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Wednesday, December 6 - Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Dolphin Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach

Teaching Beyond Silos: Transdisciplinary Perspectives of Theory, Research, and Pedagogy


Program Chair: Dr. Victoria Cardullo, Auburn University

Program Co-Chair: Dr. Nance Wilson, SUNY Cortland


Societal issues of the twenty-first century have highlighted the need for innovation, cooperation, and intentionality. In 2022, the American Reading Forum examined those who profit from literacy curriculum, research, policy, and practice. This year, we seek to push back against curriculums that maintain the status quo to discuss how literacy instruction and schools can build critical and global citizens who embrace diversity. These schools must move beyond the traditional notion of a classroom incorporating technologies, learning, real-world inquiry, and relevance (Puig & Froelich, 2022) rather than scripted curriculums. In doing so, we will ensure that our students have the power to solve the multifaceted problems of the world. If literacy is to be a tool for solving the world’s problems, we need to expand our notions about literacy and literacy teaching and learning beyond the silos (Cambourne, 2001). We see the move beyond silos as a call to engage more with a transdisciplinary approach to literacy.

Changes in social, economic, physical, digital, and political environments require that we move beyond the acceptance of literacy as interdisciplinary to understand the transdisciplinary nature of teaching and learning. The transdisciplinary approach has been identified as key to the teaching of technological literacy (Shenton, & Hay-Gibson, 2011), multimodal literacy (Unsworth et al., 2022), and the sciences (Sunarti, Wasis, Madlazin, & Suyidno, 2020). Transdisciplinary approaches to literacy are central to the current climate because it involves the application of metacognitive literacy engagement across different subjects, involves collaboration, involves centering literacy around phenomena that cross traditional subject area lines (such as climate change), and have the inclination to think beyond the silos. Cambourne (2022) shares that researchers who seek partnerships have done some of the most compelling scientific work of the twenty-first century. Our goal in preparing for the 2023 conference is to provide a forum for ARF literacy researchers to create partnerships that will amplify the implementation of a transdisciplinary literacy framework.


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