History and Transformations
Welcome to the Center for Education Research on Literacy & Inquiry in Networking Communities (LINC). The Center has a long, rich history of collaborative research with teacher-, student- and university-based ethnographers (1990-present).
Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group
The community was first known as the Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group (1990-present). This interactive group brought university-based ethnographers together with teacher ethnographers to explore complex issues of teaching and learning across disciplines in classrooms. Members of the community published individually and collectively, at times using the collective name, The Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group (bibliography). As members moved to different universities and schools, took new positions and developed new directions in ethnographic research and discourse analysis work in classrooms with teachers, the SBCDG community has grown (See Michigan Discourse Inquiry Group/McDig)
Becoming the Center for Teaching for Social Justice
The Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group (SBCDG) transformed. Building on 15 years of ethnographic research with teachers from the South Coast Writing Project (SCWriP) and colleagues in local schools, SBCDG became the Center for Teaching for Social Justice, CTSJ (2000-2005). This transformation was supported by a seed grant from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education's Fund for Excellence.
CTSJ continued the work of the SBCDG on ethnographic studies of classrooms. At the same time, in 2001, members of CTSJ began exploring the potential of the CENIC/CALren Highway that linked K-12 county offices with the University of California and California State University networks as well as California's Community Colleges.
The first initiative, in 2002, was a project, in which sixth grade students in Santa Barbara became docents for students from Elk Grove School District in Sacramento, leading them on a virtual and interactive tour of an exhibit of the Henrietta Marie: A Slave Ship Speaks. Following this event, students in Elk Grove, at their request, held a second video conference event, Voices from the Field, in which they interviewed a professor and her students at California State University, Sacramento, about their growing up in migrant worker camps. The Elk Grove students engaged Santa Barbara students in those interviews as well. The Henrietta Marie project was given the Education Vision Award by CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California).
Expanding the CTSJ - New Initiatives
Building on the Henrietta Marie project and Voices from the Field, CTSJ developed new initiatives called PRISMS (Perspectives on Research and Inquiry with Students In Multiple spaces). These initiatives built on the successful professional development approach of the National Writing Project (NWP)and its local site, the South Coast Writing Project.
Three strands were developed through the collaboration and co-expertise of a number of networking communities:
In each of these strands, participants representing all levels of K-20 designed community-based inquiry projects. In these projects students engaged (and continue to engage) in the work of members of academic disciplines. acting as historians, oral historians, scientists, artists, actors, writers, to investigate local stories (e.g., Japanese Internment, immigration). They then engaged with other groups in their networking communities in order to explore the global implications raised through their collaborative inquiries.
The CTSJ projects connected through summer institutes. Local teachers networked with teachers within the state, teachers from National Writing Project sites (Area 3 Writing Project, Red Clay Writing Project, Ohio Writing Project) and teachers working with colleagues in universities in other states (e.g., UNLV and the Odyssey Online Charter School). Those engaged in developing and implementing projects also maintained ongoing connections through interactive video conferencing to plan and access resources. Students also connected over time and across distance, through pen pal letters, private, password-protected blog sites (focused on common investigative issues or pieces of literature), and through interactive video conferences that included opportunities to share and discuss their research (Yeager & Elder, 2005).
Members of CTSJ have had a unique and collaborative history of publishing. In our communities intellectual and practice expertise is brought together in dynamic and interactive ways, leading to collaborative research, curriculum design, and writing. We view ourselves as developing professionals, who work collaboratively to explore how teaching expertise in K-12 forms a foundation for understanding and identifying theory-practice relationships
Transforming Directions: Becoming LINC
The new name, The Center for Education Research in Litearcy & Inquiry in Networking Communities, represents the expanded directions of the Center's work. Since 2000, an exciting and dynamic new direction has developed across our K-20 communities. Our communities are exploring the potential for networking made possible by the development of advanced networking technologies-- CALren in California and Internet2 and its international partners. These technologies provide a digital highway our communities are traveling to create a new learning community for both teachers and students. This new learning space makes seamless and dynamic interactions possible and multi-media planning and sharing of research and curriculum innovations across geographic distances in real time, ordinary.
LINC continues the work of the Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group and the Center for Teaching for Social Justice, while embracing new opportunities and possibilities of the digital age.