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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

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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.

Bryant Griffith

Education is a dance of complexity and struggle. Unfortunately, our educational system is tied to the observable and the verifiable, not the randomness of human beings and their diverse forms of expression. The reality of the contemporary classroom is a context of multifaceted diversity, with each classroom reflecting unique combinations of ideology, culture, and language, played out in numerous forms and permutations of multi-textual discourses. The influence of each contextual space is only limited by one’s ability to understand its complexity and to acknowledge it.
Teachers and learners are roommates of sorts, connected by the web of discourse and praxis, woven inside the global community. We live in a world where common understanding is desperately sought, yet one where language is often not tied to common understanding. Exploring the need for shared community within this context, Griffith provides a path in which the diverse ways of knowing can interlace to form pedagogical moments in which teachers and learners can deconstruct and construct alternatives.
Cultural narration is based on a series of social relationships, which can be compared to reading the world as a series of texts. As readers become a part of the reconstruction process, the educational system can be visualized as a series of cautionary tales about possibilities, about ways to live and build community in this modern/postmodern world. The author focuses on the nature of discourse and the importance of engaging in dialogue about what it means to be other-conscious, what it means to address questions about who we are and how we came to be who we are.
This path is continuously “under construction;” it is always in the process of becoming what is appearing on the horizon. As teachers learn to commit themselves to the gaps revealed by the narratives of their students, classrooms become discourse communities and contact zones, co-constructing contextual discourses which acknowledge ritual and gesture manifested in various forms of text.

Global Citizenship Education

Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy

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Edited by Michael A. Peters, Alan Britton and Harry Blee

The essays in this edited collection argue that global citizenship education realistically must be set against the imperfections of our contemporary political realities. As a form of education it must actively engage in a critically informed way with a set of complex inherited historical issues that emerge out of a colonial past and the savage globalization which often perpetuates unequal power relations or cause new inequalities. The essays in the book explore these issues and the emergent world ideologies of globalism, as well as present territorial conflicts, ethnic, tribal and nationalist rivalries, problems of increasing international migration and asylum, growing regional imbalances and increasing world inequalities. Contributors to this collection, each on their own way, argues that global citizenship education needs to project new values, to reality test and debate the language, concepts and theories of global citizenship and the proto-world institutions that seek to give expression to nascent aspirations for international forms of social justice and citizen participation in world government. Many of the contributors argue that global citizenship education offers the prospect of extending the liberal ideologies of human rights and multiculturalism, and of developing a better understanding of forms of post-colonialism. One thing is sure, as the essays presented in this book demonstrate so clearly, there can be no one dominant notion of global citizenship education as notions of ‘global’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘education’ are all contested and open to further argument and revision. Global citizenship education does not name the moment of global citizenship or even its emergence so much as the hope of a form of order where the rights of the individual and of cultural groups, irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity or creed, are observed, preserved and protected by all governments in order to become the basis of citizen participation in new global spaces that we might be tempted to call global civil society.

James Bay Cree Students and Higher Education

Issues of Identity and Culture Shock

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Christopher Darius Stonebanks

This book examines the continuing challenges of lingering colonial cultural imperialism on the James Bay Cree, through an examination of the relationship between Cree students and the current “mainstream higher education” system. Culture shock and identity formation are central themes as the book investigates the uneven relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous authority in North America, dispelling notions of living in a “post-colonial” context. Well suited to a number of interests, such as Multiculturalism, Native/Indigenous studies, Sociology, Curriculum Studies, Cultural Comparative Education, Qualitative Research and more, readers will gain an understanding or simply benefit from a confirmation and validation of the complexities regarding “Native education”.

Neighborhoods of the Plantation

War, Politics and Education

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Kaustuv Roy

The plantation is a slave society, a means and a system of usurpation of life energies and bodily productive capacities in the service of endless bankruptcy on the one hand and elite persuasions on the other. The book argues, in part, that war or State organized violence is one of the most efficient means of the elite transfer; the wreckage through war and destruction of ordinary livability opens up the human as organic compounds in the turning of human life into global plantation assets. More importantly, the book argues that this is possible only by means of certain ontological and epistemological deployments that make war on the human-ecological inevitable and even acceptable. This is where pedagogy comes in. The temporal being, the spatial being, and the linguistic being of the human-ecological are explored as three dimensions of captivity as well as the means of escape. The book rejects the politics of power as inimical to the very becoming of the human and posits the politics of strength as a new possibility that breaks with the plantation system of organized violence and vampiric wealth production.

