Walls, Bridges, Borders, Papers: Civic Literacy in the Borderlands

Leah Durán, Michelle Aguilera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article reports findings from a qualitative study in a third-grade classroom in the Southwest in the wake of Donald Trump’s campaign and inauguration. In response to students’ concerns about Trump’s rhetoric around immigration and border-wall construction, the teacher provided curricular space for students to study immigration policy and write letters to their congressional representative expressing their positions. Drawing on field notes, interviews, and student writing, this study asks, (a) What sources of knowledge did students draw on in their talk and writing? and (b) How did students respond to such curricular design? Analysis suggests that students drew on border thinking (Mignolo, 2012) and politicized funds of knowledge (Gallo & Link, 2015), positioned themselves as change agents, and developed and displayed knowledge of academic genres and conventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-176
Number of pages21
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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