Two Related Strands of Research
1) Language, Identity, and Learning
Metz, M. (2018). Exploring the complexity of high school students’ beliefs about language variation. Linguistics and Education, 45, 10–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2018.02.003
Metz, M. (2018). Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teaching Critical Language Awareness: The Importance of Valuing Student Knowledge. Urban Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085918756714
Metz, M. (2017). Addressing English teachers’ concerns about decentering Standard English. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 16(3), 363–374. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-05-2017-0062
One strand of my research examines how English teachers balance the academic and social roles of language and the impact on learning for students from diverse language backgrounds.
By working directly with teachers and students, my research aims to improve educational outcomes for historically under-served students while honoring the dedication of our teachers.
For too long schools have told students who speak stigmatized varieties of English, such as African-American English and Southern English, that their language is improper, incorrect, or inappropriate. In fact, linguistic research over the last 50 years has thoroughly documented the systematic and rule bound nature of all English varieties. Hence, all English varieties are "correct" and follow their own grammar rules with as much linguistic validity as Standardized English. The prestige and stigma attached to certain English varieties is a form of linguistic prejudice with negative consequences for students' school experiences.
I study how teachers in middle and high school English classrooms approach teaching about language in ways that include rather than exclude student voices, and that generate new knowledge about the evolving nature of language in our linguistically pluralistic society.
2) Pedagogies of Teacher Education
A second strand of my research examines how teacher educators help teachers take up new teaching practices. I work with a framework that includes showing teachers representations of high quality teaching practices, breaking down those practices into key components, and then allowing teachers to try out the practices in a low stakes environment.
Drawing on ongoing work by the Core Practice Consortium my research has explored the use of core practices for teaching English Language Arts (ELA) as the basis of professional development with middle and high school English teachers.
Practicing Cultural Responsiveness
I am currently exploring how the framewok for taking up professional practice can be applied in ways that help teachers practice culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogies. Rather than simply practicing technical aspects of teachng practice, teachers need practice centering student thinking and responding to the range of idea and experiences they are confronted with daily.
By viewing teachers as problem solvers and sense-makers rather than technicians, we can design learing experiences that help them develop culturally responsive problem solving skills.