Teaching Through the Ill Body

A Spiritual and Aesthetic Approach to Pedagogy and Illness

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Marla Morris

This book raises questions around pedagogy and illness. Morris explores two large issues that run through the text. What does the ill body teach? What does the teacher do through the ill body? The body has something to teach while teaching through the ill body. This book is theoretically framed by connections between spirituality and aesthetics. As the great spiritual traditions teach, our responsibility as teachers is to help others, especially those who are marginalized. What is lacking in our educational discourse is a discussion of the responsibility we all have to help those who get sick and not marginalize them. More specifically, pedagogical and curricular questions are fleshed out through working in the area of curriculum studies, depth psychology and the medical humanities. These three disciplines have something in common: autobiography. But in the field of curriculum studies autobiographies/ pathographies of sickness are few and far between. This book is meant to fill that gap in the educational literature. This pathography is a study that explores the mysteries of suffering, storytelling, memory, and poesis. Compassion, woundedness, vulnerability, testimony and authenticity are all issues Morris raises here. Teachers, scholars, depth psychologists and medical educators might be particularly interested in this intensely felt narrative about what it is like for teachers to teach while suffering from chronic illness.

Towards Globo Sapiens

Transforming Learners in Higher Education

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Patricia Kelly

Global and local studies show that the present growth-based approach to development is unsustainable. If we are serious about surviving the 21st century we will need graduates who are not simply 'globally portable' or even 'globally competent', but also wise global citizens, Globo sapiens. This book contributes to what educators need to know, do and be in order to support transformative learning.
The book is based on work with large, socially and culturally diverse, first-year engineering students at an Australian university of technology. It shows that reflective journals, with appropriate planning and support, can be one pillar of a transformative pedagogy which can encourage significant and even transformative attitude change in relation to gender, culture and the environment. It also offers evidence of improved communication skills and other tangible changes to counter common criticisms that such work is "airy-fairy" and irrelevant.
The author combines communication theory with critical futures thinking to provide layered understandings of how transformative learning affected students’ thinking, learning and behaviour. So the book is both a case-study and a detailed response to the personal and professional challenges that educators all over the world will face as they try to guide students in sustainable directions.

Towards Humane Technologies

Biotechnology, New Media and Ethics

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Edited by Naomi Sunderland, Phil Graham, Peter Isaacs and Bernard McKenna

What are the ethical and political implications when the very foundations of life—things of awe and spiritual significance—are translated into products accessible to few people? This book critically analyses this historic recontextualisation. Through mediation—when meaning moves ‘from one text to another, from one discourse to another’—biotechnology is transformed into analysable data and into public discourses.
The unique book links biotechnology with media and citizenship.
As with any ‘commodity’, biological products have been commodified. Because enormous speculative investment rests on this, risk will be understated and benefit will be overstated. Benefits will be unfairly distributed. Already, the bioprospecting of Southern megadiverse nations, legally sanctioned by U. S. property rights conventions, has led to wealth and health benefits in the North.
Crucial to this development are biotechnological discourses that shift meanings from a “language of life” into technocratic discourses, infused with neo-liberal economic assumptions that promise progress and benefits for all. Crucial in this is the mass media’s representation of biotechnology for an audience with poor scientific literacy. Yet, even apparently benign biotechnology spawned by the Human Genome Project such as prenatal screening has eugenic possibilities, and genetic codes for illness are eagerly sought by insurance companies seeking to exclude certain people.
These issues raise important questions about a citizenship that is founded on moral responsibility for the wellbeing of society now and into the future. After all, biotechnology is very much concerned with the essence of life itself. This book provides a space for alternative and dissident voices beyond the hype that surrounds biotechnology.

Why Interculturalisation?

A Response to the Internationalisation of Higher Education in the Global Knowledge Economy

Series:

Xiaoping Jiang

This amazing, highly readable book breaks a new ground in revealing the dominant theories and policies that have had profound effects on the strategies to accommodate cultural diversity on university campus. Few have researched intercultural communication from macro to micro perspectives and applied a multidisciplinary approach by drawing on research from disciplines such as sociology, economics, politics, social psychology, management, communication, culture and language. This book has outlined an emerging concept of some considerable significance, interculturalisation, from a variety of contemporary perspectives, and indicated its conceptual potential in understanding the impact of higher education on globalisation, internationalisation and the knowledge economy. The book has also provided a critical assessment of the issues in globalisation and the internationalisation of higher education such as the homogenisation of cultures and the dominance of economic imperatives. In general, this book represents an original application of specialist literatures that develops certain theorisations and understandings together for the first time in a new constellation. Hence, the book provides an excellent contribution to the current interest in globalisation across disciplines, particularly to the research in intercultural communication.
It should be of great interest to philosophers, educators and researchers in the intercultural studies. This book is a significant and powerful work that is sure to invigorate interesting discussions of higher education and particularly intercultural education for years to come.
The publication of this book announces the emergence of an original approach to intercultural communication that scholars around the world will soon to appreciate.