Literacies of Power
What Americans Are Not Allowed to Know With New Commentary by Shirley Steinberg, Joe Kincheloe, and Peter McLaren
Literacies of Power illustrates the many ways American schools, media, and other social institutions perpetuate ignorance. In this new, expanded edition, Donaldo Macedo shows why so-called common culture literacy is a form of dominant cultural reproduction that undermines independent thought and goes against the best interests of our students. Offering a wide-ranging counterargument, Macedo shows why cultural literacy cannot be restricted to the acquisition of Western heritage values, which sustain an ideology that systematically negates the cultural experiences of many members of society—not only minorities but also anyone who is poor or disenfranchised. Macedo calls on his own experience as a Cape Verdean immigrant from West Africa who had to surmount the barriers imposed by the world’s most entrenched monolingual system of higher education. His eloquence in this book is testimony to the very idea that critical thinking and good education are not and must not be culturally or linguistically bounded. A new concluding chapter by the author critically challenges the crucial role of schools in “the manufacture of consent” for the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act, and the “charitable racism” that is too often evident in the field of ESL. In essays new to this edition, well-known and respected educators Joe Kincheloe, Peter McLaren, and Shirley Steinberg share their insights on Macedo’s message, complementing Paulo Freire’s foreword to the original edition.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Foreword to the Expanded Edition -- Induction: The Power of “the Personal” -- Introduction -- Literacy for Stupidification: The Pedagogy of Big Lies -- Our Common Culture: A Poisonous Pedagogy -- Our Uncommon Culture: The Politics of Race, Class, Gender, and Language -- English Only: The Tongue-Tying of America -- Educational Reform: Literacy and Poverty Pimps -- Charitable Racism: Imposing Democracy Undemocratically -- Afterword: That Which Was True Yesterday Is Even More True Today