1st Edition

Teaching for Social Justice?
Voices from the Front Lines

ISBN 9781594516184
Published February 28, 2009 by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Teaching for Social Justice? Voices from the Front Lines examines the process of four K-12 educators and a university-based researcher discussing, studying, and acting on the potential power of social justice. Through frequent, lively, and complex meetings, these educators examine their varying educational philosophies, practices, and teaching sites. Using experimental writing methods and qualitative methodology, North bridges the great divide between teacher and academic discourse. She analyzes the complex, interconnected competencies pursued in the name of social justice, including functional, critical, relational, democratic, and visionary literacies. In doing so, she reveals the power of cross-institutional, democratic inquiry on social issues in education.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Foreword by Kevin K. Kumashiro Introduction PART I: Functional Literacy Chapter 1: Functional Literacy in Context: A Portrait of Margaret Chapter 2: Developing Functional Literacy for Social Justice? PART II: Critical Literacy Chapter 3: Critical Literacy in Context: A Portrait of Joe Chapter 4: The Limits of Critical Literacy in Isolation PART III: Relational Literacy Chapter 5: Relational Literacy in Context: A Portrait of Julie Chapter 6: More than "Fluffy Talk": The Significance of Relational Literacy PART IV: Democratic Literacy Chapter 7: Democratic Literacy in Context: A Portrait of Paul Chapter 8: Reclaiming Democratic Literacy, Cautiously PART V: Visionary Literacy Chapter 9: Do Maggots Have Protein? A Call for Visionary Literacy Chapter 10: Conclusion: The Art of Cultivating Hope Appendix: Study Methodology Notes References Index About the Author

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“Brilliant … Teaching for Social Justice? offers … a framework of five ‘literacies’ … that can be immeasurably useful for evaluating current work and imagining new possibilities. I found myself constantly thinking about my own classrooms, mapping various aspects of my teaching onto this framework, and asking myself which literacies I seem to be advancing in different contexts and where I could be doing more.”
—from the foreword by Kevin K. Kumashiro

“Connie North challenges popular thinking on social justice in public school classrooms through a frank and provoking discussion on teaching. In so doing, she provides a framework on how to critically question how we think, talk, and act in our classrooms and within the community of fellow teachers. It is without question a powerful but humbling read.”
—David Stovall, University of Illinois at Chicago

“This beautifully written account of collaborative research by a university teacher educator and four teachers explores the meaning, significance, and dilemmas of teaching for social justice. It is an exemplar of democratically conducted and ethically responsible research initiated by the teacher educator that reveals the many meanings and complexities associated with social justice work in education. This book is must reading for all educators who care about making social justice teaching more than a vague slogan.”
—Ken Zeichner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Naming five distinct literacies showcases how new ways of looking at literacy can provide new tools to accomplish social justice. The efforts of these classroom teachers can serve as models for others who want, or who have struggled, to nurture in their students the skills they need to make their world a place that has meaning and fairness. Recommended.”