Activist and Socially Critical School and Community Renewal comes about at an incredibly important point in history, and it offers a genuinely new paradigm. This book attempts what few others have tried—to bring together knowledge and literature around school reform and community renewal through authentic ethnographic stories of real schools and communities. The book describes and analyzes a courageous struggle for a more socially just world, around notions of relational solidarity that speak back to ideas that continue to privilege the already advantaged. This book provides some desperately needed new storylines as a basis for school and community renewal for the most excluded groups in society. It provides a new social imagination for ‘doing school’ in contexts that stand to benefit from school and community voiced approaches.
Critical Literacies in Action: Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices asks how educators can become more experienced in order to truly support literacy, particularly for children of poverty or for those who have been labeled “at-risk”. This is especially important in current times, since a literate individual is one who is more successfully able to situate him- or herself within a continuum of lifelong learning in order to fulfill personal goals and to participate fully within the wider societyal context.
Although the word “literacy” has been with us for a very long time, the very meaning of the term itself has become increasingly complex due to a multiplicity of factors. At least in part, this complexity is a function of expanding and interconnecting notions of what it is that constitutes modern literacy as well as the increasingly technological nature of the world within which individuals live and learn. As such, a new horizon in literacy research has appeared, promising to renegotiate traditional definitions of the term “literate” and what it means to be critically literate in this increasingly complex world.
Definitions of literacy have also evolved along with the evolution of the computer. Currently, the term “literacy” describes a commitment to and participation in a multiplicity of meaning making systems, many of which exhibit ever-greater degrees of interdependence with one another. The term “Critical Literacy” has come into use relatively recently and is generally regarded as a sub-category of Critical Pedagogy—“Critical” because it promotes an agenda for positive social change.
Nurturing Praxis offers a distinctive view of collaborative and action research in educational settings in four Nordic countries; Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Educational action research in Nordic countries is interpreted as being informed by the traditions of Bildung and (folk) enlightenment and thereby emphasizing the importance of collaboration, discussion and dialogue in knowledge creation. It explores the professional development of teachers, especially through school-university partnerships in which university researchers collaborate with teachers in a variety of educational settings in order to bring about change in and better understanding of practice. It presents case studies of professional development in the context educational reform and change, originating from both inside and outside schools, and tackled with or enhanced by collaborative and action research. By analysing the cases in the light of the Nordic traditions of Bildung and (folk) enlightenment, the authors have been able to identify a number of key features of professional development enhanced by collaborative and action research. These features are drawn together in the last chapter, in a comprehensive framework for Nurturing Praxis.
The aim of the text is to respond to gaps in an emergent discourse running along minority/majority world fault lines through various perspectives linking globalization, education and human rights. The editors’standpoint allows the consideration of equity in education as the foremost expression of social justice in this era of economic and technological globalization regardless of political or cultural contexts. This project continues the tradition of critical social pedagogy in creating common ground that accesses new approaches to political and classroom-based relations of power and praxis.
"What you will find inside this provocative text: It should come as no surprise, as the collection of papers in this book show that we are up against it. Killing those we despise has become normative in the political minds of both the powerful and the marginalised. Framing those who are weakest as the architects of their own disgusting state … it has become commonsense in all societies, rich and poor…. Any counter-hegemonic project that seeks to rethink social justice and reframe educational leadership is, without question, confronting the enormous power of ordinariness, the commonsense about power, inequality and violence. Jonathan Jansen By virtue of an institutionalized hegemony, the formal scales of social justice are informally tipped in favor of the “haves,” leaving the “have-nots” at a distinct disadvantage, and often powerless and defenseless to effect change for themselves or others. How do these critical perspectives change our vision of public schools and of educational leadership? ….Suddenly, new dynamics emerge: race matters, gender matters, sexual orientation matters, ethnicity matters, class matters, power matters, money matters, agency matters, etc. Jeffrey Brooks Historical research is one important way that individuals can heighten their awareness of their own conditions. It can inspire understanding that compels social justice leadership on account of one’s status. It can assist potential allies in learning how their own lived experiences of oppression might translate to persons experiencing subjugation along other social dimensions. It can accomplish these ends by provoking us to ask better questions, to understand larger patterns more deeply, and to find inspiration in the infinitely varied stories of human frailty and courage. Jackie Blount To illustrate social injustice we have to look backwards. But our graduates are not going to work in the past. So it isn’t enough to work to undo socially unjust practices …. The more complex question surrounding making social justice a thematic anchor and connector of an educational leadership program is the requirement to create within a theoretical framework in which the effects of a curriculum can be empirically assessed, and which can serve as an holistic and heuristic model by which graduate students can engage in a gestalt view/approach to leading schools and school systems in very different directions than before. Fenwick English"