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Multiple Literacies Theory

A Deleuzian Perspective

Edited by Diana Masny and David R. Cole

Confronting Intolerance

Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants

Series:

Stephen G. Mogge

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.

Critical Literacies in Action

Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices

Series:

Edited by 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.

Series:

Patrick J. Lewis

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.

Reading, Writing, and Thinking

The Postformal Basics

Series:

Paul L. Thomas and Joe Kincheloe

In a world gone mad with standardized curricula and the degradation of the profession of teaching, P. L. Thomas and Joe Kincheloe attempt to bring sanity back to the discussion of the teaching of some of the basic features of the educational process. In Reading, Writing, and Thinking: The Postformal Basics the authors take on the “rational irrationality” of current imperial pedagogical practices, providing readers with provocative insights into the bizarre assumptions surrounding the contemporary teaching of reading, writing, and thinking. The authors are obsessed with producing an accessible book for multiple audiences—parents, teachers, scholars of education—that moves beyond critique to a new domain of the social and educational imagination. Readers of Thomas’ and Kincheloe’s book embark on a mind trip beginning with “what is” and moving to the realm of “what could be.” In this context they introduce readers to a critical theory of thinking—postformalism—that moves the social and educational conversation to a new terrain of individual and social consciousness.
Tired of the same educational policies and “solutions” in the teaching of reading, writing, and thinking, the authors become socio-psychic explorers who move readers past the boundaries of contemporary pedagogical perception.