RESEARCH SUMMARY OVERVIEW
Denny Taylor's Research.
1. From Family Literacy to Earth System Science, a 40 Year Retrospective.
The concept of “family literacy” originated in the doctoral research of Denny Taylor. Recently colleagues and students have nominated her for several research awards in recognition of her lifetime commitment to transdisciplinary family literacy scholarship and fieldwork with families living in urban and rural poverty in the U.S., and in regions of armed conflict and catastrophic events around the world. This document was constructed to support one of the awards for which she has been nominated. Every study Denny Taylor has undertaken in the past forty years is interconnected and reflects her deep commitment to culturally relevant research grounded in the everyday lives of families and communities. Her research encourages local contextualized changes that are historically and politically situated, and she has had a global impact in raising awareness of the systemic complexity of language, literacy and learning in diverse family and community settings throughout the world. Verification of the importance of the concept of family literacy is provided by the more than 7,000,000 Internet search results for “family literacy” and 5,640,000 for “family literacy nights”, and of the importance of Denny Taylor’s family literacy research by over 1,100 citations in academic publications to her scholarly work.
“Denny Taylor began organizing family literacy nights in 1981. Family Literacy Nights are now ubiquitous in the U.S. and around the world.”
— 40 Year Retrospective Report.
2. Responding to Climate Change.
It is now a well-accepted scientific fact that we have left the 10,000 years of stable weather patterns that were the signature of our beloved Holocene, and we have entered the Anthropocene which is hotter, wetter, drier, more turbulent, unpredictable and polluted because of human activity. Given this worldwide life threatening deterioration of the circumstances in which children are expected to live their lives, it could be argued that the greatest advancement human beings could make in the 21st century is to ensure the survival of their children. For the past 20 years Denny Taylor’s research and activism has focused on the dynamic complexity of the work that must be done to make the planet a child safe zone.
“Denny Taylor’s research and activism has focused on the dynamic complexity of the work that must be done to make the planet a child safe zone.”
— Responding to Climate Change.