Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently attends to pressing questions in literacy education, such as the poor quality of many children’s experiences as readers, routine disregard for their thinking and the degrading impact of narrow skills measurement and comparison. This cutting-edge book moves beyond social, psychological and scientific categories that focus on individualistic and linear notions of the knowing subject; of progress and development; and of child as less than fully human. It adopts a posthumanist framework to explore new perspectives for teaching, learning and research.
Authors from diverse disciplines and continents have collaborated to interrogate the colonising characteristics of humanism and to imagine a different – more just - reading of a literacy classroom. Questions of de/colonisation are tackled through the exploration of both education and research practices that seek to de-centre the human and include the more than human. Inspired by an example of high quality children’s literature, playful philosophical teaching and the power of the material, the authors show how the chapters diffract with one another, thereby opening up radical possibilities for a different doing of childhood.
The book hopes to help transform adult-child relationships in schools and universities. As such, it should be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the areas of literacy, philosophy, law, education, the wider social sciences, the arts, health sciences and architecture. It should also be essential reading for teacher educators and practitioners around the world.
"In this brave and inspiring book, Karin Murris and Joanna Haynes break new ground as they enmesh the complex worlds and experiences of teachers, children, researchers, scholars, and artists, to explore children’s literacy learning from a critical post-humanist orientation. Richly infused with diverse perspectives from theory and their own empirical research, Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently confronts us head-on with the inadequacies of current educational policy that derive from an entrenched anthropocentric perspective. Presented as an alternative way for scholarship and research, this ambitious and generous text provides a stunning model for new and exciting approaches to researching and being with children and children’s literacy learning."
Dr Clare Dowdall, Lecturer in Literacy Education, Plymouth University; Associate Editor, Literacy: Journal of the United Kingdom Literacy Association.
"Literacies, Literature, and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently is a luminously composed text in which the authors "playthink" with several videos from a grade two reading of a single picturebook. The authors (re)turn to these videos as a way to help us image literacy otherwise and in doing so also rethink teaching and researching. The very way the book is written exemplifies posthumanist theories in the sense we are reading chapter after chapter about the "same" literacy event and yet newness emerges in each. One cannot think about literacy, literature, and learning the same after reading this book!"
Candace R. Kuby, PhD, Associate Professor, Learning, Teaching, & Curriculum , University of Missouri.
"This fascinating and provocative book provides new ways of looking at what happens in classrooms. The first part outlines what a posthumanist approach to thinking entails and the second offers a series of posthumanist readings of a single lesson. Together, these capture the rich complexities of classroom learning. In addition, the book provides a language for describing the multiple and shifting entanglements of the human and non-human participants in a lesson, so useful for researchers and teachers. Although focused on Philosophy for Children in a privileged setting, the carefully visited and re-visited data contains insights about teaching, learning and research for all levels and in all disciplines. The book is inspiring, challenging and alternative."
Professor Denise Newfield, English and Education, University of the Witwatersrand.
PART I HOW TO FIND GOLD IN LITERACIES Chapter 1: Philosophical Playthinking in a South African literacy ‘classroom’ Karin Murris with Joanna Haynes Chapter 2: Posthumanism, de/colonizing education and child(hoods) in South Africa Karin Murris Chapter 3: Philosophy for Children: a postdevelopmental relationality Karin Murris and Joanna Haynes Chapter 4: The ‘classroom’ and posthuman research methodologies Karin Murris and Joanna Haynes PART II FINDING GOLD IN A SOUTH AFRICAN LITERACY CLASSROOM Chapter 5: Beyond Words: Materiality and the Play of Things Theresa Giorza and Joanna Haynes Chapter 6: Bodies with legs: ‘fidgeting’ and how recording practices matter Karin Murris and Sumaya Babamia Chapter 7: Chairs and questions at work in literacies Rose-Anne Reynolds with Joanne Peers Chapter 8: Digging and diving for treasure: erasures, silences and secrets Karin Murris and Judy Crowther, with Sara Stanley Chapter 9: The Text in the Classroom: Decolonial Reading Practices Christopher Ouma Chapter 10: Philosopher Children Moving through Spacetime Kai Wood Mah and Patrick Lynn Rivers Chapter 11: Facilitating and Difficultating: The Cultivation of Teacher Ignorance and Inventiveness Joanna Haynes and Walter Kohan