What We Know About Adolescents' Out-of-School Literacies, What We Need to Learn, and Why Studying Them Is Important: An Interview With Michael W. Smith


  • Michael W. Smith,

  • David W. Moore


Michael W. Smith, a professor in Temple University's College of Education, focuses his research on how experienced readers read and talk about texts as well as what motivates adolescents' reading and writing in and out of school. He sees the recent research on adolescents' out-of-school literacies as a challenge to literacy educators to look at what kids do, what kids can do, and what educators ought to do in new ways. He would like to see more research that speaks to those outside the adolescent literacy specialization. One implication of the research on students' out-of-school literacies for classroom teachers is that students might be more engaged in school if it presented the conditions that foster engagement outside of school. As a teacher and teacher educator, Smith is coming to regard new literacies as important ends in themselves and not just as bridges to more conventionally academic literacies.