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Visualizing from Within: A Naturalistic Inquiry on the Implementation of Mindsketching to Build the Academic Literacy of Children Raised in Poverty
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Literature has consistently documented that children raised in poverty struggle to achieve academic success, in part, because they often enter school with low academic literacy. Academic literacy is usually defined as the language used in schools to communicate or acquire knowledge. The purpose of this study was to examine seven elementary school teachers’ observations, insights, and perceptions of a visualization strategy called mindsketching. Mindsketching was used to build academic literacy of their students, the majority of whom came from low-income backgrounds. Through naturalistic inquiry, data were obtained from face-to-face interviews and classroom observations. The constant comparative method and thematic analysis were used to analyze the data for emergent themes. The results of the study included the following: first, teachers observed that an in-depth understanding of mindsketching was necessary for purposeful implementation. Teacher use evolved over the years—from introductory activities or games to a teaching tool used for various instructional practices. Second, mindsketching encouraged metacognition in their students. As a result, teachers’ communication with students, such as instructions, explanations, and affirmations, took on a metacognitive bent. Third, mindsketching as a visualization strategy, provided the initial step towards engaging students in effective learning. In conclusion, mindsketching supported students in visually bridging images to words, thereby enhancing learning.
Ramos, Suzanna Jeyanthi (2015). Visualizing from Within: A Naturalistic Inquiry on the Implementation of Mindsketching to Build the Academic Literacy of Children Raised in Poverty. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from