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TE Research Talk: Dr. Jon M. Wargo

February 10, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am EST

Dr. Jon Wargo

The Department of Teacher Education
Elementary Social Studies Search Committee cordially invites you:

“Sonic Civics, Heard Histories: Towards a ‘Sound’ Theory of Elementary Social Studies”

Taking an ethnographic ear to young children’s civic education, this presentation explores the audible contours of inquiry and social action in elementary social studies. Drawing on data from a longitudinal grant-funded study, the talk highlights how sound – as a vibrant material and critical resource for design– amplified new pathways for young children to engage with place, space, and community. Refracted through the twin-lenses of speculative design and critical literacy, these side-by-side analyses of making and project-based learning in early civics and human geography work together to develop a ‘sound’ theory for elementary social studies. Stitching together children’s social worlds and personal histories of participation, findings detail how sound became an object and concept for young students to think with. Calling for more critical approaches to examining the sonorous sensibilities of early learning, this presentation details the sonic dimensions of early social studies learning that often remain silenced.


Jon M. Wargo is an Assistant Professor in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. As an educational scholar who attends closely to qualitative research methods, Jon engages in ethnographic, design-based, and multimodal methodologies to examine how participatory media -the social technologies whose power derives from participation across networked communities -mediates contemporary conceptions of civic and social education. In turn, he explores how these practices facilitate the development of children’s critical literacy learning as well as broader cultural change. As co-coordinator of the elementary education program and core faculty in the Teacher Education, Special Education, and Curriculum & Instruction department, Jon teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social studies, literacy, qualitative research methods, and the social contexts of education.


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