Moving Forward When Faced with Learning Difficulties: Rolling a Kayak

  • Summer Melody PennellEmail author
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)


When a kayaker flips their boat over while paddling, and successfully turns themselves upright, it is called a roll. In learning situations (especially in a social justice course), this occurs when a student is temporarily caught off balance by difficult concepts, texts, or other skill gaps. Rolling may also occur when a student’s worldview is altered by information that counters their own experiences. Teachers can facilitate rolls by offering scaffolded practice in a safe environment. This allows students to practice the skill with their learning tools in order to successfully roll during a course, when confronted with a problem, and to continue in their learning with minimal interruption.


  1. Britzman, D. (1995). Is there a queer pedagogy? Or stop reading straight. Educational Theory, 45(2), 151–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hammond, J., & Gibbons, P. (2005). What is scaffolding? In A. Burns & H. Joyce (Eds.), Teachers’ voices 8: Explicitly supporting reading and writing in the classroom (pp. 8–16). National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  3. Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71(3), 543–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. McGee, E. O., & Stovall, D. (2015). Reimagining critical race theory in education: Mental health, healing, and the pathway to liberatory praxis. Educational Theory, 65(5), 491–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Rhodes, J. A., & Robnalt, V. J. (2009). Digital literacies in the classroom. In L. Christenbury, R. Bomer, & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent literacy research (pp. 153–169). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Shore, I., & Freire, P. (2002). What are the fears and risks of transformation? In A. Darder, R. D. Torres, & M. Baltodano (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader. Milton Park: Taylor & Francis. Google Scholar
  7. Swalwell, K. (2013). “With great power comes great responsibility:” Privileged students’ conceptions of justice-oriented citizenship. Democracy & Education, 21(1), 1–11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Truman State UniversityKirksvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations