Cynthia Lewis is Professor of Critical Literacy and English Education at the University of Minnesota. Her current research focuses on the relationship between digital media practices, social identities, and learning in urban schools. Cynthia’s books include Literary Practices as Social Acts: Power, Status, and Cultural Norms in the Classroom and Reframing Sociocultural Research: Identity, Agency, and Power (with Patricia Enciso and Elizabeth Moje). Both books were awarded the Edward Fry book Award from the National Reading Conference. She is past Co-Chair of the Research Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English and has served on the executive board of the National Conference on Research on Language and Literacy.
Given persistent disparities in educational achievement and high school retention, there is an urgent need to understand processes that promote high school success in adolescents at risk for academic failure. An essential 21st Century skill set for all of our nation’s students includes the information and communication technology skills to allow for participation as creative and informed citizens as well as critical thinkers well versed in core subject area knowledge. In light of a pervasive digital divide, it is essential that schools provide the access, resources, knowledge, and skills that will allow all students to succeed academically in high school and beyond. Students from low-income households, who lack access to computers and the Internet in the home, need to acquire digital media practices in school. Read more