the World Differently: Young Men of  Color and Educational Disparity Discourse. Research presented at Annual Conference of National Conference of Teachers of English (NCTE), Las Vegas, NV, November 2012.

Presenter (with Young Men’s Group). Finding Our Callings: Our Response to the  Vibrations and the Trap. YPAR project presented at the Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEASSA) Annual Conference, New York, NY, June 2012.

Lead Presenter. Participatory Action Research and Theory: Inviting Students to Build Theory through Literary Analysis and Social Science Co-generative Research, Research project presented at Annual Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Philadelphia, PA November 2009.

Lead Presenter. Media, Determinism, and Bigger Thomas: Reading Our Social Worlds through Richard Wright's Native Son. Annual Meeting of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education (CAOE), Chicago, April 2008.

Invited presentations

Research presenter. Literacies, identities, and learning. Orange County Human Relations BRIDGES Summer Program. July, 2017.

Research presenter (with Holmes-Andrews, R.). Creating Spaces for Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) in Secondary Learning Environments. Research presented at the Free Minds, Free People Conference in Baltimore, MD, July 2017.

(Com)Passionate English Education panel presenter. Conference on English Education (CEE) biannual conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.

Invited Speaker. Narrative Analysis, Agency, and Literacy. Analytical methods and research presented at Teachers College Columbia University English Education program, New York, NY, March 2014.

Invited Speaker. “School is not where they live:” Narrative Analysis Methodology in Sociocultural Literacy Research. Analytical Methods and Research presented at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, July 2014.

Invited Speaker. Narrative Analysis, Agency, and Literacy. Analytical methods and research presented at Teachers College Columbia University English Education program, New York, NY, March 2014.

Invited Speaker. Radical Listening with Youth: Collaborative Research and Action in  Literacy Education. Project presented at Teachers College Columbia University Racial Literacy Roundtable (RLR) Series, New York, NY, February 2014.

Invited Speaker. “In a Position I See Myself In:” Identity and Learning. Research presented at Millsaps College Education Department, Jackson, MS, November 2013.

Invited Speaker. Perspectives on Urban Education. Identity and Literacy: Young Men of Color and Positioning/(Re)positioning Practices. Research presented at Graduate Center CUNY Urban Education Lecture Series, New York, NY, November 2013.

Invited Speaker. Narrative Analysis Methodology and Methods. Narrative analysis process and research presented at Teachers College Columbia University English Education program, New York, NY, March 2013.

Presenter (with Young Men’s Group). Young Men of Color and Educational Histories:  Dialoguing around Our Stories to Explore Meaningful Teaching and Learning. Youth Participatory Action Research project-in-progress presented at New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) Annual Conference, New York, NY, March 2012.

Lead Presenter. Masculinity, Race, and the GED: Collaborating with Students on Literacy and Agency, Pilot Research Project presented at Free Minds, Free People Conference, Providence, RI, July 2011.

Current Projects

I am in the midst of data collection and initial layers of analysis for the following project:

Supporting marginalized students’ (re)positioning: Investigating the role of instruction in adolescent learners’ identity work

Project description: Many students of color who are working-class or experiencing poverty must navigate racialized, gendered, and classed hierarchies alongside labels positioning them as “bad” students as they work to earn a high school diploma and enact desired post-secondary life paths. Research has established that the ways these adolescent scholars are positioned in formal learning spaces can have significant consequences for learning opportunities and both academic and social outcomes. Enacted categories of identity (e.g., “at-risk” youth, English Language Learner) and institutional philosophies can shape student self-perception of educational worthiness, career path appropriateness, and college/high school graduation readiness. What remains under-researched is learner efforts at (re)positioning, identity work undertaken in attempts to be “read” differently in and beyond formal learning spaces. This positioning matters because learners’ sense of self and possibility determines opportunities taken or forgone. Through this study, I am currently investigating the role of instruction in learners’ identity work at one successful alternative academic program to build knowledge on why and how this program is working at the micro-level. Through analysis of classroom observations and narratives collected during after-school focus groups and individual interviews, this study investigates instructional practices as they relate to possibilities for learner (re)positioning.

Thanks to The Spencer Foundation and the NCTE group English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE) for their support of this project.

I am also working on a Critical Literacies Handbook with colleagues from the Transnational Critical Literacies Network.