Advertisement

Story Circles: Supporting Boys’ Social and Emotional Worlds in School

  • Erin Elizabeth FlynnEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 16)

Abstract

Story circles are a small group storytelling activity which were implemented in four preschool classrooms serving lower socioeconomic status (SES), multilingual children in the United States of America (U.S.). Results show that story circles serve as a promising activity for supporting boys of color in the early years of schooling, primarily because story circles position boys to talk about ideas, relationships, and ways of being that are significant to them. Boys of color in the U.S. face disproportionate rates of suspension, expulsion, and retention from the outset of schooling, a problem that has its origins in teacher’s implicit bias as well as the need for a greater sense of socially and emotionally strong classroom communities. Oral storytelling activities like story circles offer the potential to shift boys’ behavior as well as school personnel’s perspective of boys, creating a more inclusive space for young children.

Keywords

Preschool education Immigrant boys Diversity Storytelling Social and emotional supports 

References

  1. Bristol, T. J. (2015). Teaching boys: Towards a theory of gender-relevant pedagogy. Gender and Education, 27(1), 53–68.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2014.986067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bohrnstedt, G., Kitmitto, S., Ogut, B., Sherman, D., and Chan, D. (2015). School composition and the black–white achievement gap (NCES 2015–018). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 24, 2018 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.
  3. Christie, F. (2002). Classroom discourse analysis: A functional perspective. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  4. Dahlberg, G., & Moss, P. (2005). Ethics and politics in early childhood education. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(4), 8–14.  https://doi.org/10.1177/003172171009100403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davis, J. E. (2003). Early schooling and academic achievement of African American males. Urban Education, 38(5), 515–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2002). Overview of self-determination theory: An organismic dialectical perspective. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 3–33). Rochester: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  8. Delpit, L. (2006). Lessons from teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 220–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Devine, P. G., Forscher, P. S., Austin, A. J., & Cox, W. T. L. (2012). Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1267–1278.Google Scholar
  10. Dyson, A. H. (1997). Writing superheroes: Contemporary childhood, popular culture, and classroom literacy. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dyson, A. H. (2002). The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school cultures. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  12. Flynn, E. E. (2016). Language-rich early childhood classroom: Simple but powerful beginnings. The Reading Teacher, 70(2), 159–166.  https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Flynn, E. E. (2018a). A dialogue in stories: Story circles in the multicultural, multilingual early childhood classroom. Language in Society, 47(4), 601–633.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404518000593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flynn, E. E. (2018b). Storying experience: Young children’s early use of story genres. Text and Talk, 38(4), 457–480.  https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2018-0010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gee, J. P. (1999). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Genishi, C., & Dyson, A. H. (2009). Children, language and literacy. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  17. Gilliam, W. S., Maupin, A. N., Reyes, C. R., Accavitti, M., & Shic, F. (2016). Do early educators’ implicit biases regarding sex and race relate to behavior expectations and recommendations of preschool expulsions and suspensions? Retrieved from http://ziglercenter.yale.edu/publications/Preschool%20Implicit%20Bias%20Policy%20Brief_final_9_26_276766_5379.pdf
  18. Hadjar, A., & Buchmann, C. (2016). Education systems and gender inequalities in educational attainment. In A. Hadjar & C. Gross (Eds.), Education systems and inequalities (pp. 159–184). Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hadjar, A., Backes, S., & Gysin, S. H. (2015). School alienation, patriarchal gender-role orientations and the lower educational success of boys. Masculinities and Social Change, 4(1), 87–116.Google Scholar
  20. Halliday, M. A., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  21. Hascher, T., & Hagenauer, G. (2010). Alienation from school. International Journal of Educational Research, 49(6), 220–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Heitzig, N. (2009). Education or incarceration: Zero tolerance policies and the school to prison pipeline. In Forum on public policy online (Vol. 2009, No. 2). Oxford Round Table. Urbana.Google Scholar
  23. Howard, T. C., & Navarro, O. (2016). Critical race theory 20 years later: Where do we go from here? Urban Education, 51(3), 253–273.Google Scholar
  24. Kane, N. (2016). The play-learning binary: U.S. parents’ perceptions on preschool play in a neoliberal age. Children & Society, 30, 290–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McCombs, B. (2010). Learner-centered practices: Providing the context for positive learner development, motivation, and achievement. In J. L. Meece & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), Handbook of research on schools, schooling, and human development (pp. 60–74). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. McMillon, G. T., & Edwards, P. A. (2000). Why does Joshua “hate” school… but love Sunday school? Language Arts, 78(2), 111–120.Google Scholar
  27. Okonofua, J. A., & Eberhardt, J. L. (2015). Two strikes: Race and the disciplining of young students. Psychological Science, 26(5), 617–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Paley, V. G. (1984). Boys and girls: Superheroes in the doll corner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Paley, V. G. (1990). The boy who would be a helicopter: The uses of storytelling in the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Polite, V., & Davis, J. E. (Eds.). (1999). African American males in school and society: Policy and practice for effective education. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  31. Rinaldi, C. (2006). In dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, researching, and learning. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Schindler, H. S., Kholoptseva, J., Oh, S. S., Yoshikawa, H., Duncan, G. J., Magnuson, K. A., & Shonkoff, J. P. (2015). Maximizing the potential of early childhood education to prevent externalizing behavior problems: A meta-analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 53, 243–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schott Foundation for Public Education. (2015). Black lives matter: The Schott 50 state report on public education and black males. Retrieved from http://blackboysreport.org/national-summary/
  34. Sheets, R. H. (2002). “You’re just a kid that’s there” – Chicano perception of disciplinary events. Journal of Latinos and Education, 1(2), 105–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., & Richards, H. (1994). Literacy as empowerment: The case for African American males. In V. L. Gadsden & D. A. Wagner (Eds.), Literacy among African American youth: Issues in learning, teaching, and schooling (pp. 125–147). Cresskill: Hampton.Google Scholar
  36. Souto-Manning, M., Dernikos, B., & Min Yu, H. (2016). Rethinking normative literacy practices, behaviors, and interactions: Learning from young immigrant boys. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 14(2), 163–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stipek, D. (2006). No child left behind comes to preschool. The Elementary School Journal, 106, 455–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. (2014). Civil rights data collection: Data snapshot: Early childhood education. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/crdc-early-learning-snapshot.pdf
  39. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Policy statement on expulsion and suspension policies in early childhood settings. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/policy-statement-ece-expulsions-suspensions.pdf
  40. Weingarten, R. (2016). Seeding change in school discipline: The move from zero tolerance to support. American Educator, 39(4), 1–2.Google Scholar
  41. Witt, H. (2007). School discipline tougher on African Americans. Chicago Tribune.Google Scholar
  42. Zigler, E. F., & Bishop-Josef, S. J. (2006). The cognitive child versus the whole child: Lessons from 40 years of Head Start. In D. G. Singer, R. M. Golinkoff, & K. Hirsh-Pasek (Eds.), Play= learning: How play motivates and enhances children’s cognitive and social-emotional growth (pp. 15–35). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Portland UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations