Negotiating Critical Literacies in Classrooms brings together accounts of
educators who have sought to make a difference in the lives of their
students through literacy education--from university classrooms in the
United States, England, and South Africa, to policy and curriculum
development in Singapore and Australia. Each chapter represents the results
of extended research on classroom practice. The authors in this collection
write as teachers. The literacy classrooms they explore range from the
early years of schooling, to primary and secondary education, through to
community and university sites. Although the volume is organized around
different levels of education, clearly overlapping themes emerge across the
chapters, including identity formation and textual practices, politicizing
curriculum and textbook production, and changing the power relations in
classroom talk around text.
An overarching theme of this collection is the belief that there is no one
generic, universal critical literacy--in theory or in practice. Rather, the
authors reveal how a range of theories can serve as productive starting
points for educators working on social justice agendas through the literacy
curriculum, and, equally important, how particular critical literacy
theories or pedagogies must be worked out in specific locations. In each of
these accounts, educators explain how they have taken a body of theory and
worked with and on it in classrooms. Their rich portrayals and narratives
of classroom realities illustrate the unanticipated effects of pedagogies
that emerge in specific contexts. Experiences from the classrooms have led
them to revise theories that are central to critical literacy, including
constructs such as "empowerment," "resistance," and "multiple readings."
This collection documents what occurs when educators confront the difficult
ethical and political issues that evolve in particular classroom situations.
Negotiating Critical Literacies in Classrooms is appropriate as a text for
courses in language and literacy education, and will be of broad interest
to educational researchers, practitioners, and theorists. The practical
classroom focus makes this book accessible and of interest to a wide range
of teachers and an excellent resource for professional development. The
international scope will appeal to a global educational readership.