1st Edition

Literacy Policies and Practices in Conflict
Reclaiming Classrooms in Networked Times

ISBN 9780415527415
Published November 10, 2014 by Routledge
188 Pages

USD $58.95

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Book Description

Current U.S. school reform efforts link school success, student achievement, and teacher performance to standardized tests and narrowly prescribed curricula. How do test-driven, mandated curricula in urban school systems overtly and subtly impact teachers’ efforts to provide technologically advanced, challenging classroom environments that foster literacy development for all students? How do these federal policies affect instruction at the classroom level?

The premise of this book is that, in order for teachers to confront and/or counteract the pressures placed on them from these policies, it is necessary to first understand them. This book takes a close look at the tensions that exist between federal mandates and contemporary literacy needs and how those tensions impact classroom practices. Providing a clear sociopolitical overview and analysis, it combines theoretical explanations with examples from current ethnographic research. Readers are challenged to (re)consider whether meeting test performance benchmarks should be the hallmark of school success when the goal of test performance supersedes the goal of producing highly literate, productive citizens of the future.

Table of Contents



List of LERN Contributors

Chapter 1: Introduction

Nancy Rankie Shelton & Bess Altwerger

Part I: Literacy policies and practices in conflict

Chapter 2: Redefining Literacy in Networked World

Sarah Lohnes Watulak

Chapter 3: Federal education policy: Roadblock or reform?

Nancy Rankie Shelton & Bess Altwerger

Chapter 4: The Literacy Stance Continuum: From transmission to transformation

Bess Altwerger & Nancy Rankie Shelton

Part II: Teaching and learning in "Reformed" classrooms

Chapter 5: Schools and communities: Multiple voices, divergent goals

B. P. (Barbara) Laster & Janese Daniels

Chapter 6: The new digital divide: Challenges and opportunities for using technology to develop 21st century literacies in urban schools

Sarah Lohnes Watulak, B. P. (Barbara) Laster & Xiaoming Liu

Chapter 7: "Zero inch voices": Imposing silence in primary classrooms

Janese Daniels, Xiaoming Liu & Bess Altwerger

Chapter 8: Resisting colonization in the intermediate classroom

Teresa Helm Filbert & Nancy Rankie Shelton

Chapter 9: Adolescent learners: "Kids don’t choose this life"

Cheryl North & Nancy Rankie Shelton

Part III: Envisioning literacy policies and practices for tomorrow

Chapter 10: Meeting the needs of every child in an era of reform

B. P. (Barbara) Laster

Chapter 11: Down the Rabbit Hole: Reform, Resistance, and Respect

Morna McDermott, Nancy Rankie Shelton & Cheryl North


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Nancy Rankie Shelton is Associate Professor of Education, UMBC, USA.

Bess Altwerger is Professor of Graduate Reading Education, Towson University, USA.


"This book will certainly stimulate important discussion."

Jacqueline Edmondson, Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Penn State University, USA

"This volume not only lauds the possibilities of the power of the new technologies but critiques its uses and makes suggestions on how the power of technology can be used in school and community settings to empower learners."

Yetta Goodman, Regents’ Professor Emerita, University of Arizona, USA