Edited and collated by professors of English education Lindy L. Johnson and Christian Z. Goering, Recontextualized is a book written by English teachers for English teachers. Through explanations of lessons taught by others, the book offers English teachers innovative ways to help students with reading, writing, and analytical thinking. By incorporating music and pop culture into their lesson plans, teachers can more readily appeal to and identify with students. The use of pop culture also permits students to draw upon their own backgrounds and experiences to better understand and critically analyze literature, poetry, and song lyrics.
The book offers four classroom-tested approaches to using pop culture and music in teaching English. The utilitarian approach uses music to help students connect with subject matter they feel is unrelated to their lives. The cultural capital approach uses music to help marginalized students better understand their worlds. The capital approach focuses on music as culturally equivalent to literature and similarly worthy of critical analysis. Finally, the recontextualized approach draws from aspects of the other approaches and also allows opportunities for students themselves to create music. The teachers who contributed to the book offer practical examples of each approach.