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Understanding and Applying Visual Data to Research in Education
Volume Editors: Jon E. Pedersen and Kevin D. Finson
The visual inputs we receive can be collectively called visual data. Precisely how one defines visual data is a key question to ask. That is one of the questions we asked each author who wrote a chapter for this book. If one comes to a decision with respect to what visual data are, then the next question becomes, “What are visual data like?” Then, “What do they mean?” As with any data, we can collect it and compile it, but if we don’t have some way to bring meaning it, it has little value to us. The answers may not be as straightforward as one might assume at the outset.
The extent to which visual data permeates what we do as educators is such that it may be difficult to identify every discipline in which it emerges. In this book, we have tried to provide a forum for authors from a cross section of common disciplines: visual arts, English, literacy, mathematics, science, social science, and even higher education administration.
Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants
Confronting Intolerance: Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants captures the experience of adult immigrants who are improving their English literacy while confronting an intolerant political culture. It examines recent immigration policy and the anti-immigrant fervor that has gripped the United States and describes the perseverance and struggles of immigrant students to pursue their goals through literacy education.
The book offers a powerful and vivid example of critical pedagogy blended with sociocultural perspectives of literacy education in an effort to raise student consciousness and alter the political culture. Confronting Intolerances is an ethnographic, teacher research narrative that describes a year in the life of the author’s classroom with adult Latino immigrants, mostly Mexican, in a Chicago, Illinois (USA) settlement house.
Specific focus is given to immigrant students’ response to reading material that was selected to meet individual ambitions but was also selected to meet the concerns and anxieties that surfaced in response to the intolerant climate. The book describes students’ engagement with narrative and informational reading and displays the students’ evolving perspectives on politics, economics, culture, and race as these relate to Latino immigrants in the United States.
Through extensive classroom dialogue and descriptions of students engaged in political activities, the book explores the students’ emerging sense of what it means to become “American” amidst an immigrant backlash. It takes the reader through a year in a settlement house classroom, and reveals the hopes, dreams, and struggles of immigrants who continue to pursue America’s promises—those realized and those broken.
Volume Editors: Karyn Cooper and Robert E. White
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.
If story is the basic principle of mind—then what are we doing in elementary schools? In this provocative exploration of narrative, the author writes from the idea that story is integral to the generation of meaning in human experience. Indeed, story plays a significant role in the formation of identity and the development of greater empathic understanding.
The text begins with a discussion of the epistemological and ontological nature of narrative in human understanding and then travels across the narrative landscape of the school setting. Through an examination of the impact of standards and accountability emphasis on curriculum, the author suggests current practice may be undermining student learning and engagement. Further, the author places oracy in temporary opposition to literacy, challenging us to rethink our assumptions about the role of literacy (ies) learning. Without negating the importance of literacy, attention is drawn to what is lost in chasing the assumed inherent good-ness of a text-based literacy and how this might hinder the growth of our children.
The value of narrative in developing teaching practice and promoting significant learning is brought to the foreground of the discussion, which naturally journeys into an exploration of curriculum raising serious questions about developmental approaches to curriculum construction. How we think but not in school will appeal to elementary teachers, early literacy teachers, teacher educators and those interested in narrative.
Volume Editors: Viniti Vaish, S. Gopinathan, and Yongbing Liu
Singapore has been taken by many researchers as a fascinating living language policy and planning laboratory. Language and education policy in Singapore has been pivotal not only to the establishment and growth of schooling, but to the very project of nation building. Since their inception, ‘mother tongue’ policies have been established with two explicit goals. Firstly there is the development and training of human and intellectual capital for the expansion and networking of a Singaporean service and information economy. Secondly there is the maintenance of cultural heritage and values as a means for social cohesion and, indeed, the maintenance of community and regional social capital. These tasks have been fraught with tension and contradiction, both in relation to the conditions of rapid cultural, economic and political change in Asia and globally, but as well because of the tensions between the so called ‘world language English’ and Singapore’s three other official languages, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin. This has been complicated, of course, by the challenges of vibrant regional dialects and the emergence of Singlish as a powerful medium of community life.
The English Study Design as Constructive Dissent
Volume Editor: Terry Locke
New Zealand has been a veritable “laboratory” for a range of social experiments in the last twenty years, including an arranged marriage with neo-liberal economic policies during the late 80s and 90s. These experiments extended to education, where students, teachers, teacher educators and researchers have experienced wide-ranging “reforms” in administration, curriculum and qualifications. The most contentious of these have been a series of untrialled and radical qualifications reforms. This book offers a critical examination of these reforms from the perspective of a group of educators who resisted them by doing the unthinkable: devising their own national qualification and making it work.
This book brings together selected papers from a conference focusing on Redesigning Pedagogy, organized by the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education, Singapore. The papers are organised around seven key themes: Literacy Education, Relations of Power, Reflection, Meaning Making, Evaluation, and Mathematics and Science. There are two distinctive features in this title. First is its international focus. In addition to providing readers with an introduction to pedagogy in Singapore, it contains discussions on the environments in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the United States. A second focus is a strong commitment to transnational research. Although influenced by the theoretical perspectives of Bourdieu, Luke, and others, the authors are primarily focused on classroom practices.
This title will be of interest to students, researchers, and practitioners who are interested in broad thematic and comparative issues. With a number of chapters on Literacy Education, Mathematics, and Science, it will also be of appeal to those more interested in content specific areas.