Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children: 10th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children

10th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition

By Vivian Maria Vasquez


194 pages

Look Inside Companion Website
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pub: 2014-02-25
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In this innovative and engaging text, Vivian Maria Vasquez draws on her own classroom experience to demonstrate how issues raised from everyday conversations with pre-kindergarten children can be used to create an integrated critical literacy curriculum over the course of one school year. The strategies presented are solidly grounded in relevant theory and research. The author describes how she and her students negotiated a critical literacy curriculum; shows how they dealt with particular social and cultural issues and themes; and shares the insights she gained as she attempted to understand what it means to frame ones teaching from a critical literacy perspective.

New in the 10th Anniversary Edition

  • New section: "Getting Beyond Prescriptive Curricula, the Mandated Curriculum, and Core Standards"
  • New feature: "Critical Reflections and Pedagogical Suggestions" at the end of the demonstration chaptesr
  • New Appendices: "Resources for Negotiating Critical Literacies" and "Alternate Possibilities for Conducting an Audit Trail"
  • Companion Website: narratives of ways in which the audit trail has been used as a tool for teaching and learning; resources on critical literacy including links to other websites and blogs; podcast focused on critical literacy and young children


"In the tenth anniversary edition of Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children, Vasquez (American Univ.) provides a brief description of critical literacy and its use in a primary grade classroom…She also explains how she guided the students' further inquiry into a topic and how they collectively worked through problems. Summing Up: Recommended."

I. M. Hughes, Bay Path College, in CHOICE, November 2014

"Through vibrant, memorable, and surprising examples of very young children grappling with very real social issues, Vivian Vasquez has transformed critical literacy in early childhood education."

Karen Wohlwend, Indiana University-Bloomington, USA

"These amazing accounts, supplemented with advice for implementing critical literacy practices with young children, will inspire many teachers to explore the potential of their students’ voices and the power of young children to work for change in their schools and communities."

Catherine Compton-Lilly, University of Wisconsin Madison, USA

"Too often teachers of young children doubt their students’ capabilities for engaging in deeply analytical understandings of a variety of texts, but Vasquez’ book provides sound critical theory and an abundance of practical examples of young children asking sophisticated questions about the texts of their lives, from McDonald’s to TV to their own school community. After reading this text, never more will these teachers have doubts."

Stephanie A. Flores-Koulish, Loyola University MD, USA

"We desperately need critical literacy approaches at all levels of schooling, and especially at the pre-school level. Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children is a brilliant, essential, uplifting, and inspiring book nee3ded more now than ever."

Doug Morris, Eastern New Mexico University, USA

"The critical and creative ways of being in Vivian’s preschool classroom should be a model of living and learning for all of us. This is education at its best – and anyone involved in early childhood initiatives or policy-making that will impact the lives of children and their teachers should take time to read this before putting mandates in place."

Stephanie Jones, University of Georgia, USA

"Dr. Vasquez is one of the most reflective and committed scholars in the field of critical literacy, social justice and early childhood education. She is a pioneer in developing and sharing how to develop critical classroom practices. In this revised edition she shows one more time her ability to develop accessible and sophisticated ideas to educators."

Carmen L. Medina, Indiana University, USA

"A concise and practical book that opens up doors for pedagogical possibilities in literacy classrooms. Any educator interested in building students’ critical literacy skills can draw on Vasquez’s range of examples – and key moments in the learning process through an audit trail!"

Korina Jocson, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

"Vivian Vasquez’s groundbreaking work challenges educators to think more expansively about young children’s critical inquiries. It is essential reading for early childhood literacy teachers and scholars."

María Paula Ghiso, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

"Vasquez eloquently describes how teaching young children to read is more than a progression of reading skills. By taking readers through the audit trails she illustrates how the ‘teaching of reading’ cannot be isolated from the ‘teaching of critical thinking.’ This book is a cornerstone book for educators who work with young children." Bobbie Kabuto, Queens College, City University of New York, USA.

Table of Contents





Chapter 1: Creating Spaces for Critical Literacy

Chapter 2: Getting Started: Setting the Scene

Chapter 3: The French Café

Chapter 4: Our Friend is a Vegetarian

Chapter 5: Save the Beluga

Chapter 6: We Know How McDonald’s Thinks

Chapter 7: A Look Back Over the Year

Appendix A: Resources for Negotiating Critical Literacies

Appendix B: Alternate Possibilities for Constructing an Audit Trail


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Vivian Maria Vasquez is Professor, American University, School of Education, Teaching and Health, USA.

About the Series

Language, Culture, and Teaching Series

This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.

The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten