Making Literacy Real: Theories and Practices for Learning and Teaching

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Joanne Larson & Jackie Marsh

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    Dedication

    To Morris, Anna, Eric, and Marcus

    Also to Keith Gallagher, for his inspirational approach to literacy teaching

    Notes on Contributors

    Barbara Comber is a key researcher in the Centre for Studies in Literacy, Policy and Learning Cultures and Professor of Education at the University of South Australia. Her research interests include pedagogy, class, classroom discourse, literacy, teachers' work, social justice, critical literacies, and school-based collaborative research. She has conducted a number of in-depth and longitudinal studies of literacy teaching and learning primarily in low socioeconomic status (SES) communities. She is particularly committed to working with teacher-researcher communities. She has recently co-edited three books: Turn-around Pedagogies: Literacy Interventions for At-risk Students (Comber and Kamler, 2005) Look Again: Longitudinal Studies of Children's Literacy Learning (Comber and Barnett, 2003) and Negotiating Critical Literacies in Classrooms (Comber and Simpson, 2001).

    Lynn Gatto has taught all grades at the elementary level in the Rochester City School District for over 30 years. She has received numerous local and national awards, including a 2001 Toyota Tapestry Award and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 1997. Most recently, she was named the 2004 New York State Teacher of the Year. She is a national presenter for educational and research conferences and has published in teacher journals and in literacy research books (Gatto, 2001). She recently completed writing elementary science curriculum modules for a national publishing company. Lynn is a doctoral student in the University of Rochester's Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

    Michele Knobel is an Associate Professor of Education at Montclair State University (USA), where she co-ordinates the graduate and undergraduate literacy programs, and an Adjunct Professor of Education at Central Queensland University, Australia. Her research at present focuses on the relationship between new literacies, social practices and digital technologies. Michele's most recent book is A Handbook for Teacher Research (with Colin Lankshear). She is currently working on a new literacies primer, Technoliteracies (with Colin Lankshear and Angela Thomas), as well as co-editing The Handbook of Research on New Literacies (with Donald Leu, Julie Coiro and Colin Lankshear).

    Colin Lankshear is a freelance educational researcher and writer based in Mexico where he is a permanent resident. He is currently a half-time Professor of Literacy and New Technologies at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, an Adjunct Professor of Education at Central Queensland University, Australia, and teaches short courses in Mexico, Canada and the USA. His current research and publishing focus mainly on literacy and other social practices involving new technologies. He is a member of research teams on projects funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australian government, investigating factors associated with low female participation rates in information and communication technology (ICT) professional occupations and ‘Success for Boys’, respectively. Recent books include New Literacies: Changing Knowledge and Classroom Learning (with Michele Knobel), and Cyber Spaces/Social Spaces: Culture Clash in Computerized Classrooms (with Ivor Goodson et al.), and he is joint editor of a forthcoming work, The Handbook of Research on New Literacies.

    Joanne Larson is Associate Professor and Chair of the Teaching and Curriculum program at the University of Rochester's Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She received her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1995. Drawing on New Literacy Studies, her research focuses on literacy as a social practice and examines the ways in which classroom language and literacy practices mediate access to participation in literacy events in primary classrooms. Her teaching includes courses on curriculum theory, diversity, qualitative research methods, and literacy learning. She has authored articles in Research in the Teaching of English, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Language Arts, Linguistics and Education, Discourse and Society and Written Communication; co-authored articles in Harvard Educational Review, Urban Education and the International Journal of Educational Reform and has chapters in several books. She is editor of Literacy as Snake Oil: Beyond the Quick Fix and co-editor of the Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy with Nigel Hall and Jackie Marsh, published by Sage. She has branched out of typical publication venues with the production of a documentary film on the consequences of the No Child Left Behind legislation on teaching and learning in urban classrooms. She has also co-produced a professional development film on teaching literacy in the current reductionist pedagogical context.

    Maryrita Maier has been a first grade teacher for her entire career. In fact, until 2002, she had taught first grade in the same school for over 25 years, long enough to be teaching children of children she taught when they were first graders. Maryrita is currently pursuing her doctoral degree with Larson.

    Hilary Malden is a teacher at Meersbrook Bank Primary School in Sheffield. Hilary qualified as a teacher in 1979 and taught at several different primary schools before joining Meersbrook Bank. She presented her work on digital literacies at the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) 2004 conference in Manchester.

    Jackie Marsh is a Reader in Education at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she teaches the MA Literacy and Language in Education and MA Early Childhood Education. She recently edited, along with Nigel Hall and Joanne Larson, the Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (Sage, 2003) and is an editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Jackie is involved in research which examines the role and nature of popular culture and media in early childhood literacy, both in- and out-of-school contexts. She co-directed, with Elaine Millard, the ESRC Research Seminar Series ‘Children's Literacy and Popular Culture’ (2002–04). Publications in this field include the edited Popular Culture, Media and Digital Literacy in Early Childhood (RoutledgeFalmer, 2005) and the co-authored (with Elaine Millard) Literacy and Popular Culture: Using Children's Culture in the Classroom (Sage/Paul Chapman, 2000). Jackie is currently President of UKLA.

    Barbara Rogoff received her PhD in 1977 from Harvard. She is currently University of California (UC) Santa Cruz Foundation Professor of Psychology and holds the University of California Presidential Chair. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Psychological Association. Barbara Rogoff has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a Kellogg Fellow, a Spencer Fellow, and an Osher Fellow of the Exploratorium. She has served as Editor of Human Development and of the Newsletter of the Society for Research in Child Development, Study Section member for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and a committee member on the Science of Learning for the National Academy of Science. She was selected to give the 2004 UC Santa Cruz Faculty Research Lecture. Her book Apprenticeship in Thinking (1990) received the Scribner Award from the American Educational Research Association. Recent books include: Learning Together: Children and Adults in a School Community (2001), with C. Goodman-Turkanis and L. Bartlett, and The Cultural Nature of Human Development (2003).

    Brian Street is Professor of Language in Education at King's College London and Visiting Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. He undertook anthropological fieldwork on literacy in Iran during the 1970s, taught social and cultural anthropology for over 20 years at the University of Sussex before taking up the Chair of Language in Education at King's. He has written and lectured extensively on literacy practices from both a theoretical and an applied perspective. In addition to writing, editing and collaborating on ten books, he has published over 60 scholarly articles and given numerous keynote addresses at major international conferences. He has a longstanding commitment to linking ethnographic-style research on the cultural dimension of language and literacy with contemporary practice in education and in development. Books include Literacy in Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 1985), edited Cross-Cultural Approaches to Literacy (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Social Literacies (1995), Literacy and Development: Ethnographic Perspectives (ed., Routledge, 2000) and Literacy across Educational Contexts (Caslon Press, 2005). He is also currently involved in research projects on academic literacies (co-ed., Student Writing in the University: Cultural and Epistemological Issues, Benjamins, 2000) and on home/school literacy and numeracy practices (forthcoming, co-author Numeracy Practices at Home and at School, Kluwer).

    Vivian Vasquez is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at American University in Washington, DC, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate literacy courses. Previous to this she taught pre-school and primary school in Canada. Her research is focused on Critical Literacy, Early Literacy, Inquiry and Social Justice. Her latest publications include two books, Negotiating Critical Literacies with Young Children, published by Lawrence Erlbaum (2004), and Getting Beyond I Like the Book-Creating Spaces for Critical Literacy in K-6 Settings, published by the International Reading Association (2003). Other publications include book chapters and articles published in Language Arts, Phi Delta Kappa, UKLA Reading, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Reading Teacher and Reading Today. Vivian has held appointive and elective offices in scholarly organizations including the National Council of Teachers of English, the American Educational Research Association, the International Reading Association and the Whole Language Umbrella.

    Acknowledgments

    We are grateful to Marianne Lagrange at Paul Chapman/Sage for her confidence in our ability to put together a theoretical work that teachers and researchers, both novice and expert, can use in their practice. We both honor the work of the teachers/teacher-researchers described in this book and shall always be grateful for their help in telling the stories of their classrooms. We also appreciate the generosity of Guy Merchant and Vivian Vasquez in sharing their insightful research and writing based on the classrooms described. We thank Barbara Comber, Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear, Barbara Rogoff and Brian Street for their intellectual leadership and for the time they gave to answer our questions.

    We both have a number of individuals to thank. Larson and Marsh thank their colleagues and students for the scholarly inspiration behind their research and practice. It makes all the difference in the world to have a positive work context. Finally, Larson is grateful for the love and support of her husband, Morris Smith, and her three children, Anna, Eric, and Marcus, and Marsh for the unremitting patience of her partner, Julie Hooper. Without them, none of this could be done.

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    Author Index

    Added to the page number ‘n’ denotes a footnote.

      O
    • O'Brien, J. 65
    • Ochs, E. 11
    • Orellana, M.F. 148
      P
    • Pahl, K. 155
    • Pajares, M. 151
    • Parker, D. 76
    • Passeron, J.C. 6
    • Patrick-Diamond, C.T. 150
    • Peterson, S.M. 12, 21
    • Piaget, J. 103
    • Pinnell, I. 118
    • Pitchard, A. 83
    • Pompe, C. 148
    • Prensky, M. 78
    • Putney, L. 110
      T
    • Thomas, A. 93
    • Thompson, P. 70
    • Thomson, P. 47, 65, 155
    • Tunbridge, N. 92
    • Turbill, J. 73

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