Critical Literacies and Young Learners : Connecting Classroom Practice to the Common Core book cover
1st Edition

Critical Literacies and Young Learners
Connecting Classroom Practice to the Common Core

Edited By

Ken Winograd

ISBN 9781315813806
Published November 13, 2014 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

Many pre-service and beginning early childhood teachers question if critical literacy is do-able with young children, particularly in the current top-down educational climate. Critical Literacies and Young Learners shows how it is possible, even in the context of the mandates and pressures so many teachers experience, and honors the sophisticated and complex social theorists that young children are. Featuring a mix of groundbreaking work by iconic researchers and teachers and original contributions by emerging scholars and educators in the field, the text illustrates a range of approaches to doing critical literacy with young children and, at the same time, addresses the Common Core Standards.

Part I provides several orienting frameworks on critical literacy, giving specific attention to its relationship to the Common Core Standards. Part II features chapters describing critical literacy in practice, grouped in 4 thematic clusters: using texts from popular culture and everyday life; focusing on issues-oriented texts and cultural identity; functional linguistic analysis of texts; interdisciplinary that engage young learners in critical social action projects. Part III addresses the micro-political contexts of teaching critical literacy.

Table of Contents


Part I: Overview of Critical Literacy and Common Core Standards

Chapter 1: Critical Literacy, Common Core Standards and Young Children: Imagining a Synthesis of Educational Approaches

Ken Winograd

Chapter 2: The Four Corners Not Enough: Critical Literacy, Education Reform, and

the Shifting Instructional Sands of the Common Core State Standards

Wayne Au and Barbara Waxman

Part II: Teachers and Young Children Doing Critical Literacy

A. Using Texts from Popular Culture and Everyday Life

Chapter 3: Show Mum You Love Her: Taking a New Look at Junk Mail

Jennifer O’Brien

Chapter 4: Using the Everyday to Engage in Critical Literacy with Young Children

Vivian Vasquez

B. Focusing on Issues and Cultural Identity

Chapter 5: Using Theatre of the Oppressed to Foster Critical Literacy

Carol Lloyd Rozansky with Caroline Thorpe Santos

Chapter 6: Talking with Trolls: A Creative and Critical Engagement with Students'


Simon Boxley, Helen Clarke, Sharon Witt, and Victoria Dewey

Chapter 7: Out of the Box: Critical literacy in a First-Grade Classroom

Christine H. Leland and Jerome C. Harste, with Kimberly R. Huber

Chapter 8: Using Read-Alouds with Critical Literacy Literature in K-3 Classrooms

Wendy B. Meller, Danielle Richardson, and J. Amos Hatch

C. Applying Critical Functional Linguistics

Chapter 9: Teaching Social Studies and Critical Linguistics to Language Learners: Complexities, Tensions, and Opportunities

Kathryn McIntosh Ciechanowski

Chapter 10: Critical Linguistics in the Early Years: Exploring Language Functions through Sophisticated Picture Books and Process Drama Strategies

Beryl Exley and Karen Dooley

D. Engaging Young Learners in Critical Social Action Projects

Chapter 11: Critical Literacy Finds a ‘Place’: Writing and Social Action in a Low-

Income Australian Grade 2/3 Classroom

Barbara Comber and Pat Thomson, with Marg Wells

Chapter 12: Exploring Child Labor with Young Students

Kate Lyman

Part III: Understanding the Micro-Political Contexts of Teaching Critical Literacy

Chapter 13: Developing Critical Consciousness: Children and Teachers Reading Wide Awake

Patrick Shannon

Chapter 14: We Teach Who We Are: Reflections on Teaching for Social Justice with Young Children

Dale Weiss

Part IV: Bringing it All Together

Chapter 15: Critical Literacy and the Common Core: Resolving Tensions and Enhancing Student Engagement

Ken Winograd

Supplemental Resources: An Annotated Short List

About the Authors


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Ken Winograd is Associate Professor, College of Education, Oregon State University, USA.


"'Defying Piaget's cognitive theory position that younger learners are unable to think abstractly in the lower stages of development, the critical literacy researchers Winograd (Oregon State Univ.) assembled present actual classroom practices designed to bring critical thinking skills to curricular practice while meeting the Common Core Standards requirements ...Overall, Winograd and his associates articulate ways to teach meaningfully and effectively through the standardization of the Common Core. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals and practitioners."- D. D. Bouchard, Crown College, for CHOICE, August 2015

"Finally, a book for early childhood educators that demonstrates the wide variety of approaches to living-out critical literacy with young children—that there is not ‘one’ right way to do it —and situates the numerous classroom examples in a larger discussion of the current socio-political educational climate, which emphasizes testing and ‘basic literacy skills.’"- Candace R. Kuby, University of Missouri, USA

"This volume of seminal and new work in critical literacy gives readers a view of where the field has been and contains exciting new research and voices showing us where critical literacy in early childhood is headed."-Tasha Tropp Laman, University of South Carolina, USA